Terminal Angels (1987)

Directed by: Philip Fraser
Written by: Andy Berlin
Producer: Tomas Tang
Starring: Laura Bells, Brian Scott, Bonnie Watson, Karen Joos, Richard Gibb & Hubert Hays

Paula is a reporter that have in her possession or a set of photographs that would expose a known businessman as a drug smuggler. In the crosshairs of the drug syndicate therefore, Ben from the CIA is doing his best to protect the reporter and to solve the case. That's the material Filmark contributes and over in the Thai source movie, a woman is seeking revenge on the syndicate herself for personal reasons. Taking out one at a time, mostly through kicks...

Attempting and embracing the challenge of selling their cut and paste action formula sans any colorful inclusions such as ninjas or hopping vampires, the key to Filmark's Terminal Angels lies in belief in the source material. There's evidence to support that belief. Less colorful by default because it's "merely" doing modern action and not providing anything more than functional string to add the international flavor for the market, Filmark's scenes on the other hand are expository to the max, sometimes wonderfully overacted but just there to tie matters together neatly for the new movie being crafted. They can't compete with Thailand, that's for sure.

Which is the wonderfully surprising thing because Thai action cinema, whether focusing or gunplay or martial arts, only had a select few filmmakers and teams with the ability to achieve the effect of power, intricacy and for such notions to come off as even remotely sharp as a film was rare. It's a nice change of pace therefore because the acquired material within Terminal Angels is plentiful and varied, with some slight technical hiccups along the way. The ladies put on a decent kicking showcase, getting needed power through and stuntmen react accordingly. A skill is present to sell powerful well and even some scenes like an outdoor assassination one contains some really tight and powerful editing. It's rare tension, where raw and cold violence actually has an effect. Tomas Tang's Filmark were eyeing a minor action gem, even if it's basic as a movie.

So the plentiful and varied action-showcase as well as the technique behind it ultimately brings Terminal Angels into a highly watchable territory. Especially since last third adds surprises such as crossbow killings, underwater knife fights and even when undercranked, the Thai action crew manages to keep their heads high because of execution. Filmark may not be inspired themselves but the original source movie crew were as they crafted their little revenge action-tale.

reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson