Hands of Death (1987) Review

The cannibal leader mainly just walks up to them and feels them. Not so bad, seems more like a harmless old perverted molester than a consumer of human flesh.

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He orders his men to prepare them for the meal and clean them first. That’s nice, treat them to a nice meal and some bathing? Looks like our women are finally in good hands.

W-wait. Why are they being tied up to a log across the water?

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Oh, right. Cannibals. They’re gonna cook these women. How foolish of me to think Asian women might finally get a happy ending in a Godfrey Ho film for once.

This movie got a little grim, didn’t it?

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The leader wants to literally eat them alive.

But oh look! It’s Chester, er Robert, or, um, someone to come save them!

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I guess it’s all three of those guys, Chester, Thing 1 and Thing 2–I’ll just call them that from now on–as they shoot and slice all of them cannibals down.

Their poor leader looks helpless, and his meal is definitely ruined.

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But then he gets it too as Thing 1 and 2 stab him in the back and chest.

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Jungle Jane shows up, too!

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We also get more of that crazy screaming from the women (that in no way makes me wish they’d drown in that fucking creek) as the guys untie them.

CATERPILLAR!

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PINK NINJA!

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AND A 12-GAUGE SHOTGUN!

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Sorry, I feel like I was trying to find a connection between those three things somehow, but I don’t see it. Whatever.

He spots one of the Commander’s tripwire traps and cuts it, which sets it off. Part of the trap even flung a rock at the Commander’s tent, alerting him to it. He investigates.

When they spot each other, guess what happens. I thought maybe they’d drop their guns, make out and decide that all this treasure-hunting nonsense wasn’t worth the trouble while skipping out of the jungle with their arms locked, but nope, they get into another shootout.

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As he observes the corpse he leaves on the ground, the Commander looks appropriately contemplative.

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Once again, elsewhere, Willy’s men use machetes to chop down plants to get to the cave where the treasure is supposed to be. They’re actually cutting away, and I’m left wondering if IFD Films was using filmmaking as a front for a deforestation operation in China.

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This would mean that the filmmakers really see Willy as the good guy in all this. Makes sense.

They locate the cave, but before entering, Willy’s and Baron’s partner advises everyone to leave their guns outside to avoid shooting inside, which could cause a cave-in. Something about “the vibrations”. I’ll trust Godfrey did his research on this while writing the screenplay.

Chester, Thing 1 and Thing 2 also show up at the cave with Jenny and one of the escaped sex slaves, and Godfrey Ho spends a good few minutes following them and Willy’s men as they navigate the cave excitingly. You know, walking and grunting, and walking and grunting.

Oh yeah. The old guy who had the map is there, too.

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One of the most bizarre things happens here with him as he tells one of his men to hold the snake dangling from the wall nearby for no reason. Then, the old guy suddenly runs away and yells “Snake!” and the guy holding it freaks out, screaming as if he had no idea he was holding a snake, but instead thought he was holding something that looked and felt just like a snake.

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I feel like this harkens back to my Ninja Champion review where one of the villains had the most irrational fear of snakes in the world. Perhaps this is Godfrey Ho’s phobia. I have found the genius’s one weakness, people. I’m calling it.

Oh, look. One of the Commander’s men is disguised as a plant with plants tucked into his headband. That surprisingly doesn’t look ridiculous at all on this badass.

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Baron isn’t far away, is he?

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After throwing some rocks all over the place to mislead the camo ninja and get him to waste his revolver ammo,

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he offers up a blue ball that explodes into a blue cloud, like something one of those fireworks in those massive July 4th TNT packs would’ve made when I was a kid.

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It makes Baron quite giddy as he walks off. That’s two men down. One to go!

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And no actual shootout? Really? Wow.

Instead we return our focus to the old woman and the three Willy escapees.

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She tells them all about how her husband used to own the entire “forest” until Willy came along. Goddamn you, Willy!

Time for a confrontation as Willy stumbles upon the group.

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“You couldn’t kill me thirty years ago, you can’t kill me today,” the old lady says, walking off before getting stabbed in the back by one of Willy’s men. Death by irony.

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Jane and Chester fight off some of the guys,

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while Thing 1 and 2 do pretty well themselves.

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Where’s Robert? Dead? Okay, I guess he doesn’t matter in all of this anymore. Surely Godfrey didn’t forget about him among his 30+ characters.

I will say, it’s interesting to see some actual kung fu in a Godfrey Ho film, as the guys do some flipping and kicking and lots of punching, making me realize these are the “Hands of Death”.

Eventually, Chester and his group are faced with a whole bunch of snakes. And I mean pretty much every species.

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Is… is that cobra wearing lipstick? Maybe it just wants a smooch.

I think Thing 2 would be receptive to that.

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Instead, the guys all slaughter them. Thankfully it looks like no actual animal abuse happened, as the slaughtering is only implied by random zoom-ins on the snakes and random sword slices in the air. Pretty shocking.

Jane finds her mother and cries over her carcass, which is damn touching.

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