Transformed (2005) – By Jordan Garren

 Not long ago I was contacted by Pamela Sutch, the beautiful blonde actress, producer, and head of Siren Tales (visit their site at www.sirentales.com), about reviewing her company’s latest release, Transformed. I recalled seeing Pamela in a film called Evil Tales III: The Final Chapter a ways back so I figured "sure, why not!" I received my screener of the film a week later and watched it after work one night. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised because this film was a blast to watch! This film has it all: Sexy women, kung-fu fights, mad science, cheesy dialogue filled with technobabble that would make John Carradine wince, a teeny bit o’ nudity, and one very disturbing ending. (Spoiler alert: I will be discussing the film’s climax in detail toward the end of this review. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

In Transformed, a female mad scientist named Hilda (but usually referred to as "The Old Lady") has created a device that will allow her to switch from her current body into the body of a younger person. On the day of the experiment, Hilda’s goons capture young April (played by Leigh Jacobs), drag her into Hilda’s makeshift lab, and place her in the transformation machine. Things don’t go as planned for Hilda however because a drunken, down-on-his-luck guy named Allen ends up grabbing onto a wire that’s hooked to the "swapping machine." Once the switch is thrown, Hilda ends up taking Allen’s body and April’s body becomes the property of Allen. (Sadly, April’s spirit was destroyed in the process…. or something.) Now that "she’s a he" and "he’s a she," both Hilda and Allen begin having some gender issues. (Though oddly enough, they each take the gender-bending experience surprisingly well.)

As the film progresses, a new character joins in the body-swapping craziness: Vanessa (played by Pamela Sutch), a fellow scientist that’s already successfully traded bodies with several unwilling participants. She shows up to throw a monkey wrench into Hilda’s plans, which leads to several kung-fu fights. In the meantime, Allen/April is getting used to being a nubile young girl and befriends a kindly old comic book store owner named Carl. But little does the confused man-girl know, both Hilda and Vanessa are out searching for her/him. You see, Hilda was so confident that nothing would go wrong during her experiment, that she had all of her valuable stocks put in April’s name. But as we all know, Allen hopped into April’s body so now Hilda can’t get her stocks back. To further complicate matters, Vanessa knows all about the skyrocketing stocks that Hilda had so foolishly lost and is now attempting to get them for herself!

By the end of the film, things get pretty crazy as all the characters end up at a bar where a final kung-fu battle ensues between Hilda/Allen (a.k.a. Helwood?), a bartender, an all new character named Paco (who had developed the body-swapping technology), and one of Hilda’s former henchmen (Ned, played by Steve McKay). Once He-Hilda is knocked out, his/her body is taken back to the lab and placed in the body-swap mechanism. Carl, ye olde comic book guy, is placed in the adjacent seat and soon finds himself young again after the machine is turned on, much to the joy of April/Allen. (And in the meantime, Paco, the last minute character helps a random woman deliver a baby!) Now here’s where the film goes from being campy, to just downright disturbing. Now that Carl’s young again and in Allen’s body, April/Allen (still following me here?) runs up and kisses him, saying "Now I’ve got my body back." The two of them get married and live happily ever after and… ICK! I’m sorry, but that’s just messed up!

I mean, Allen is now in a girl’s body so having sex with men is probably going to be pretty freaky (though he can always go the way of the lesbian). But what bugs me more is that Allen’s going to willingly have sex, with a man, that is residing in Allen’s old body. Come on, does anyone else see anything wrong here?! That’s just twisted as all hell! Anyway, I really enjoyed Transformed and I’ve got to give Pamela a lot of credit for coming up with this original and often hilarious sci-fi/fantasy/action/comedy. While I can’t sit here and say that the entire cast of the film turned in Oscar-worthy performances, I can say that everyone clearly had a lot of fun with their roles and gave it their best. (And for a film like this, that’s all you can really ask for!) The film features several well-choreographed kung-fu fights (though there are moments where you will see someone fall even though a punch or kick obviously didn’t connect), some nifty "morphing effects," lots of eye candy for the guys (besides seeing Leigh Jacobs nude and Pamela Sutch wearing skimpy outfits, we also get to see a cute stripper in action), and a climax that just screws with your mind and dares to ask the mother of all loaded questions!

Transformed is currently available on DVD from Siren Tales Productions (www.sirentales.com) and is shown in a clean fullscreen transfer. The disc has a good number of extras including the trailer for Transformed as well as some fun outtakes from the film. Among the outtakes are a few scenes where some of the actors & actresses flub their lines and there’s even an outtake where Pamela gets decked on the chin by Matthew (Allen) Jacobs while they practice for a fight scene. While the disc is a bit pricy, remember that if (or should I say, when) you buy a copy of this movie, you will be helping out an independent film maker that also happens to be a gorgeous blonde. With that said, I hereby give Transformed my stamp of approval and recommend it for any adventurous viewers that are searching for something that’s fresh, original, and above all, fun!