The Stabilizer (1986)

Rating: B-

Dir: Arizal
Star: Peter O’Brian, Craig Gavin, Dana Christina, Harry Capri

Well, there’s certainly never a dull moment here. Stupid, incoherent and laughable ones, sure. But none that I’d call dull. Expectations were high, since it is by the director of Special Silencers, the world’s only political killer shrubbery film. I will say, this isn’t quite as mad, either in concept or execution. However, was I not entertained? Certainly. Given the local nature of his other productions, I was surprised how international a cast had been assembled in Indonesia for this one. The titular hero, American Interpol agent Peter Goldson, is played by New Zealand actor O’Brian, who had previously starred in another local movie, Rambu, which rips off exactly the movie you are probably thinking it does.

Similarly, the chief villain, who rejoices in the name of Greg Rainmaker, is played by Gavin. Less is known about him – indeed, this and Rambu are his only two IMDb credits – but he does also appear to be Western. The supporting players are largely local, even the ones sporting non-Indonesian names in the dub, such as “Captain Debby Pankhurst.” Or the third-place finisher in the Indonesian qualifier for the 1985 Mr. T Lookalike Competition, who is one of Rainmaker’s minions. The plot revolves around Professor Provost, who has invented a revolutionary new device to detect drugs. This threatens the business of Mr. Rainmaker, so he kidnaps the scientist in order to extract the details from him. Goldson arrives, and there’s a personal side to his mission, because his girlfriend had been raped by Rainmaker, then killed in his trademark method – stomped to death by the bad guy’s spiked shoes. 

From here, it’s almost non-stop action, as Goldson goes after Rainmaker and his operation with the tenacity of a rabid pit bull. He’s helped by the professor’s daughter, Christina (Christina), and even after she is kidnapped by Rainmaker, The Stabilizer cannot be stopped. I note that the apparent definition of “Stabilizer” seems to include unleashing large amount of firepower, destroying numerous things in car chases, and sleeping with anything that has a vagina. We reach Peak Stabilizer, when he gets all kissy-face with Christina, literally seconds after she has told him about the sexual abuse suffered at the hands of Rainmaker’s lieutenant. Eighties chicks, man. They were made of sterner stuff in those days. Mostly hair-spray, I think.

It’s educational as well. Wikipedia tells me 46% of Indonesia is covered in forest. It appears the bulk of the rest is warehouses, given how many scenes take place in them (including a brawl that is genuinely well done). We also discover a range of alternative uses for oil-drums, beyond the holding of oil. They are great for evil henchmen to leap out of, like automatic-wielding jack-in-the-boxes. You can slap a captive in one, and bounce him around in the back of a truck to extract information. Or you can climb into one yourself, and simply roll your way out of a burning building. Who knew? It’s this kind of insanity which is fun, along with the callous disregard for stuntmen.

But the peak is likely the mesh-vest clad, gun-toting portrait of the hero (top), which both his girlfriend and Rainmaker have hanging in their home/lair. Nothing sums up the delirious, loopy nonsense this offers, better than that.