Set in 15th Century Sweden, Hope, the beautiful daughter of Matthias-believed to be a skilled mercenary, but who in actuality is Lucifer, the Lord of Lies-is accused of being the devil's consort following a hellish incident witnessed by local villagers. Ultimately, Hope is sentenced by the town priest to be burned at the stake. Writhing in pain and unable to think clearly, she accepts Lucifer's offer of life in Hell-presented by the malevolent Pagan-over a hideously painful death. Lucifer's grand plan to corrupt a soul of pure innocence meets unanticipated resistance, as Hope rejects Lucifer's scheme and eventually, transformed into the powerful warrior LADY DEATH, challenges the Lord of Lies for control of Hell itself. A powerful story of innocence lost, savage betrayal and glorious rebirth.
Based on the comic book series by Brian Pulido, Lady Death exemplifies the ongoing cross-pollination between anime and the American film industry. Produced by Houston-based ADV Films, Lady Death was animated overseas in a style that suggests a cross between Wicked City and a Boris Vallejo illustration. Hope, an innocent girl in medieval Sweden, discovers her father is Lucifer in disguise. She prays to him while being burned at the stake, then leads a revolt against him in the afterlife. Aided by Cremator, the former chief armorer of Hell, Hope takes the name Lady Death and crams her pneumatic figure into a miniscule bikini and thigh-high boots. The plot is a hopeless muddle and the dialogue unintentionally hilarious: "In all my days in Hell... I have never met a soul like you." A guilty pleasure for hormonal adolescent males, Lady Death will quickly alienate other viewers. (Rated age 17 and older: graphic violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery) --Charles Solomon