Amazon Commandos

Pearls among swine. I try and avoid any HK films distributed by Arena like I do a homeless guy sleeping on the NY subway. Arena is a total exploitation company – usually distributing pirated films under different misleading come-on titles. This is certainly the case here. This film has been issued under the name “Jackie Chan’s Crime Force” and on the back actually states “Includes priceless footage of Jackie Chan locked in mortal combat with an amazon killer”. Jackie Chan has about as much to do with this film as I do – he is nowhere to be seen with the exception of a Sally Yeh musical video that is at the beginning of the tape ! It is kind of interesting, but has nothing to do with the film. But I knew that coming in. I had read in Oriental Magazine that this film was actually Amazon Commando – aka Golden Queen’s Commando – and was thrilled with the discovery. I have been searching for this film for quite a while with no luck. This version is dubbed and is quite poor quality – but beggars can’t always be choosers.

The reason that I wanted this film so badly is that it has both Brigitte Lin and Sally Yeh in it a few years before they appeared together in the classic Peking Opera Blues. And it sounded so trashy and cheesy and it was, but in a wonderful B-movie way. Mixing disparate film genres such as women in prison, war movies, James Bond and westerns, it becomes totally infectious as the film progresses. In many ways it is a really bad film – but I found myself completely enjoying it.

The film focuses on seven women all criminals and as in all those type films – it introduces them one by one and the crime they committed. So there is a drunken female samurai who needs to drink to fight and they completely copy a scene with Dean Martin from the film Rio Bravo in which he goes into a spittoon to get money to buy a drink. Among the others are Amazon a tatooed woman with enormous strength, Black Cat a sharpshooter with a punk hairdo, Quick Silver a quick handed thief, Sugar a prostitute with a Scarlett O'Hara accent, Dynamite (Sally Yeh) an explosives expert and finally Black Fox – Brigitte Lin – in a Snake Plissken eyepatch.
All of them have been captured and are in jail guarded by Chinese actors in German Nazi uniforms. I don’t think there was exactly a big budget for this film and any spare uniforms were appropriated ! It turns out though that Black Fox got herself arrested on purpose so that she could break the other six out of jail and use their services for a secret mission. With the help of female charms and some deadly chopsticks, they break out of prison but the forces of a Warlord are sent after them.
At this point, the film decides to become a western as the women escape on horses and the Warlord’s men decide to chase after them on horses. Music from the Spaghetti western music of Morricone accompanies all this. The secret mission that Brigitte has enlisted them in is to blow up a chemical weapons factory that the rebels have built. When they finally fight their way there - they find a Blowfeldt type fellow with a cat on his lap and the lab consisting of a few test tubes. Again not a big budget film !
But it was a lot of silly fun and both Brigitte and Sally look very young and very lovely. There is actually a sequel to this film called Pink Force Commando. I wonder what title Arena will release that one in – perhaps “Jet Li’s Tai Chi Pink Master” !