Actiongirls: Soldiers of the Dead Part 1 (2007)
By: Mr Intolerance on July 25, 2007  |  Comments ()  |  Bookmark and Share
Director: Scotty JX
Starring: Susana Spears, Emily Kova, Adriana Zarcova
Screenplay: Scotty JX Country: USA
Duration: 90 minutes
So then, you want to make a cult trash exploitation film with something for everyone? What do you need to do that, I hear you ask. Let's do the list – it's got a good beat and you can dance to it:

* Boobs
* Violence
* Lesbian sex of some kind (only one scene of that here, unfortunately)
* A post-apocalyptic setting
* Boobs (I know I said it before – they're just really important)
* Chicks with guns
* Nazi S&M chic
* Crazed bikers
* Cannibalism (one or two blink and you'll miss 'em implied scenes here)
* Zombies
* Crazy scientific experiments to create super soldiers and otherwise raise the dead
* Gore (if a bit minimal here)
* A naked woman "attacked" by rats
* More boobs

Now while I'm not suggesting that this is a cult masterpiece, it certainly was tremendous fun, made by someone with my taste for people with my taste, with the inclusion of all of the above, in many cases in ever increasingly gratuitous amounts. Huzzah!

Frankly, I don't think I've seen this much naked female flesh outside of a porn flick. Couple that with loads of senseless violence and you have a totally entertaining piece of eye-candy, especially when all the girls in this film are drop-dead stunners. Not "vaguely attractive" – hot. And that's not just the main stars, either – even if they are only on-screen for a minute or two before being summarily dispatched, they all look like Playboy centrefolds, albeit without that magazine's gloss.

So, the basic story is pretty simple, if a bit jumbled and random to begin with. The apocalypse has happened (a new form of plague, apparently – remarkably preserved bodies are still lying about in the streets…), and we're told that in order to continue the species (or at least to keep the number of evil bastards in the world) women are a valuable commodity, rounded up and used as breeders for the gangs who have taken over in the resultant chaos. Helman's Death Squad are one of the most notorious of these gangs, Helman Himmler being a thoroughly bad egg decked out in paramilitary gear with a decidedly Nazi feel to it, who likes to have naked women fight as gladiators with sword and shield before him in the Arena of Death. No – I'm exaggerating. They're not fully naked – they are wearing knee-high boots, as do all the women in this film – do I sense a fetish here? One even gets a belt!

This film is meant to be the story of the women who fought back. Usually they fight naked, in their underwear, or a pair of hotpants. Or, in one instance, a rather saucily abbreviated police uniform. The first fifteen minutes of Actiongirls: Soldiers of the Dead Part 1 is a rather confused mish-mash of events held together by titty-skin, but gradually gains momentum, if only ever gaining the rudiments of coherence and cohesion regarding any kind of narrative.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed every boob-drenched moment. This would have to rate as one of the most exploitative pieces of silliness I've ever seen, but being the shallow male that I am, hurl enough boobs my way, and I'm one happy fella. In between ogling members of the fairer sex, I did notice a few technical flaws: the score occasionally becomes overpowering in terms of volume – almost to the point of distortion, the lighting is poor in many of the interior shots, the dialogue – or rather, what there is of it – is at times indistinct or distorted (three letters the director might not be familiar with: ADR) and quite often in an Eastern European language (which wouldn't be a problem if it were all subtitled), and there is far too much exposition text on screen, especially at the beginning. Some of the fight scenes, too, are a bit lacking in the choreography department. Doesn't mean they're not enjoyable, though…

Special note must be made of Adriana, Helman's valkyrie-like, Ilsa-esque off-sider, who is eventually spurned by the H-man and goes bandit, Reynolds-style, breeding her own (admittedly small) army of undead killing machines. Do you think doctors often operate wearing a mostly backless leather corset, high-heeled knee high boots, a g-string and an SS officers hat? And if not, why not??!! Her "performance" is almost 100% mime, with much in the way of extremely heavy-handed mugging – I have the snaking suspicion that English may not be her mother tongue. Watching this for what is now the third time (are you calling me a pervert?!), I noted that over an hour into the film (despite a lot of on-screen time) she has so far said four – that's right, count 'em: four – words, one being in another language, the other three grammatically incorrect.

Actually, that is a point worth mentioning – there is practically no dialogue, and quite a lot of what there is, isn't in English. From what I can tell from the actors' names, their accents and just the general look of the film, Scotty JX has filmed this (according to other reviews I've read over a number of years, using a range of different technologies) in Eastern Europe, thus getting more bang for his buck, so to speak.

And the soldiers of the dead themselves? Don't expect Fulci or Romero-esque shambling gut-munchers. These dudes run, can follow orders after a fashion, display loyalty to their mistress Adriana (mind you, so would I…), and spend as much time, in some cases, fighting each other as much as their intended victims. In some cases they reminded me more of the rage-infectees of 28 Days Later than 'traditional' movie zombies.

All up? Good camerawork generally, but the sound is a bit poor in places. High on fight scenes, low on characterisation, to the point where several characters who initially seem to be central to what I'll refer to as the "plot", such as Helman, simply disappear from the screen, never to be seen again. Further, some of the Actiongirls are a bit hard to distinguish from one another, possibly due to the fact that they say next to nothing and spend much of their screen time doing nothing more than running about (and jiggling up and down in a most appealing fashion – seriously, it was hypnotic, like watching a lava lamp…) and fighting. The chick who stood out the most was the one in the police uniform because a) she's fully, if scantily, dressed for the entire runtime of the film and b) she's blonde, unlike most of the female cast besides Adriana.

Was it fun? Hell fuckin' yes it was. My only real disappointment was the abrupt, unresolved ending – but that's just got me drooling with anticipation for the next boobalicious instalment! If you're a fan of attractive naked, or as near as damn to it, women, boobs and beat 'em up slugfests, or any of the other stuff I mentioned at the beginning of this review, you'll love Actiongirls: Soldiers of the Dead Part 1 – 24 carat A grade exploitation gold.
Movie Score
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