Country Of Beauties (HK 1981)

Rating: *(*)
Review Date: 9/3/22
Cast: Elsa Yeung, Wong Tao

"With men in the world, there will never, ever be peace."

A disappointingly misogynistic fantasy adventure about an island of warrior women that is repeatedly attacked by pirates. A romantic sub-plot about a prisoner from "Man's Island" and a goofy trio of treasure hunters rounds out the meandering and increasingly bonkers story. It's certainly a beautiful film to look at, bursting with color and full of gorgeous women, extravagant sets, and lavish costumes, but the writing and humor are appallingly bad and make the film a serious challenge to sit through. The movie focuses on the cold and barbaric cruelty of women, while portraying men as warm, sensitive, compassionate, and caring people whose greatest purpose in life is to love women (i.e. have sex with them, but only the pretty ones). Naturally, men can't be trusted and their violent and uncontrollable lust ends up making a mess of everything. The overarching theme seems to be that women can't live without men, despite the fact that they're constantly proving otherwise.

The production values are decent and the location shooting is wonderful. The action scenes are weak, but plentiful, and bolstered by an amazingly large cast of extras. The acting is easily forgettable and outshone by the delightfully skimpy outfits that the women wear. And of course, all of the women on the island appear to be in their early 20's, remarkably fit, and have impeccable glamour makeup. The laughably inappropriate soundtrack is all over the place, from cheery upbeat Cantopop, to bizarre synthesizer music, to blatantly ripping off the music from "The Road Warrior" (1981). The biggest standout is the radiantly beautiful Elsa Yeung, who plays the queen of the Amazons. She's absolutely stunning and plays her role as a cruel and cold-hearted bitch to perfection. Her fierce and unflinching allure is intoxicating and dominates the screen, and she made an entire career out of that persona in the 1980s.