Monday, 30 March 2015

Savage Justice


SAVAGE JUSTICE (1988)

Directed by: Joey Romero
Starring: Julia Montgomery, Steven Memel, Ruel Vernal

It’s Philippine, jungle based action a-go-go in the cheap but not always cheerful Savage Justice. Sarah (Montgomery) is the foxy blonde daughter of some American diplomat who is captured by a group of nasty jungle rebels when they instigate an attack on the American embassy (or something!). With her parents slain and with no chance of escape, Sarah becomes the personal plaything of tough rebel Sanchez (Vernal). However, as well as using her for all sorts of sleazy shenanigans, Sanchez trains her in all forms of combat so she can fight by his side and now be his tough foxy blonde fighting babe. Cut to a year later and Sanchez and Sarah (now a cute couple!) go on the rampage and attack a local village with the purpose of hijacking several supply trucks due into town. In amongst all the shooting and chaos, Sarah is wounded and rescued by American stud dude Rick (Memel), a former soldier trying to live a quiet life but who’s wife is killed in the village attack (well he did send her into town to do grocery shopping knowing there was going to be an attack: dick!). Reluctantly joining forces with Sarah, the two of team up to take down Sanchez once and for all but not before a heap load of oddness/plot tangents/general B-movie absurdness can take place. 


While it features its fair share of machine gun firing action, explosions and dangerous car flips, Savage Justice is all over the shop in its intentions. Cut and chopped to a lean, mean 80 minutes, coherency isn’t always its strongpoint as Sarah’s imprisonment by Sanchez lasts all of five minutes and is basically an excuse to tell us that she is now some bad-ass Rambo like battling babe. Cue the let’s-get-revenge-on-Sanchez plot (he now moping around his jungle camp pining for his blonde babe!) but not before we take jaunts to a Shaolin Temple  (to recruit some monks!); a hideout to find a cache of guns (mysteriously run by a gang of street kids and a midget: who then also joins forces with Sarah!); take in several random fights showcasing Sarah’s new found kung fu skills; and then throw in some funky Mad Max like vehicles and, oh, you know, a bit of faux lesbian taunting from one of the evil jungle bandits! Savage Justice certainly gets points for throwing in everything it can think of, even if most of it doesn’t stick.

While a lot of the artwork seems to be promising this as a sort of female Rambo type flick, and Montgomery does get to kick ass and fire guns, the big finale sees the leading lady relegated to the sidelines as Memel gets to be all action hero and even gets to fight Sanchez: it should have Montgomery kicking his ass in the final minutes damnit! Still, and thankfully, Savage Justice delivers a truck load of crazy gun blasting action, especially come the final 20 minutes that features all kinds of bullet riddled destruction, those Mad Max like vehicles flying through the air and being destroyed and plenty of explosions: so lots of dangerous looking stunt madness. Montgomery makes for a tough action babe and while Savage Justice has its moments it would have been better (and less weird) with the omission of the Monks, the street urchins and all the other silliness that gets in the way of some good jungle blasting action. 


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