I saw a Film!

Starring Jillian Kesner (aka Fonzie’s girlfriend Lorrain from Happy Days).

This thing is a Philippine revenge epic (shot in the Philippines and released by Roger Corman!) full of beautiful former model Kesner performing very enjoyable kicks and punches against loads of henchmen (sorry Cynthia Rothrock!).

She does it in dress, she does it in heels, she does it in jeans, she even does it topless, and she doesn’t enjoy the killing—in fact, even has very human reactions to some of the damage she inflicts. Which is very different from today’s violent films. These days everyone seems to have an iron stomach and no ability to empathize with a victim of some horrific fate, in this case a guy’s face hitting a rotating saw blade. Another fun part of the film is the introduction to Philippine martial arts, especially Silat, which is generally never mentioned in Western movies.

Kesner is great to watch, she moves well. She’s attractive and she’s undaunted by some of the goofiest, cartoonish fight and sex sequences you’ve ever endured. I have a soft spot for this kind of film and actor. Though much of it was probably a hoot to do! Kesner approaches it with a can-do motif, a day at the office. It’s as much fun as a season of Archer. Also, she has skills, unlike many of these would be martial arts epics that just star pretty people, this lady can actually manifest some strikes.

OK the ending is a bit of a shocker, and to be honest I wholly lost track of the plot of the film as it is just chained together sequences of action. I entirely forgot she was supposed to be avenging her sister, so when she’s in the fight cage (tipping a hat to the old fight-to-the-death sequences of epic gladiator and martial arts films, harkening Bruce Lee epics and as prelude to Bloodsport) she actually loses the contest against her lover/foe who spares her life, but unimpressed by such chivalry she extracts her revenge anyway! It seems tawdry and ad hoc, like someone said, wait—did you forget she’s supposed to avenge her sister? And the director said, OH right! Hang on one more scene! And so we’re treated to a sudden ferocity that doesn’t fit the rest of the film. It’s sloppy, and it’s pointless, and it paints the hero in a sour light, but that’s the way it is! You don’t like it? Tough!

Our penchant for ridiculously angelic superhero bullshit of late has skewed our expectations of real people toward impossible morality and ethics. No one can really hope to be as excellently perfect and righteous as a superman, who by the way in one old comic book managed to go back in time and refight Custer’s Last Stand helping the despicable Custer win that battle! Go figure!

OK enjoy Firecracker available for cheaps on Prime!

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