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The Muthers

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    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Muthers, The



    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: March 10th, 2015.
    Director: Cirio Santiago
    Cast: Jayne Kennedy, Rosanne Katon, Jeannie Bell
    Year: 1976
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    One of the seemingly countless exploitation films shot in the Philippines by director Cirio Santiago in the seventies, The Muthers follows the exploits of the titular group of lady pirates led by Kelly (Jeanne Bell) and Angie (Rosanne Katon). These ladies and their small but loyal crew cruise around in their boat looking for yachts in remote waters that they can then plunder for treasure. Making things difficult for the ladies is the presence of a guy named Turko (John Montgomery) who, along with his cruise, is out to for the booty on unsuspecting pleasure yachts.

    Things get complicated for Kelly when her pal Sancho (Sam Sharruff) lets loose with the info that her teenage sister Sandra has split for a new life in Santo Domingo but she knows that there's more to it than that. She and her team head out to find her but things don't go as planned and Kelly winds up almost raped by a sleazeball named Murphy (Dick Piper). Eventually she meets a Federal Agent named Navarro (Bert Oliver) who figures he knows what really went down - Sandra was kidnapped and is being forced to work on a plantation run by the villainous Montiero (Tony Carreon). Now Kelly and her gang of outlaws are going to have to put their differences with the law aside and go undercover to bust Montiero on Navarro's behalf. So they do, somewhat begrudgingly, with Kelly holding out hope she'll find Sandra before it's too late. Montiero is smarter than they wager though, and along with some help from his servant woman Serena (Jayne Kennedy) and a slave named Marcie (Trina Parks), our heroines will wind up in some very hot water indeed!

    This isn't upper tier Filipino exploitation but it's entertaining drive-in fare to be sure. Santiago's direction is about as good here as it is in other pictures he made around the same time, meaning we get a lot of the same pros and cons. Pros? Pretty ladies, nice location photography and a decent sense of timing. Cons? Action scenes that feel more awkward than convincing, bad dialogue and line readings and some erratic pacing. Having said that, if you enjoy women in prison movies or low-brow jungle adventures films, you'll probably have a good time with this one because it basically melds the two genres into one and throws in some Blaxploitation elements as well. The emphasis here is on action rather than titillation, so we get a lot of machine gunning in place of nudity and lecherous behavior but it goes at a decent enough pace.

    The real reason to take this one in, however, is the cast. Jeanne Bell has great screen presence as the tough as nails lady in charge and she and Rosanne Katon get some great lines here. They play the tough gals well and if they maybe don't have tons of range, they don't need it. They look the part and they've got enough confidence here that it comes across well. Jayne Kennedy, who looks fantastic here, tends to steal the scenes that she's in while Tony Carreon makes for a fine villain, the kind you love to hate. So yeah, it's short on character development and it definitely plays to clichés more often than it tries to be original, but if you're looking for brainless entertainment, mindless action and pretty ladies then The Muthers should fit the bill.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The Muthers arrives on DVD from Vinegar Syndrome in a new 2k scan taken from the film's original 35mm negative and generally speaking it looks very good. The first thing you'll probably notice is just how colorful this movie is. All the bright hues that come part and parcel with the location photography really pop here while skin tones look dead on. Black levels are good and detail is about as solid as you can ask from a standard definition presentation. Some minor print damage does show up throughout, but it's never a distraction. All in all, this is a nice film-like presentation.

    The Dolby Digital Mono track sounds about as good as you'd expect it to. Dialogue remains clear and easy to follow if just ever so slightly flat. The music sounds good and the sound effects are properly balanced throughout the movie.

    The only extra on the disc is the film's original theatrical trailer. Outside of that we get static menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    The Muthers isn't the 'be all, end all' of Filipino exploitation pictures, in fact comparatively speaking it's on the tame side of the spectrum, but it's got enough foxy ladies and goofy action to make for some fine lazy weekend viewing. Vinegar Syndrome's disc is light on extras but it looks and sounds quite good.




















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