Wonder Women (1973) — At least three real chickens died in the making of this film

“Lady, aren’t you a little tired of playing God?”

Justin’s rating: Am I complicit in a crime for having watched this?

Justin’s review: OK, let’s rip this Bandaid off right here and now: This is not a superhero movie starring a former Amazonian who has a magic lasso, an invisible jet plane, and the ability to Tarzan across cityscapes on lightning bolts.

This is far more ridiculous.

Wonder Women, plural, is exactly what Charlie’s Angels would be if the angels were angrier, addicted to something called “brain sex,” and working for a mad scientist who specializes in unwanted brain transplant surgery. Despite this whole group apparently hating each other, the Wonder Women (plural) successfully abduct so many athletes for brain swappin’ that they draw the attention of a swarthy insurance investigator who comes to the Philippines to find one of them.

Said investigator is Mike Harber (Ross Hagen), who barges into this country in a cloud of Polo & Stetson cologne and demands results, darnit! For about 10 minutes, the movie teases you with a mundane version of a calm, rational investigation. This includes terrorizing a fake blind guy, jumping over half the garden gates in Malina, and attending what appears to be a real cockfight. Yup, 1973, ladies and gentlemen!

Enough with sanity, the movie seems to say as it quickly ramps up into the ridiculous. Harber ends up bedding one of the Wonder Women named Linda (Maria De Aragon), but this merely results in an incredibly long chase sequence in which at least one very innocent bystander was struck by the film crew in the crowded streets. Reportedly, the kid survived, so that’s not completely on your conscience as you watch this. But, seriously, someone was run over and they totally filmed it. That’s what you’re in for with this movie.

Anyway, the investigation eventually lands at the doorstep of Dr. Tsu (Nancy Kwan) who proposes swapping Harber’s mind into a Linda’s body and getting a jump on the ’80s body switching craze. When that suggestion doesn’t go over well, Tsu gives him a tour of her botched surgery subjects — which look like something from a cheap amusement park dark ride — and then has mindless (get it?) brain sex with Harber. Seeing as how history played out after this, I’m going to say that this trend didn’t really stick around.

Linda eventually has a change of heart and, along with another Wonder Woman, frees Harber and attempts to make an escape from the Business Park of Dr. Moreau. Apropos of nothing, cult regular Sid Haig (Kill Bill, Galaxy of Terror) appears in an Austin Powers outfit, eats some food, and then takes off for another film. The climax involves a lot of women shooting machine guns, surgery freaks going bananas, and Dr. Tsu calmly finishing up her latest operation. Rumor is that they were angling for the Oscar here, but sadly the Academy ignored this effort.

With the electric organ jamming out sweet tunes, a full female cast that refuses to wear pants, body parts in freezers, and more random acts of weirdness than in a Carrot Top standup act, Wonder Women is unashamedly an exploitation film in the scifi thriller genre. It’s not just fun to mock, but it’s fun to watch as well — and that is more rare for bad movies than you’d first assume. From slappy kung fu fights to a woman who’s been modified into an ape, Wonder Women has something for every demographic.

Didja notice?

  • Random attacks with no context!
  • Circus music!
  • Scuba gear in coffins!
  • Dorky high tech brain surgery!
  • Is that red car from the Muppets?
  • The super old rich guy with the weird Scottish outfit
  • Wait, “brain sex?”
  • The “blind” guy is the worst actor who ever acted
  • Carts tend to explode in fireballs
  • And now a mid-film cockfight to make you feel uncomfortable
  • Pistol vs pillow! And pillow wins!
  • The decapitated fish that slithers by on the street. That’ll be nice for my nightmares.
  • The chase scene with the silly taxis, chicken deaths, and probable fatalities
  • Are pistol-sized shotguns actually effective?
  • And now, a flaming bowl of soup
  • All surgery suites need LARGE SPINNY LIGHTS
  • The tour of the surgery rejects is hilarious
  • Most women have a ninja throwing star on their underwear
  • Smoke bomb from the control room, why not

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