Lady Death (2004) (mini-review++)

(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 4

directing 4

effects 4

editing 4

writing 2

SW SCORE: 18

1.5 out of 5 🐙

++

Lady Death is a comic book I’ve never read, so I had no preconceptions. I was amused by her appearance. She is a striking, white skinned, white-haired, amazon-type lady with a penchant for wearing as little clothing as possible. Seriously, the photo I’ve supplied is the most conservative outfit she wore in the film and when I tried to find more movie stills, the comic book drawing renditions of her almost made me blush. I can’t say I’m shocked. Unrealistic depictions of women are a venerable tradition in comics. Until relatively recently, who do you think was drawing them and who do you think they were drawing them for?

Let’s get to the flick. At first, I thought the animation was pretty cool. I enjoyed the style, though I thought the color palette was pretty dull. But I guess hell probably isn’t a sunny, colorful place. At most, a lot of orange and red.

We jump right into the story without much exposition or background, which is fine.  Lady Death wants to kill Satan. You would think it would be easy to find Satan in hell, or he would at least have a good security apparatus that would notify him when someone was trespassing. But to be fair, who the hell is trying to get INTO hell? The rest of the movie plays out like a movie made by someone who loved Conan and lifted the feel and major plot beats from that movie. Keep an eye out for the cliche training montage. It’s a master class in gratuitous objectification. She starts with a bikini outfit and somehow gets progressively more undressed until her remaining garb is merely a suggestion. I’m not saying TNA is innovative, but usually it’s not so awkwardly delivered. Unfortunately, following an outline doesn’t mean you’ll get the same satisfying results.

The voiceover work in this film is weak. The animation starts out well but quickly appears to reach its budget. It starts to repeat tricks that were fresh at the beginning but lost that with excessive repetition. And then, inexplicably, the cheap but at least interesting animation is switched out for really cheap computer animation. I don’t know why they would do that. Maybe they thought they were being avant garde. 

I won’t go into how the movie continues or ends. It’s not worth my time or yours. It’s wholly mediocre. I guarantee you won’t be surprised. There are no shocking reversals or witty dialogue or dynamic action set pieces or any kind of emotional drama that resonates at all. 

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(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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