Devils Three (Philippines 1979)

Rating: **
Alternate Titles: "Devil's Angels", "Mean Business", "Pay Or Die"
Review Date: 8/11/13
Director: Bobby Suarez
Cast: Marrie Lee, Franco Guerrero, Florence Carvajal, Cynthia Rodrigo

"The devil made me do it!" cries a drug pusher after secret agent Cleopatra Wong (Marrie Lee) busts her for selling heroin. The devil, in this case, is a nasty crime lord named Lucifer Devlin, who Cleo has been chasing for years. When Devlin's daughter (pretty Cynthia Rodrigo) is kidnapped by his own disgruntled men, he offers to surrender himself to Cleo in exchange for her help. She agrees to rescue Devlin's daughter, and for some insane reason decides that the best people for the job are a flamboyant homosexual named Tony (over-the-top Franco Guerrero) and a 300-pound psychic lady named Rotunda (Florence Carvajal). As you might expect, from there on out it's a non-stop barrage of gay jokes and fat jokes as Tony prances about and Rotunda stuffs her face with everything in sight. Miraculously, they manage to pull off the job, but Devlin's fate is left unresolved.

Cleopatra Wong's second outing was billed as an action film in Asia and a comedy in the U.S., but it doesn't perform particularly well in either regard. Marrie Lee looks fabulous and has matured considerably since the first film. Her fight scenes are a lot of fun to watch, and it's easy to appreciate her fierce conviction and spirited enthusiasm. She doesn't pull her punches, and her admittedly sloppy execution actually lends a certain amount of danger, roughness, and realism to the proceedings. Franco Guerrero nearly steals the show with his outrageously gay performance, pulling out all the stops with his effeminate mincing, prancing, and shrieking. He's amazing and horrifying at the same time and you can't keep your eyes off of him. He's also strapped with the film's funniest and most offensive dialog, and his action scenes are mostly played for laughs. Florence Carvajal doesn't do anything except be fat and eat a lot, which makes you wonder why she's even in the film.

Typical of Filipino exploitation cinema from the time period, the continuity is bad and much of the film is out of focus and shot in poor light. While the actors do their best to perform in English, the re-dubbing is laughably awful. It's definitely a cringe-worthy film full of forehead slapping moments that will leave you slack-jawed in disbelief, but it moves at a decent pace and never fails to be entertaining.

Some of the film's dialog gems include:

"My name is Terry. It rhymes with fairy."
"I'd rather go to Denmark for that kind of surgery."
"You're the most gifted clairvoyant I know ... and this job will pay your grocery bills for a long time."
"I want Manny's ass, not his pants!"
"How can we push drugs without any drug pushers?!?"

Cleo: "I see you've still got the touch."
Tony: "That's what got me kicked off the force."
Cleo: "Not THAT touch..."

Cleo: "Get on and hold onto me."
Tony: "There you go again, trying to ruin my reputation!"