The bad guys have taken the girl away. An older white guy, Professor Larson (Charles Borromel), hires Ricky (Mark Gregory) and his partner Lou (Frank Zagarino) to eliminate those evil mercenaries that kidnap young women “for the research and development of new stimulants”, as he says.
In quick succession, Lou gets kidnapped and freed again, in the process saved from a hatchet-wielding attacker by a cute girl shooting a really cool crossbow.
A weirdly low-speed car chase later, Larson meets Lou in his laboratory full of stuffed animals and delivers a longer speech, explaining to Lou the assignment. Those bad guys, he says, kidnap young women to distill a substance from their throats (?!) that can enter the “nucleus of the cell – the DNA”, a process which only the “most perfect” people will survive, all other “self-destruct”. All that is done, he continues, for the “breeding of übermenschen – the new master race”. Lou, he makes clear, has to put a stop to this business.
A few fistfights later, Maddy, the cool girl with the crossbow, by now a part of the Lou & Ricky team, is kidnapped in the subway. (Yes, right, the Pyongyang subway!) The bad guys, led by a sexy blond chick named Glenda (Sabrina Syan) and a skinny mercenary named Jason (Rom Kristoff), put her in their base camp, alongside the other girls they have already locked up there.
Lou and Ricky, however, learn quickly of the location of that camp and get on their way to rescue her.
Up to this point, the plot does kind of make sense. But now, suddenly, Glenda tells Jason that “My father wants to see you.” Her father is holed up at an old Buddhist temple. It’s actually Pohyong Temple in the Myohyang Mountains, a beautiful old structure with a 13-story stone pagoda sporting hundreds of tiny bells, which would be an important Buddhist center / tourist attraction were it not located in North Korea.
Jason and Glenda arrive. She says: “Over there” and remains behind. “Over there”, in the main temple building, Jason meets... none other than Professor Larson, studying some ancient murals with a book and a magnifying glass in hand. 100% the evil connoisseur...
Larson tells Jason: “Remove all traces of our activities from the camp in Massok”. Jason says: “That’s not enough. The camp in Massok must be completely destroyed.”
Somehow, that drives Larson mad. He says: “You want to destroy the work of my life? The destruction of the weak and the creation of a master race - that was the dream of my life!” He tells Jason that he knows that Jason is impotent which in turn makes Jason so angry that he shoots Larson.
You follow me? Larson had hired Lou and Ricky to destroy bad guy Jason’s operation. Now, it turns out, he was the boss of it. Why would he hire somebody to destroy it all? Well, that question also puzzled the director of the movie when I asked him about it, but more of that later...
Anyway... Jason returns to his base camp, just in time to escape an attack by Lou and Ricky who finish off a lot of extras and free all the kidnapped girls. Happy reunion of Maddy and the two good guys.
Glenda shows up and has to “confess something” to our good guys – the location of the Massok camp.
Well, it’s almost a wrap from here. Lou, Ricky and Maddy compete with Jason in the destruction of the Massok camp – they all seem to love explosions. Jason destroys it to eliminate evidence, the good guys destroy it because... well, who knows. Anyway, the good guys kill off all the baddies including Jason.
Business finished. All quiet, a bird in the air. Ricky says: “The final solution!” and Lou responds: “And no loose ends.” before taking off in a boat with Maddy while Ricky drives his jeep into the sunset... Final credits roll.
Final solution... and no loose ends? As it is, the movie is extremely confusing and makes no sense at all. Why does Larson hire the “good guys” to destroy his own empire? And what the hell is “Ten Zan”?
To the latter refers nothing in the film but a short dialogue between Lou and Ricky after they have finished all the preparations for the attack on the “base camp”:
Lou: “It’s time. I‘ll see you at Ten Zan. That’s what the marines said when on Iwo Jima.”
Ricky: “The mountain of paradise, instead it turned out to be hell.”
Lou: “It was a way of saying ‘Good Luck’”.
Ricky: “I will see you at Ten Zan then.”
Ten Zan (in American documents usually spelled Tenzan) was indeed the nickname of a small hill on Iwo Jima during the epic World War II battle between American and Japanese forces on that tiny Pacific Island. Its name translates as Heavenly Mountain. It was the last foothold the Japanese defended before they were finally defeated.
Just that it was the Japanese soldiers who called the hill Ten Zan; the Americans called it the Devil’s Peak.
But what had that to do with the movie? Those two young heroes could not possibly have been at the Iwo Jima battle themselves.
But since the movie is such a strange and rare oddity, let’s delve a little further into its background...