Mad Cowgirl opens with a scratchy Eternal Film Company logo, not unlike the Shaw Brothers logo at the beginning of Kill Bill Vol. I, and the disk includes a collection of grindhouse era kung fu movie trailers featuring the likes of The Chinese Connection, 5 Fingers of Death, and Master of the Flying Guillotine. I thought this might indicate I was about to watch a loving homage to classic martial arts films. Wrong. The box cover, which features star Sarah Lassez spattered in blood and brandishing a pair of butcher knives, led me to believe this was going to be a slasher movie. Wrong again. While the film is actually far more ambitious than either scenario, I couldn't assign a genre to this one if I had to. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but Mad Cowgirl's surreal approach makes the film maddeningly difficult to connect with.
The film proper begins with a voice over explaining what Mad Cow disease is, and how it causes the brain to degenerate by forming sponge-like holes. The narration is in one of the Chinese languages (I think) and translated via subtitles and played over footage of cows grazing. Lassez plays Therese, a city health inspector whose beat is the meat packing industry. Her love life is a shambles, with a failed marriage under her belt and she's in a dysfunctional relationship with Pastor Dylan, a televangelist played by Star Trek's Walter Koenig. Somehow the threat of eternal damnation is even scarier coming from Commander Chekov. News of beef infected with Mad Cow disease is all over the news, though it doesn't seem to phase Therese as she is constantly seen cooking and eating beef. She likes kung fu movies too, and she is obsessed with a martial arts based TV series called The Girl With the Thunderbolt Kick.