TMS Movie Review: The Warrior

August 15, 2009 | Comments (0) | by Adam Blank

I decided to get drunk and pop in one of the many unwatched movies I have in my ridiculous collection of awesomely shitty movies. The lucky pick of the evening is The Warrior. Not to be confused with The Warriors, The Warrior is an insane Indonesian action movie from 1981. If you're a fan of realistic plots, comprehensible storylines, perfectly dubbed dialogue, or non-stop action that doesn't border on ridiculous, you needn't bother with this particular film.

Lovingly released by Mondo Macabro (the premier DVD distributor of crazy shit from around the globe), you can bet that this movie has never looked better than it does on this re-mastered DVD taken from the best possible remaining film sources.

The Warrior starts with the imperialistic Dutch in the process of trying prisoners for tax evasion. The leader of this rebellion is The Warrior (aka Jaka Sembung). The Dutch Commander sentences the rebels to hard labor. Music obviously stolen from an American Western movie plays while the workers plan their revolt, which happens over the opening credits! After a few casualties, the Warrior and most of the prisoners escape.

The Dutch Commander can't send soldiers after the hiding rebels in fear of inciting a riot. Instead, he seeks out and finds the most badass bounty hunter since Boba Fett in Kovar. Kovar is such a badass that he literally breathes fire and walks through a hail of bullets as he approaches the Dutch Commander's headquarters for the job. In spite of his complete badassedness, Kovar has to prove himself to the Dutch by wrestling a bull. Inserted are actual clips of an actor wrestling a bull along with obviously fake shots of an actor with a papier-mâché bull. Whichever depiction of events your brain latches onto, Kovar snaps the fucking thing's neck and gets the job.

Elsewhere, The Warrior's followers sense Kovar's coming, so they give him lots of logical reasons to get out of town. In turn, The Warrior gives them vaguely religious bullshit reasons why he should stay. He invariably faces Kovar, and (unfortunately) The Warrior emerges victorious by stabbing Kovar through the mouth with a bamboo stick.

The Dutch Commander's response to this setback is to "keep being cruel." The Dutch soldiers oblige by bringing in an evil voodoo priest who promises to resurrect the Warrior's fallen arch nemesis, who we've never heard of before this moment. With the soldiers doubtful of his powers, the ugly voodoo priest proves himself by using his evil magic to spin one of the top-ranking generals around for about three of the longest minutes you'll ever spend staring at a screen. The Dutch buy into this show of strength and the next thing you know, the voodoo priest and the Dutch are at an ominous-looking mountain resurrecting a previously unheard of character whom The Warrior apparently dispatched in an earlier film.

An interesting thing to note here is that the Warrior's nemesis somehow had his head severed from his body. Therefore, to resurrect the guy, his head and body had to be reunited. I've only seen about 3 Indonesian action/horror movies before this, and EVERY SINGLE ONE has a disembodied head floating in it at some point. The Warrior is no different. What kind of country is this?

With a newfound confidence from procuring The Warrior's nemesis, the Dutch go on a killing spree in the Indonesian countryside while looking for The Warrior and those not paying their fair share in taxes. By this point in the film, it's well-established that Dutch bullets are terribly ineffective against characters who have spoken more than one line of dialogue. Extras and bit characters are easily killed, but anybody who has spoken more than 1 non-consecutive line of dialogue can easily fend off bullets and run at least a mile or two after being shot in the back.

Anyway, The Warrior is driven from hiding by all the violence and ineffective gunplay and pitted against his resurrected foe. Unbelievably, The Warrior is captured by the Dutch and CRUCIFIED in the dungeon's prison. Because that's how the 19th century Dutch roll.

The Dutch Commander's daughter, having somewhere along the way fallen in love with the rebellious Warrior, tries to break The Warrior out of prison, much like Princess Leia trying to break Han Solo out of Jabba's dungeon. They're caught and recaptured. Only, instead of facing the Mighty Sarlacc, The Warrior has his eyes gouged out by a sword. Still, by praying to Allah for strength, The Warrior manages to escape, only to be turned into a pig by his magical nemesis. And let me tell you, you don't want to be a blind pig in a predominantly Islamic country.

Will The Warrior survive? Will evil get its just desserts? Will The Warrior hook up with The Dutch Commander's sexy daughter? The only way to find out is to shell out a cool $22.49 through Amazon or rent this fucker from Netflix.