Monday, June 8, 2015

Ten Zan: The Ultimate Mission, Kim Jong Il Makes a Movie

Sabrina Siani, an Italian actress best known for her roles in Italian horror and exploitation films, may be the most beautiful actress of the 1980s.  Jesus Franco called her the second worst actress he ever met and said that her bare butt was her best asset.  After watching 1988's "Ten Zan: The Ultimate Mission," an action flick made in North Korea, I would have to disagree.  I can name dozens actresses worse than Ms. Siani, and I must say, a great looking rear end is not an irrelevant aspect to assessing actresses.  Kim Jong Il contracted an Italian crew to come to his worker's paradise to film this movie.  Surprisingly, this is a pretty good film...definitely better than the recent George Clooney/Disney piece of trash.
Here is the plot, though not important.  Mad scientists have created a drug that will engineer the master race.  A mercenary team, headed by Lou from Long Island (Frank Zagarino, who was arrested during filming by the North Koreans for being an American spy) is hired to destroy this gang.  In their spare time, this evil gang kidnaps Asian babes...just because they can.  Jason (Mark Gregory) heads this gang and often sends his babe, Glenda (Siani), to do his dirty work.  Whenever Glenda is on the screen, she is a vision of show-stopping beauty.  Her attempts to sidetrack Lou are all foiled, and to her chagrin, Lou falls for a North Korean babe, Mavi (Jinny Rockers...yeah, right!).
Mavi is also a secret agent, on the good side, but is pretty incompetent.  Eventually she is abducted and groped by Jason, causing Glenda to become violently jealous.  After her abduction, Lou finds a sense of urgency to actually get to work and destroy the evil entity...and Jason.  Lots of explosions and machine gun battles ensue....and then more explosions and machine gun battles...and then more explosions and machine gun battles.  As Glenda, clad in some leather pants, loses affection for the two-timing Jason, she approaches Lou with a deal he can't refuse.  Will this be enough for Lou to finally get the edge on his rival?
Say what you want about Kim Jong Il and the worker's paradise of North Korea, but "Tan Zen" is a better movie than the American "Ordinary People." This was Ms. Siani's last film, as her acting career ended when she was 26 years of age.  From Rome to North Korea....Ms. Siani can say she traveled to the extremes of movie-making venues. It is most unfortunate Ms. Siani did not write a book of her experiences in North Korea; however, if I ever get a travel budget, I would love to interview her about her experiences there and write that book.



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