Terminator Woman Review: She Won't Be Back
Updated: 4 days ago
Dir: Michel Qissi
Release Date: 1993
“Two martial arts trained cops travel to South Africa on the trail of a drugs baron”
Also known as Backlash and Eliminator Woman, this has NOTHING to do with Terminators at all. Sadly, there are no cyborgs in this one which is immensely disappointing.
For that kind of action, I would recommend Lady Terminator or Eve of Destruction and I shall bid you good day.
If you're sticking around, we can get on with this curious slice of nonsense. starring Jerry Trimble, Karen Sheperd and Michel Qissi.
There are not a lot of photos available of this film so I will probably insert different movie posters and some other stuff to spice things up.
Fun Fact: Director and star Michel Qissi is better known as Kickboxer bad guy, Tong Po and was also in A.W.O.L. aka Lionheart aka Wrong Bet.
We start this one with a British chap talking with some older guy called Marsales played by the far better named Len Sparrowhawk. They are discussing where he has hidden some stolen gold bullion because that was all the rage back in the 90s.
A car arrives at the gate and a security man is murdered by the henchmen within it. They then gain access to the house, murdering more guards as they go.
One henchman has a ligature he's using to strangle people with when a knife really would have been more practical. Maybe he doesn't like blood but then maybe he shouldn't be a henchman? Anyway.......
Michel Qissi arrives now (as Gatelee) wanting to know where his gold is and, though he takes a knife slash to the face, he cuts the Brit's throat while Marsales makes a run for it.
3 months later and a great looking Jerry Trimble is arriving at a South African airport where a small boy called Charlie smooth talks his way into the movie. Trimble plays Jay and he is there with his partner, Parish, accompanying Marsales to recover the gold in a plea deal.
Fun Fact: Jerry Trimble and Karen Sheperd are both legitimate martial artists with Trimble officially being one of the fastest recorded kickers (hook kick clocking in at 118mph) and Sheperd being the first to achieve the #1 Women's World Black Belt Champion in Form and Weapons in 1979 and 1980.
Marsales trips and falls with Parish landing on top of him and nearly spilling out of her rather small shirt. Yes, it's that kind of film.
Fetz, a local lawman, takes them in his car to wherever but, as they are enjoying some martial arts based banter about who is the best, they are set upon by henchmen arriving and running them off the road.
Fetz is shot (just a flesh wound declares Jay) while the Americans do their thing and defeat the mighty mullets the henchmen have to offer. Sadly, all the henchmen escape again except one who was blasted to death with a shotgun. Poor guy.
During the melee, we get the suggestion of a femme fatale when some shapely stockinged legs get out of a car only to get straight back in again when the henchmen turn tail and get out of Dodge.
Some more sexist banter now back at Police HQ where we learn of the best club in town, Backlash! No doubt full of WWE superstars letting off some steam.
Gatelee is having one of his mulleted henchman bullshit him about being defeated by '20 of them' with machine guns. Gatelee is nobody's fool, smashes the guy's head into the desk and celebrates by ripping some of the mullet out for his collection.
The shapely femme fatale legs appear and this time we follow them up to see the owner; Clint Howard! Of course not. It's Myra played by Ashley Hayden. She swiftly KOs the other mullet and corrects the count of the henchmen's opponents to 2, unarmed.
At Backlash, more bullshit banter about how Jay only booked one room with a double bed for himself and Parish. He gets a "Sonofabitch" for his trouble. Charlie is also hanging about as a guide for them both.
Fun Fact: Charlie got a credit of his own during the opening titles, 'And introducing Siphiwe Mlangeni', which is usually reserved for people we will definitely hear of again in future films. Oddly not on this occasion.
Myra is now in Backlash, as is some doofus guy dancing like an idiot and trying to tempt Parish up to join him which, for some reason, she does. Parish is then abducted after inexplicably moving very close to a door incredibly swiftly.
Jay misses all of this as he has become distracted by a lady who is then also just abducted because why not?! He eventually leaves with Charlie and head back to HQ.
The Chief tells him the women are to be sold by Gatelee on the black market, orders him to stand down and hand in his gun and I think there's something about the other woman being Charlie's sister or some shit.
If that's not enough to get your head around, Myra turns up and she is apparently the girlfriend of our old buddy, Fetz! WOAH! Double crossing bitch alert!
Before you get time to figure out the complex plot layers, Jerry Trimble has got his shirt off and is doing the splits vertically up a wall!!! This really made me laugh. It looks totally ridiculous though it's actually massively impressive.
He then treats us to a exhibition of speed kicking sadly without I've Got the Power by Snap playing. Anyway, enough of that, we get it. Trimble is very good.
Parish is being held in a little hut in a desert somewhere along with Charlie's sister (Lianna I think) who is shouting for help.
"You wanna put your mouth to better use?" asks Parish, which threw me a little bit but it turns out she meant to bite the ropes binding her hands. Shame.
Lianna asks the guards if she can go for a shit, which she never actually does as he leads her to a curtain and suggests she curls one off behind it. We are now being set up for an awful fight scene bordering on slapstick comedy.
After Parish requests a thigh massage (?) and the naturally susceptible and constantly horny henchman goes to oblige, he is hit in the balls and she is up in fighting stance.
A big African guy who peaked when he killed the security guard at the very beginning of the film now becomes a laughing stock as runs at her and misses with a double arm grab, punches a wooden beam when she ducks and then runs into another beam while disorientated.
If that's not enough, and Qissi clearly didn't think it was, he runs at her again, misses her again, gets his face smashed into a table 3 times and, while staggering, gets a slo-mo splits scissor kick to both sides of the head before finally being kicked in the balls.
We then have some lunatic with nun-chucks doing his thing from distance before realising they are close combat weapons and actually running over to where the women are to engage properly. He is accompanied by a mullet with a sword.
Parish defeats the mullet and nun-chucks simply runs away. What a great character.
We get some respite where Jay and Charlie go to Gatelee's office, immediately get told to get out of his office again and then get attacked by a couple of motorcycle henchmen whom Jay defeats before leaving.
Parish meanwhile, is beating up everyone she encounters. I have no idea where they were being held but it looks like a jungle, a desert, a park, a wildlife preserve and a military compound all at the same time.
Lianna stabs a henchman in the back as he was about to shoot Parish which gets the courtesy nod of thanks and respect.
Jay gets home after a tough day being non-productive and discovers Myra in his bath! He is so wholesome, he doesn't fall for her seductive charms or nakedness and tells her to go piss up a rope. What an idiot.
Next day, Jay and Charlie go to a little house where a woman with an eyepatch lives. I can't remember why they went there but I think it's Charlie's mum. Somewhere along the way, Jay discovers that Gatelee owns the Backlash club.
Myra goes to Fetz's office, screws up a note that asks him to call Jay and bluffs her way to the cells where Marsales is being held. She says she'll let him out if he tells her where the gold is and they can flee together.
Marsales is an idiot and does exactly that only to be the only person surprised that she double crosses him instantly.
Jay and Charlie head to Backlash for drinks and a dance. While there, Jay KOs a mullet and gets a tight corridor fight with 3 henchmen until Charlie is captured. This naturally leads to Jay being subdued.
Gatelee gets a kick in the shins from Charlie but issues an ultimatum of bring him Marsales tomorrow or the girl dies!
There's a lot of things happening here which we, the viewer, are aware of but the characters aren't which I suppose is kind of unique.
Fetz discovers that Myra is a double-crosser, Charlie finds that Gatelee has killed his suspected mother and gives us a "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!", which is always appreciated.
Parish is doing some martial arts training by a fire while Gatelee is still trying to manipulate an exchange he remains unaware is both impossible and pointless.
When he finds out, it will be the most stupid he will feel since being beaten up by this guy...
The big African henchman arrives to offer an apology and fill him in with the details. He is thrown through a 1st storey window to his death with Gatelee looking down at his corpse and saying, "Apology accepted". Classic Gatelee banter.
Parish gets spotted while looking at some choppers and there's a gun fight at the compound. Some great and always pointless rolling while shooting action as well.
Classic moment where a mullet puts his gun down and beckons for a fight even though she's already beaten him up about 9 times. This puts him into double figures as she dodges him and kicks him square in the nuts.
Jay meets Gatelee who, to his credit has found a woman, dressed her up in exactly the same clothes as Parish is wearing and is holding her hostage with a sack over her head. It's not even a subtle, non-descript outfit. As I said, credit to him.
It all breaks down anyway and Jay gets to fight various mullets. We are treated to a nice arm break, a neck snap and various leaping about.
Myra has taken the gold which Gatelee somehow already knows plus they have met at the exact point where the gold was hidden which I thought was a secret.
Jay beats up the fake Parish (who actually looks like prime 90s Michael Bolton) and follows Gatelee into the caves.
Parish and Lianna are in a chopper and in hot pursuit of Myra who is escaping on a speedboat. Parish lowers down on a rope ladder and Myra stays on course to allow her to board the boat. SEXY LADY FIGHT!!!
Sadly, both fights are now intercut with each other so we can't actually focus on anything. Jay and Gatelee are fighting near an inexplicable fire.
Both seem good fights but we keep flitting between them so they lose (double) impact.
Myra is getting the worst of it and tries to shoot Parish with a flare gun only for her to kick upwards and the flare shoots into the air.
"Jump!", Parish shouts to Lianna as the flare returns whence it came and somehow blows both the boat AND the chopper to pieces!
Gatelee is attacking Jay with a flame torch in a pretty proficient battle in the caves but I think he becomes distracted when Mylee from Kickboxer arrives and starts chanting, "Nok Su Kow!". Obviously not but he is kicked onto a very sharp stalagmite and dies of the resulting impalement.
Myra has swum ashore after presumably also leaping from the unlikely fireball and is met by Fetz. He tells her he has got her some new bracelets and slips the handcuffs on as he places her under arrest. Yeah! Take that, Myra!
Epilogue scene now and we get an unnecessary suggestion of romance between Parish and Jay before Jay says he wants to go and see Charlie before they leave and the Inspector gives them a crocodile gift of some sort for no apparent reason.
Jay wisely tells Charlie that if he gets through School, he can come and join them in Los Angeles. Imagine that in 7 years time when they've both forgotten about Charlie and some 20yr old South African guy they don't know turns up to live with them. Sitcom idea?
Fetz says, "Give my regards to L.A.", though why anyone in Los Angeles gives a flying fuck about some small town idiot cop halfway round the world, is anybody's guess.
Jay and Parish don't care but they do mention some unfinished business and, rather than getting back to romance, it is them assuming fighting stance for a decider to find out who the best once and for all.
Fun Fact: Michel Qissi has only directed 3 films and he is in all of them. He would wait 8 years before he directed again (Extreme Force in 2001) and then wait a further 14 years (Bara in 2015)
Who truly was the best?
What happened to Marsales?
Did Lianna ever have that shit?
How did Charlie's mum lose an eye?
Did Charlie stay in school?
Did they give Fetz's regards to L.A?
Did L.A. notice?
Where did Gatelee find another outfit like the one Parish was wearing?
Did that taxi driver eventually just leave as he other jobs to do?
Are mullets still a thing in South Africa?
I own this movie on DVD. Streaming options unknown
Mullet with nun-chucks showing us some skills from distance
Zooming out to show Jerry Trimble doing the splits up a wall
Gatelee: "Apology accepted", after throwing big African guy through a window
The big African guy being thrown through a window before having his apology accepted