Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lady Terminator's Barbara Anne Constable interview 2010

Trash Video’s GRINDHOUSE 101 presents


8pm Friday 6th August at Tribal Theatre, 346 George St Brisbane

LADY TERMINATOR (1988) PLUS Q&A! "First she mates...then she terminates!" Ultra-bizarre Indonesian ripoff of Arnie's original Terminator with more sleaze, buckets more gore, and some of the most eye-popping action scenes to come out of South East Asian exploitation! PLUS as a special treat, meet Lady Terminator herself, Barbara Anne Constable, as she introduces the movie and goes one-on-one with Trash Video's Andrew Leavold after the film!

PLUS... THE IMPOSSIBLE KID (1982) The return of Weng Weng (Agent OO), the two foot nine James Bond of the Philippines, in the sequel to Grindhouse 101 favourite For Y'ur Height Only! Ticket only $8.

BARBARA ANNE CONSTABLE Interview with Andrew Leavold

[originally published in Rave Magazine 03/08/10]

“First she mates…then she terminates!” the posters screamed outside New York City’s fleapit cinemas back in 1988, and for once it wasn’t just some Z film producer’s huckster hyperbole. One can only imagine the 42nd Street crowd’s reaction to bizarre Indonesian splatter-sci-fi Lady Terminator, with the plot of Arnie’s first Terminator grafted onto a supernatural horror tale of a South Seas Queen possessing an ‘American’ anthropologist.

Gorgeous, big-haired Barbara Anne Constable plays both Tania and the Queen’s unstoppable killing machine, mowing down hundreds of innocent bystanders with her AK-47, while - in an unexpected riff on the original Terminator - fornicating like a banshee. Breathtakingly surreal, hyper-sleazy and violent in equal doses, and crammed with one over-the-top action setpiece after another, the film is about as loopy as Asian exploitation gets.

London-born Barbara grew up a professional dancer in Australia whose leg injury took her to Hong Kong and into the world of modeling and fashion reporting. After a chance audition for an Indonesian film company, Barbara was offered the lead role in a local Terminator ripoff: no acting experience necessary, but physical endurance was a plus. The film’s cartoon-like Indian producer Ram Soraya “met me at the airport and held up a big wad of cash in US dollars to the customs officials when I arrived. So that set the scene.”

Without warning, Barbara was plunged into the Wild West chaos of Indonesian B-filmmaking. “Everybody were smoking joints on the set, people were off their nuts! I don’t know how they got anything done.” Barbara was expected to perform her own stunts, and as a dancer that didn’t pose a problem. Even so, her pain threshold was pushed to its limits. “I had so many near misses, like half car bodies flying and missing me by two centimetres! I nearly got killed so many times during that film…” After three grueling months of clinging onto car bonnets and being burnt by bullet squibs (“serious, second-degree burns!”), the final shot was Barbara kicking through a glass door. “The glass should have shattered into small pieces. It was a real pane of effing glass!”

Her ankle was skewered by a long shard of glass, just scraping past her Achilles tendon. Production was shut down for a month – with Barbara on full wages – while a military hospital stitched her up and she regained the ability to walk. “Then I shot that last scene, the candy glass broke the way it was supposed to, and we wrapped.

“Ram Soraya called me a couple of years later and said, ‘We want you to do a comedy.’ I said no. ‘I’ll pay you double?’ ‘No, I’m not coming back. I’ll never get out otherwise!’”

Barbara accepted her role –and her fate – as Lady Terminator, on the understanding that the film would never be screened outside Indonesia. Two years later, Ram Soraya sent Barbara a Betamax copy – and a press clipping the New York Times. “I was like, ‘You’re fucking kidding me?’ I was mortified.” Even more disturbing was the ‘possession scene’, in which a brutally primitive CGI snake slithers its way into her – ahem – bikini bottoms.

“They wanted me to fall onto a bed. I was tied up, and they wanted me to look like I was possessed. That was the scene. They didn’t say, ‘Afterwards we’re going to put this friggin’ snake thing that goes up your vagina…’!”

Is Barbara still mortified, I wanted to know. “I’ve seen it since with friends over a few drinks, and just laughed all the way through it. It’s a crack-up! People were like, ‘That’s YOU? That’s weird!’ I know!”

Barbara Anne Constable introduces Lady Terminator at Tribal Theatre on Friday 6th August, followed by a Q&A with Trash Video’s Andrew Leavold