Sunday, 16 January 2011

Indonesian Director Arizal Lets Loose ...

The Stabilizer
(1986 / Indonesia)

‘‘Anyone who dies by my hand I always consider a friend’’

Awesome Action Director Arizal delivers again in another completely over the top Indonesian pulse pounding pleaser of preposterous proportions. That’s a lot of adjective ‘P’s’ to loosely describe one heck of an Action overload from a film maker who deserves a lot more credit and exposure outside of his own homeland. Thankfully quite a few of Arizal’s films did find their way onto VHS in other regions around the globe. The Stabilizer is one of those movies, and its frenetic pace and all Action style has to be experienced to be believed !.

The plot, as with most Indonesian Action outings, is simple but brutal in its intent so as to give on screen credence to the motives of the characters. Pithy pantomime baddies pretty much goad their heroic protagonists into acts of vengeance with due cause. The bad guy here is no exception as he forcefully rapes and brutalises the fiancée of law enforcer Peter Goldson (Peter O’Brian). Greg Rainmaker is the kingpin of a drug cartel and following a run in with Peter Goldson he ends up being shot in the kneecap, leaving him with a permanent walking impediment. In vengeful retribution he strikes back through cowardly redemption against the woman Goldson loves.

Some years later Peter Goldson has the opportunity to bring Greg Rainmaker to bear for his actions once and for all. Called upon by the Indonesian narcotics division as a specialist law enforcer, to team up with an old friend and fellow officer, Goldson answers the call of duty without hesitation. He is considered to be the cop to call when it comes to restoring the balance of good and evil. A man with the experience to stabilize serious situations, and Peter Goldson is just that man, for he is … The Stabilizer !.

A professor in Indonesia has created a narcotics detector and his assistant named Victor has sold his services to Rainmaker to step out of the professors shadow. The professor is kidnapped and held captive with forceful intent to divulge the formula for the detector. The professors daughter teams up with Goldson and his fellow officer in order to uncover the whereabouts of the professor, and destroy Rainmaker’s operations.

The professors daughter proves to be a useful gal to have around as she is both proficient in karate and handling a crossbow. Her skills are put to use alongside Goldson and his partner as they flush out Victor and halt a major operation at one of Rainmakers production warehouses. It’s slam, bang, biff, bash, bosh Adam West Batman fisticuffs and martial arts acrobatics as Arizal gets to showcase what he is best at, putting the Action right up on the screen for all to enjoy. The insane craziness doesn’t just stop at people beating the heck out of each other, but motorcycles and construction vehicles crashing into walls and through brick, mortar and wood.

Peter O’Brian certainly appears to be doing pretty much all of his own stunt work along with his supporting cast. Grand scale Action set pieces including the obligatory motorcycle versus a helicopter, and massively staged exploding buildings are all part of Arizal’s recidivist resume.

Throw in some neat little touches, such as Rainmaker sporting a pair of raised pointed steel soled shoes that make golfing pumps seem redundant, particularly when the wearer uses them to strike out with harmful intent !. A Mohawk crowned lackey not quite good enough to challenge Mr. T for a ride in the A-Team van, and some ass kicking babes who know how to handle a big weapon, are all part of the welcome insanity on display.

Peter O’Brian as ever looks like Stallone playing Rambo, only stuck in anamorphic mode for the entirety !. Craziest of all has to be the English language dubbing that is applied, its as if the Action is set in the mid Eighties but the dialogue is trapped in the Seventies. It’s kind of like Asian meets Blaxploitation, with its star O’Brian crossing Dirty Harry with John J. Rambo in a cocktail he clearly is intoxicated with. The result is over the top Action overload, Arizal style. Throughout it all nothing can stop … The Stabilizer !.

View The Stabilizer Trailer

Movie Rating: 6/10

Review Paul Cooke / Source Japanese NTSC VHS

The Stabilizer (1986)

Director Arizal
With Peter O’Brian, Craig Gavin, Gillie Beanz,
Dana Christina, Harry Capri & Mark Sungkar


  1. Great Review! Can't wait to watch this. If only Netflix will take it off "Short Wait"!

  2. Thanks Ty. I just so need to get hold of Special Silencers now though.

  3. Great review, Paul!

    DVD info: The Troma disc sucks! Whoever did the transfer apparently fell asleep/went to the loo/got a BJ cos they didn't notice the last 10 min. fucks up royally! Get the Japanese VHS (or a dvdr rip thereof) instead!

  4. Hey Jack, Thanks a lot. Big Fun movie. So glad that I have the Japanese VHS, and pretty darned nic a print it is too. Always avoided the Troma disc, much in line with what you state. Well raised point for readers considering a purchase for sure.

  5. Geez, Paul, how'd it take you so long to see this one? I wish I could go back in time and experience it for the first time again.

  6. Hi Marty, I know !. So many movies, not enough time, but half the battle is acquiring these hard to get movies, so I've done the hard bit :) . I need to do a Marty McFly ;) & Go Back To The Future. How cool to have experienced these great movies from the Mid Seventies to the early Nineties when first released.

  7. I guess the Troma disc sucks. Will have to find a better copy!

  8. The movie is deserving of a proper release Ty. This would make for a great double bill with another Indonesian flick & put out on a nice DVD so more people can discover & enjoy.

  9. A better (than Troma) company ought to put it out with RAMBU on the flip. :D