Actiongirls: Soldiers of the Dead part 1

3/53/53/5

Actiongirls poster With all the recent hype about Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez failing to reinvent the exploitation genre with Grindhouse, it is refreshing – to say the least – to find someone like Scotty JX who reminds us that these films never went away in the first place.

Actiongirls (I’m not going to type out the full title every time) is set in a post-apocalyptic near future in which society has fallen apart and power has fallen into the hands of increasingly corrupt gangs. The most notorious of these is controlled by one Helman Himmler, a slave trader who has assembled an army of followers across Europe. He and his followers spend their time searching for – and capturing – women who are turned into gladiators for his Arena of Death, the winners of which would gain a privileged place at his side.

All of this is explained in a (rather lengthy) chunk of text that runs over the top of the opening scenes, and then we are into the film proper which centres on two main characters.

Susana (Susana Spears) is one of Himmler’s gladiators. Recognising that the only way to survive as a captive is to fight – and fight well – she rises to become his most successful fighter and a trusted member of his entourage – with slaves of her own – until she sees the opportunity to escape.

The Black Queen (Adriana Zarcova, looking rather gorgeously like she’s just stepped out of an Ilsa movie) is Himmler’s most prized possession. But she is tiring of his endless affairs and starts looking for opportunities of her own.

After escaping, Susana rescues Emile (Emile Kova), and takes her under her wing. The two women take over a – surprisingly well appointed – apartment and start to consider their next move.

Actiongirls is a sexploitation film and, of course, there is plenty of nudity. But there are very few actual sex scenes. Apart from a very erotic lesbian s/m bondage scene early on, the film is much more interested in showing off – and admiring – beautiful naked, and scantily clad, women in a variety of situations – such as showering, fighting in a gladiatorial area or battling zombies.

Another Actiongirls poster Did I mention battling zombies?

This is where Actiongirls really moves into a league of its own. During a raid The Black Queen discovers a formula that allows her to reanimate the dead as super-soldiers totally subservient to their master… or mistress.

And from here on in it’s sexy babe kicking fast zombie butt all the way.

Actiongirls is an unashamedly fun film. It’s also a much better film than I was expecting. The production values are remarkably good and, although there are a few inconsistencies, the plot does hold together very well.

The film is also packed with in jokes and references to other films and genres from the Mad Max inspired genre of post apocalypse movies to women in prison films by way of both Herbert West and Ilsa.

My only real gripe is the ending which isn’t. This is – as the title makes abundantly clear – intended as the first part of a series. This is fine and I will be keen to see part two, but there is no real sense of closure with the end of part one.

But this is a minor complaint, more than made up for by the fact that this is a film that knows its audience and delivers exactly what it promises.

One Response to Actiongirls: Soldiers of the Dead part 1

  1. on 11 Sep 2008 at 8:49 pm Film at Eleven » Actiongirls go west

    [...] go west After two tears in the making Scotty JX, the man behind Actiongirls.com and Actiongirls: Soldiers of the Dead, has announced his latest destination with fresh new content dedicated to Western [...]


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