Wonder Women (1973)

Aw man… This week’s B-Movie Enema is a bit of a treat. Now, normally, you’d probably think, especially if you know me or read many of these stupid posts I make, you might think I’d make some sort of joke that I’m watching Wonder Woman and talk all about comic books and how much of a fuckin’ nerd I am, only for it to stop cold, me pretend to have a conversation with the voices in my head or my B-Movie Enema: The Series co-star Nurse Disembaudee or whatever.

You know, this blog’s equivalent to a movie preview’s record scratch sound effect when a dumb joke happens.

But no… There’s more awesome to talk about that shouldn’t get ruined by that dumb gag I often do. Instead, we’re going to get right to the awesomeness that is 1973’s Wonder Women. This stars two big time folks in the forms of Nancy Kwan and Ross Hagen. But also there are a couple other recognizable folks I’ve talked about in the past.

The first is Roberta Collins the sexy siren of several women in prison films of the 70s. We’ve seen her in Caged Heat. Then, we’ve got good ol’ Sid Haig and Vic Diaz. Both of them were in Beyond Atlantis. All three of them, Collins, Haig, and Diaz, were in The Big Doll House. So yeah, these are some recognizable people for sure.

However, our two main stars have a bunch we could talk about. Let’s start with Nancy Kwan. Ms. Kwan was born in Hong Kong in 1939. She got into tai chi as a child and eventually wanted to become a ballet dancer in London’s revered Royal Ballet School. However, she would go on to become movie star after appearing in The World of Suzie Wong. She became instrumental in the further acceptance of Asian actors in American films. She even became a bit of a fashion icon when she cut her hair short with a geometric bob cut popular in the mid 60s in what would become known as the “Nancy Kwan Cut”. She would become friends with Bruce Lee. She would start her own Hong Kong-based production company to make movies specifically for people of Southeast Asia. To put it kind of mildly, Nancy Kwan was a significant figure in film and for Asian people wanting to be in Hollywood films.

Then, we have Ross Hagen. We saw him previously in Action U.S.A. You know, that awesome bad ass, big balls to the wall, giant explosion action flick that just tells you right in the fucking cover that this shit is ACTION IN THE USA, MOTHERFUCKERS! We also saw him in Blood Games (one of the most perfect movies ever made) and (shivers) Angel and its sequel Avenging Angel. However, Hagen was in a bunch of other movies that would fit right the hell in on this blog. With movies like The Hellcats and The Sidehackers from the 60s or movies from the 70s like Supercock (what a title) or movies from the 80s like Commando Squad or the several movies on his filmography with “Mini-Skirt”, “Bikini”, or “Women” in the title… Hagen belongs here with this blog.

Now, we’re not entirely out of the woods when it comes to the aforementioned, and previously covered, Angel. That’s because Robert Vincent O’Neil, this film’s director and co-writer, was also the co-writer for Angel. I don’t like that movie, but I like this one. O’Neil just passed away in March of 2022 at the age of 91, but he also had a ton of titles that he wrote or directed or both that could someday appear on this blog at a moment’s notice – Blood Mania, Jailbait, The Psycho Lovers, Vice Squad… You get it.

As the movie opens, I think Vinegar Syndrome left the blue screen MPAA rating on this cut just so they can say that, yes, in 1973, this movie is rated PG and it features topless babes all over the fucking place. I’m not kidding. This movie was PG and there are more shots of bare ass tits that some R-rated movies have. It’s awesome. But not nearly as awesome as a series of hot babes, Roberta Collins most definitely one of them, going around and shooting people and kidnapping others. This movie is off to a crazy ass start!

Now, as I just said, sexy babes are going around and killing some people and kidnapping others, right? You may be curious why they are doing these things. You may even wonder if this movie has a plot. Oh, it does. It most certainly does. It has a bonkers ass crazy plot. Let’s meet our primary villain of this movie.

Wonder Women is kind of a James Bond exploitation type movie. Look at that picture above. This is some crazy futuristic shit that, like, Dr. No or someone would have and Sean Connery would have to come in with ninjas and shit and bust it up. I mean, right? Anyway, Nancy Kwan is playing Dr. Tsu. She’s a mix of brilliant doctor, mad scientist, and leader of a SPECTRE-like super organization of spies, assassins, and kidnappers. She calls her agents her Wonder Women, hence the title of the movie.

Now, you may also look at that above picture and think, “Geoff, that looks like an operating theater.” You’re right. It does. Because it is. Dr. Tsu is a brilliant doctor after all. But what is she doing? Why did she saran wrap that dude in the tube over there? Well, that’s because she needs bodies. Why does she need bodies? Because her experiments are for strange body transplants! Yeah! She’s grabbing and killing these guys to cut them up and stitch them back together in weird configurations! That. Shit. Is. Bonkers!

Okay, so the Wonder Women are have transported a famous Jai alai player to Dr. Tsu by way of knocking him out, and then keeping him both sedated and alive as they transported him in a coffin. Dr. Tsu is pretty pleased with the job they performed, but the Wonder Women have no time to rest. At the airport, American detective, Mike Harbor (Hagen) has arrived in the Philippines and getting tailed by one of the Wonder Women.

He arrives at the hotel where he meets a man who has apparently taken Harbor’s passport. This was to get his attention. The $10,000 check he presents Harbor with is to get a few minutes of his time.

Back on Dr. Tsu’s island, she’s going about her regular business when good ol’ Sid Haig shows up to go over some evil business shit. He tells Dr. Tsu that this Jai alai player is insured by Lloyd’s of London. They’ve sent Mike Harbor to try to track down their guy before they have to pay a half million dollar insurance policy. Typically, the insurance payout is of no concern to the evil doctor, but this Mike Harbor guy is real good at what he does. That concerns Sid Haig.

And I wouldn’t think anything would concern Sid Haig.

I stand corrected.

Harbor negotiates his deal to try to find this athlete for Lloyd’s of London that would be quite lucrative. Elsewhere, Sid Haig meets with a really old man who has a wheelchair and an oxygen tank that is so important for his survival that he cannot move the mask away from his face. This old guy, a Mr. Paulson, is paying Dr. Tsu for an operation. The sight of the lovely Dr. Tsu and her Wonder Women is almost enough to cause him to choke on his own mortality. The operation she’s going to perform is to transplant his brain into the body of an athlete… Our Jai alai player.

But no time for this boring talk about brain transplants and shit, and let’s go to Wonder Women HQ for sexy time and cattiness!

So yeah, we’re definitely meeting the various Wonder Women and getting their personalities down pat. The redhead is kind of the ringleader of sorts and she kind of expects perfection and near machine-like reaction to situations. There’s a girl who likes guns. She REALLY likes guns. There’s the black chick who basically just tries to keep the peace. Then there’s Roberta Collins playing a distrusting bitch like she does so well. In The Big Bird Cage, she’s got the biggest of all chips ever on her shoulder. In this, she seems to almost like a dog with a nasty bark. She doesn’t like anyone and, worse, she doesn’t trust her teammates. She REALLY doesn’t like the redheaded leader.

She sure is hot though.

While Harbor talks to Lorenzo, the Lloyd’s of London investigator, he learns there have been athletes all over the world that have gone missing. It’s a peculiar situation because there has been no attempt at contact or ransom. Harbor starts shaking down people for info in the area that the Jai alai player was taken. He talks to an American ex-pat and learns about the chicks in the hearse, a seaside chapel or chapel by the sea, and Wonton Charlie in the City of Death, a giant cemetery that’s often thought of as a pretty spooky place by the locals.

Harbor goes to meet this Charlie. Harbor asks about the chapel by the sea and the missing athlete. He finds out about a man who would be found at the cock fights that was a fisherman. His last catch was not a fish. It was human bones.

Charlie decides to cause problems for Harbor and sends some guys after him to gun him down. Now, I love me a good ol’ fashioned dumb action scene and this is kind of what we get here. Mike isn’t unarmed… oh no. He’s carrying a half-sized double barrel shotgun in his leisure suit. Yeah. When he fires it once it kills both guys in their little car. That’s pretty good. But when he fires on the next round of guys who come gunning for him? The little shotgun blows them up and sets fire to them. That’s a neat shotgun!

But those aren’t the only guys. There are more coming for Harbor. They chase him through the buildings and the streets of the City of the Dead. Hey… I wonder if they know about the City of the Living Dead and if they have some sort of international soccer rivalry. Anyway, for those he can’t shoot with his little shotgun, Harbor beats with that shotgun or throttles them with his bare hands. After defeating all the bad guys, he meets back up with his friendly taxi driver, Lapu-Lapu (Vic Diaz), and he’s taken to the cock fights.

Now, call me crazy, but I kind of feel like Ross Hagen has been to several cock fights in his life – both literally and figuratively.

He meets up with the old man there and Lapu-Lapu helps communicate to him. We learn that the old man had friends who went missing at one point. Those bones he found? That was near a place called the Island of 1000 Women. Where is this island and how do you think I could get there? Well, travel plans will not be made with the old man because he’s not willing to go back to the place where he found human bones and I guess I can’t blame him.

Sadly, the old man is killed by one of Wonton Charlie’s guys and isn’t any further help to Harbor. Back at Dr. Tsu’s psychedelic headquarters, we see that she doesn’t just mess around with her patients’ physicality. She also conditions their minds. Why? I dunno. She’s evil, man. She’s also devised a thing called “brain sex” that she says allows people to have all the fun of the physical rush of sex without any emotional attachment. She only allows her Wonder Women to take part in this form of intimacy. They aren’t allowed to actually have the physical stuff. This is something that the redhead Wonder Woman, Linda (Maria De Aragon), lobbies for for her team. They’re kind of tired of the psycho sex shit.

Dr. Tsu pretty much thinks they should be happy with what they get because she doesn’t have time for this emotions crap.

Harbor is learning that some of the other people who have gone missing were also connected to a hearse and a coffin shipped to Manilla. Linda comes into the bar where Mike, Lorenzo, and Lapu-Lapu are at to talk about the missing peoples case. Mike decides he also doesn’t want to have brain sex and goes over to tell Linda that she has great legs (she does). He tells her that he doesn’t like long legs (I do). He doesn’t like them because they get in the way (oh, smooth one, Mike). Linda decides it’s time to figure out how to get them out of the way.

They apparently fuck, and she’s about to say bye to Mike and she pulls a gun on him. He uses a pillow to block a bullet at close range – no shit. He then tosses her around the room and she punches him multiple times in the balls. And then, later, she headbutts him in the balls when he’s pinned her down to a couch. She escapes, and he runs after her, at one point, falling down the stairs after her. It’s another of those kind of stupid action scenes, but I think it kind of sets up a funny recurring thing. Mike is either kind of not the physical fighter or self-assured action guy that you might think he is, or he’s a bull in a china shop. He’s got that double-barreled shotgun that is kind of a massive thing to carry like a pistol. It blows the fuck out of taxis and blows people up! But then when he has to fist fight he isn’t very good. So James Bond he is not.

This chase goes on for a long time too. It goes through several parts of the city. When people get in the way of Mike, he beats the shit out of them or dumps them over a staircase. These poor Filipinos are just going about their business and here comes a crazed Ross Hagen beating the fuck out of their faces! Just for being in the way!

But what starts as a long ass foot chase becomes a taxi chase as Linda commandeers a taxi and Lapu-Lapu picks Mike up to continue this portion of one of the greatest cinematic action chase scenes ever filmed. Linda has a bunch of scared ass passengers on her taxi as they are flung off and fly through a window of a diner and knocks over a traffic cop’s stand and damn near runs people over. It’s crazy! This whole movie is crazy! This is ten minutes of runtime in this movie and it does nothing for the plot. But it does everything for the goddamn movie as this is truly a uniquely amazing piece of action filmmaking. The coordination around this entire sequence is amazing.

It finally ends with Linda crashing and being dumped into the sea and being captured by Mike. If you want to see this entire, ten-minute sequence, I implore you to check it out.

That action scene brought the film to the start of the third act as Mike is able to get info about Dr. Tsu and her island from Linda. He and Lapu-Lapu paddle a little canoe to the island where Mike can sneak in and come face-to-face with that sexy evil doctor. Unfortunately, when Mike talks to Lapu-Lapu who plans to wait for him at the boat, Linda escapes and goes to Dr. Tsu to apologize for not being able to kill Mike. She calls him “damned unpredictable”. She asks for another chance to kill him, and Sid Haig thinks that it would be a good idea.

Dr. Tsu has Laura, Roberta Collins, stay close to Linda to keep an eye on her. I like this idea. I would like to see a little Laura vs. Linda business before the end of this flick. But most importantly, I want to call out the Wonder Women Battle Action Wear that mostly consists of shirts, no pants, and go-go boots.

Perfection.

The Wonder Women find Mike relatively quickly and another chase, this time through the jungle, happens. There are just too many of them and Mike is captured and brought to Dr. Tsu. Dr. Tsu is having dinner with Sid Haig. Haig is quite impressed with Tsu’s cook’s abilities. Dr. Tsu says that her chef’s survival is solely based on pleasing her tastes. That’s not the craziest thing about this scene.

No, the craziest thing about this scene is what Sid Haig is wearing.

You smooth motherfucker.

Mike asks what Dr. Tsu’s business is. She tells him that she does transplants. She can transplant ANY body part. She tells Mike that she might be able to sell his body for about 400,000 bucks. Sid Haig says that’s too high. He’s too old and can only sell his body on his virility. Mike takes offense to the comment about being too old for that kind of price.

But Dr. Tsu takes Mike for a tour of her facility. She explains that the Jai alai player will be the new body for an old billionaire’s brain. She also shows him how she stores all her body parts that she can just drop into bodies whenever. Then, they go to the dungeons where she keeps her failed experiments. One guy kind of looks like a Doctor Who creature with bug eyes and his veins and arteries on the outside when they should be on the inside.

The basketball player seen being kidnapped earlier on is in one of the cells with his brain inside a Mojo Jojo style jar on top of his head and a bandaged right hand. Her first brain transplant patient was a girl who she used an ape’s brain. She looks like a normal girl, but with the mouth of an ape. Why? I dunno. She just does, okay? Fuck. I’m only reporting what I see, I don’t have all the answers and the exact reasons why something is the way it is. Sheesh.

It’s time to experience brain sex!

Now, okay. The first thing I’m thinking of is Demolition Man when Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock had brain sex. I mean, right?!? That’s what this is! Did Demolition Man steal this from Wonder Women?!? I have no reason to believe this isn’t the immediate inspiration for that scene. I will also not lie… I want to stick a car’s air filter on my head and see if it makes me blow my load all over the inside of my pantaloons like it did Ross Hagen. I can only suspect that I’d also fall right to sleep like he does in this.

That brings up another really kind of funny running joke here. First, he has that crazy double barrel shotgun thing he carries around like it’s a handgun. That’s not how that would work. But twice, Hagen’s blown his load and both times, he passes out as if he’s had his brain removed completely from his skull and he’s just been struck dumb. It’s a fine acting job. A fine job indeed.

But a problem has taken place during brain sex. You see, Paulson’s heart has stopped. Tsu has to operate on Paulson immediately to transplant his brain. She has Laura arrest Linda for… I dunno. She did capture Mike, didn’t she? Anyway, I’m pretty sure this is just for me to be able to get that Roberta Collins/Maria De Aragon fight scene. Sure enough, Linda and Laura battle in the courtyard. It’s sexy kung fu as these two babes fight it out since they pretty much hated each other from the very beginning of this thing. Linda scores a knockout chop and is about to gun down another member of the team, but she says she wants out. They decide that the best possible diversion to be able to 1) save Mike (because, sure) and 2) get to the boat dock is to let Dr. Tsu’s freaks out of their cages.

But, hey, check out the sexy kung fu…

Vera, the other wanting to get out of the Wonder Women deal, releases the rejected specimens. The alarm goes off, but Tsu can’t stop operating on Paulson to deal with that. So, the rejected specimens are ordered to be destroyed on sight. Linda frees Mike and they head to where they can save the Jai alai player as that is Mike’s whole mission to begin with. Before they can get there, we see that Dr. Tsu was unable to save Paulson and she pronounces him dead.

Elsewhere, Vera starts messing up all of Tsu’s saved body parts and lab stuff and all that jazz. So while she’s messing up the doctor’s work, Mike and Linda are messing up all the guards and stuff at the compound. Vera also is able to retrieve another of the potential experimental subjects. In all the madness happening at the compound, Sid Haig is also trying to escape and get away with what appears to be a giant case of, what I will assume is Paulson’s money.

Some of the rejects kill some of the Wonder Women as well as the various other goons of Dr. Tsu. Mike is able to kill a couple of them, but the basketball player makes off with Linda, until he’s killed by Sid Haig, and Vera is killed by another of the rejects. Mike finds the athlete he was sent for to begin with and Dr. Tsu appears to make off as if she’s Batman or something with a smoke bomb covering her escape. Mike gets his payday, and is asked by Lorenzo to go to Europe to recover some stolen jewels. Mike decides he should stay behind in the Philippines to “recover” from his “injuries” when he really means he’d rather “plow” this “hot ass blonde” he’s apparently met since the end of the mission.

I do have to wonder where Linda is. Did the basketball dude kill her when he made off with her? Did Sid Haig kill both the basketball guy and Linda? Dr. Tsu survived. I assume Laura survived. Possibly Linda did too. I didn’t see Sid Haig die. A LOT of people survived this movie that you wouldn’t expect. And our big pay off isn’t that Ross Hagen is in some exotic place like the end of a James Bond movie. He’s with a blonde we have not yet seen in this movie. Do they just ball all over the place in this location? Nope! They have an incredibly erotic game of chess and then he’s surrounded by a new group of Wonder Women and we hear Dr. Tsu say that people like them are not able to escape their destinies.

So you figure out what that means because I’m not gonna.

This movie is pretty much the epitome of silly fun. It’s mindless entertainment to the Nth degree. There’s not a single thing in this that feels plausible, but it’s done in that later Roger Moore era Bond implausibility. It makes it fun and I had fun watching it. It’s just… fun.

So, yeah, watch this movie, folks. You can see that really nice, cleaned up Vinegar Syndrome print on YouTube. But we have more to look forward to for B-Movie Enema. First up, tomorrow, on B-Movie Enema: The Series, we watch Extra Terrestrial Visitors and get a special visit from one of the stars of the movie. Then, next week, for the B-Movie Enema review article, we will tip-toe through the tulips with Bill Rebane’s 1987 horror oddity Blood Harvest.

So, keep your eyes open for these new episodes and new articles and, do you know the best way to do that? That would be to follow B-Movie Enema on Facebook and Twitter. You can scroll to the bottom of this page or scroll up to the top and look to the right and you’ll see where you can follow this page on those social media pages. Also, you’ll find the YouTube, Vimeo, and Roku links to be able to watch B-Movie Enema: The Series. Do those things, won’t you?

As for me, I’m going to go play some erotic chess… but by myself. So… I guess it would just be chess. But one player chess. Fuck it, I’ll just go to bed.

2 thoughts on “Wonder Women (1973)

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