Sunday, 30 January 2011

Indonesian Biblical Brawn ...

La Revanche De Samson
aka Revenge Of Samson

A body building Mr. Australia runner up plays the lead role of Samson, in a hair brained rib tickler of bizarrely biblical proportions from the wonderfully idiosyncratic Indonesians. With the sun shining, Paul Hay makes the most of his given opportunity to bathe in the glory of cinematic cult hood, alongside the queen of Indonesian screen horror Suzzanna, in the role of Delilah.

Samson toils the land and trains his body and mind with his elder physical and spiritual guru. Harnessing great strength and amazing agility Samson is able to break boulders with his bare hands, split rock faces in two and pull trees out of the ground to their very roots.
The time comes for Samson to undertake a journey of discovery and upon his path he soon comes upon the exotic and opulently apparelled Delilah. Her horse and carriage out of control, Samson steps in to assist her and their tale of destiny begins. She is a lady of the gentry and her father is shortly thereafter revealed as being the governor of the province, and a powerful oppressor of the poor with the might of the military behind him. Samson has traversed into this larger world from his own, where he quickly encounters the evil and avarice for wealth and power of man.

The mean spirited might of the military is unleashed with some regularity upon the hard working and humble villagers. The soldiers usurp their position with intimidation and forceful might, beating the men and assaulting the women. His own family brutally slaughtered before his very own eyes as just a small boy, by the corrupt and villainous hierarchy, Samson’s time to fight back and take a stand for the villagers is now !.
A great display of strength and mobility up against a far greater number of men gives the villagers reason for hope in the deliverance of a hero and saviour. Samson’s bravado cannot overcome the overwhelming number of soldiers however and it is only the intervention of Delilah that pardons his precocious indiscretion against the odds. Detained at her pleasure Samson is bound and whipped at her very own hand. Inherently she desires him, yet her proclivity for inflicting pain is as intrinsic as her need for reciprocal pleasure.

Samson uses his wits to escape and with his flight of freedom he takes Delilah, against her will. His intention is to show her kindness and gentleness in an attempt to uncover her inner beauty. The life lesson is short lived and Samson sends Delilah back to her all consuming father, who immediately reacts to the deed of abduction by calling upon the services of a fearsome professional mercenary for hire. This is no ordinary hired hand mind you, not in a freakin’ Indonesian movie that’s for darned sure. Punch your purchase ticket for the freak show has arrived, and the journey ahead is an off the rails raucous riot. Enter The Cyclops !. A powerhouse one man army, one single eyed monster of a man. A beast that lives to dispense pain and likely sleeps with his one eye open. Forty winks to him is a sight for sore eye. Along with his two henchmen they storm into the villagers camp to cause upheaval and demand Samson show himself to them. Samson does not disappoint and neither does the Action at this point as the weapons come out, and Samson pumps up his own guns in another mighty show of strength against his challengers. Cyclops steps up with an enormous ball and mace upon a long chain, enabling far reaching swinging carnage to both solid structure and far less forgiving human skin and bone. Combined with a circular bladed shield, replete with sharp spear tipped accoutrements, The Cyclops has a keen eye for carnage. The gauging, slicing and hacking brings forth blood and gore in a showpiece showdown that provides a show reel mini movie in itself to warrant many a rewind moment. Lucky for Samson that just prior to all this he had a warm up session going hand to horns against a full grown Ox, wrestling with it and eventually body slamming in outlandish glee. A gory impaling and a bloody body in two slicing conclude the impropriety of the Cyclops and his cronies.

What a deliriously entertaining piece of high camp entertainment La Revanche De Samson is. Incredible that the films biggest patrons at the time of release were the French, and how very unfortunate that even today the films release is inherently under exposed to a starved world audience. Dark eye make up, dodgy moustaches and garish garments all add to this adult pantomime to gander upon.
Unable to break Samson’s indomitable spirit the governor calls upon the services of another bizarre mercenary. A mystic with great powers and abilities to manipulate the human form into a malleable state, that in demonstration displays some freakish representations of his skills.

Samson has to square up to the mystics embodiment of a nigh on indestructible fighter, who doesn’t know when to quit, even when sliced in half, and disembodied from his lower half leaving his legs to fight on against the disbelieving Samson. It’s almost a runaway success for the mystics man, until Samson once again uses his resourcefulness to get a foot hold on proceedings. There’s plenty of entrails spillage and spurting bloody stumps on show here, all thrown on display with a wry vein of silliness that cannot be taken seriously at all. It’s all outlandish absurdity with a zestful playfulness.

Events turn a little to the dark side as Delilah steps in to seduce Samson and entrap him with her womanly wiles. Intoxicated by her charm in her mobile harem Delilah enacts a perversely stimulating food fetish courtship that must have caused a storm for the Indonesian censors. What transpires is feminine deception on a grand biblical scale in a prophetic enactment, as Samson falls to Delilah’s doctored drink potion. During his state of unconsciousness Samson is shorn of his sinuous locks of hair by her very hand, then without her knowledge he is viciously blinded by her fathers spineless right hand man, gouging his eyes out with his sword blade.

Samson is sent to the mining mills and there left to rot in a life of chained servitude.
Learning of Samson’s fate Delilah is remorseful and shocked at the cruel treatment befallen upon her true love. She secretly visits to comfort him, and to confess her sins and deep sorrow at his pitiful demise. Her fathers military general and right hand man, responsible for the cowardly and despicable castigation of Samson, watches on in the shadows, revelling in the couples despair.
What can possibly save Samson, and escalate his pitiful plight up from the pit of despair not normally so associated with the feel good factor of an Indonesian production !?. Well fear thee not seekers of the subliminally sublime, and anticipators of the insanely beyond possible comprehension in all your wildest dreams, for when Samson calls upon the heavens above for help how the heck can even they justify turning a blind eye to the ocular challenged hero to the people !?.
If you haven’t by this point been completely drawn into the mercurial majesty of this treasure trove of Indonesian insanity then be sure to check yourself into the funny farm for the finale, as it will flabbergast your very fibre and likely turn your brain to mush. What a way to go though.

The resurgence of Samson is brought about by buxom breasts and magical nipples that you’ll definitely keep those eyes out for. Surely this is best defined as a see cup moment. Only in Indonesian cinema, or your most fantastical wildest dreams, could what transpires, come to be.
Can a rejuvenated Samson still stand tall and fight against the governor and all his military might ?. With a further prayer to the heavens above, and a grand old free for all mighty brawl for final justice, you can be assured that Samson brings the house down !.

Movie Rating: 7/10

Review Paul Cooke / Source French PAL DVD

La Revanche De Samson (1987)
Director Sisworo Gautama Putra
With Suzzanna, Paul Hay,
Rolf Halberstadt, Corbi Vile, A.J. Eikman,
Menkahay & Matthias Kurt


  1. Great write-up, Paul! We need more people to discover these Indo movies! :D

    The original title is "Samson dan Delilah". I have a scan of the Indonesian language Malay VCD on my blog:


  2. Great review Paul!! Wow, I need to see this!!

  3. Thanks guys. Big Fun this one. Even though only with a French dialogue track the French DVD is crazy cheap & well worth picking up.