OMG!! She’s BAAAACCK!! Dewi Perssik… Indonesian singer and wannabee actress is coming at us again in her latest Indonesian Horror/ comedy attempt, “Paku Kuntilanak”. Yes… I know, Dewi seems determined to become a movie star even if it kills us…. and worse, this one is a sequel to the utter waste of celluloid, “Setan Budeg”….
Synopsis? Yeah… we got one, and it goes somethin’ like this: “Three corpse hunters Sukun (Edi Brokoli), Obeng (Rizky Mocil) and Odjie (Hardi Fadhilah) have been assigned to search for a kuntilanak that has been reincarnated following the removal of a nail on its head by their superior, Pak Joko (Kiwil).
Pak Joko has been pressurized by his mother to get married in his increasingly old age. He tries to woo his secretary Mona (Chinthyara Alona) but got rejected by her. One day a beautiful lady called Kunti (Dewi Perssik) appears and she is actually the corpse that the hunters have been searching for.
Pak Joko falls in love with her beauty and decides to marry her. The hunters and his secretary try to convince Pak Joko that Kunti is a reincarnated kuntilanak that is seeking revenge against people who have hurted her in the past. Will Pak Joko succeeds in marrying Kunti?”
Sigh…. Dewi Perssik… and that goofy bunch of comedians from “Setan Budeg”… am I really ready to sit through this? Even if it does have a version of the kuntilanak in it? Grrrr!! Alright…alright!! I’ll do it… but only because I like trashy movies sooo darn much!! (Please.. gentle visitors, pray for me!!)
Luckily… the rest of you can simply “Read On” and get the jist of this one without risking the actual viewing of what I’m almost certain will redefine terrible movie entertainment.
Sigh…. so why in heck am I even watching this one? Carolyn tells me that films like this might just indicate that I have a problem…. A terrible incurable addiction to bad.. bad… BAD movies from far away lands. Worse… there’s just no “12 step program” or support group to fix it!! That could be the only explanation for my having bought this one… even for 5$… but then I can never resist these goofy things!! Waaaaahhhh!!!
This one starts off promisingly, if a bit weirdly, as the ghostly kuntilanak wanders the streets of Jakarta until shockingly being struck by a car. It smashes into her like she was the “Terminator” or something…. wrapping around her like tinfoil and barely slowing her down on the way to the house of a seemingly happy couple, Sally and Okta (played by Heather Storm and Keith Foo) to do the old “revenge from beyond the grave” thingee on them. She slips into the house…. right after the perquisite sexy scene that just makes all the censors in Indonesia have fits…. and then starts trying reeeeaaally hard to kill Sally and Okta before being subdued by a handy spiritualist who just happened to be on guard outside the house with his trusty magic rope, a mallet…. and a big ol’ iron spike!!
While much of this movie is pretty dumb, the folklore stuff is always neat. I haven’t seen the old “spike in the noggin'” thing since the old Shaw Brothers film “Black Magic 2”. This time out, it doesn’t let you control the dead… nope, just weakens them and steals their supernatural mojo so you can dispose of them properly. Apparently… and I would never have guessed this in a million years… the proper mode of disposal for the kuntilanak is to bundle them up in an old suitcase… tie it shut with the magic rope… and then throw them in the river. Ummm?… Errr?… Yeah… that ought to work…. not.
Then we jump to our favorite group of idiotic corpse collectors… you remember them from “Setan Budeg”…. Sukun (Edi Brokoli), Obeng (Rizky Mocil) and Odjie (Hardi Fadhilah). We get some more silly stuff as they go about their job, frustrate their boss Joko daily with their antics, and lust after the sexy receptionist Mona. Yeah, yeah, yeah…. same old stuff…. and it was pretty old and lame the last time. Things get spiced up a bit though when Joko… depressed over his lack of success with the ladies decides to commit suicide. He jumps in the river in a lame attempt to end it all but is saved when the suitcase containing Dewi floats on by and takes him to shore. Naturally he opens the case, Dewi escapes and starts on a quest to find a way to remove the iron spike from her head so she can get revenge on those responsible for her condition.
Somehow that involves her seeking Joko out and in the guise of a sexy young woman named Kunti looking for a husband, woos him and ends up betrothed to him. For some silly reason.. he never recognizes her as the corpse from the suitcase, and ends up removing the iron spike by accident. Her ghostly powers completely restored, first she kills the spiritualist who imprisoned her… then goes after Sally and Okta again every night as Joko sleeps completely unaware of his new fiance’s need to drink blood, eat placentas, and generally slaughter folk.
I can’t believe I’m saying this.. but Dewi is probably the best thing in this entire movie!! Unlike the last couple films she’s done, she actually spends quite a bit of screen time in this one, and her portrayal of the Kuntilanak actually works for the most part. They let the Kuntilanak be sort of a cross between a banshee and a vampire with a lot of neat flying and transforming from corpse to ghost and so on. Not only that… but she’s downright weird as the character of Kunti. Only someone as stupid… or as desperate.. as Joko would ever mistake Kunti as a human woman, she’s just toooo creepy in her incessant need to feed her beloved. While she’ll never win an Oscar for this performance, it suits the material well.
Of course… we all know what the Indonesian audience seems to want from Dewi, and she does perform a bit of “fan service” in the quickie flashback sequence that reveals Okta as her husband who drowned her in a soapy bathtub to make room for his new love, sexy blond Sally…. But, although there was some controversy in Indonesia about this, she actually shows far less skin than in any previous film she’s done. All that sort of titillating action is reserved for American import, Heather Storm… who seems really to be in this film merely to perform all the naughty bits an Indonesian actress wouldn’t dare do….
All in all… this one also has a lot a problems editing wise. It has a very uneven look to it, as if they were trying to cobble together two different films into one. I can see places where the over zealous knife of the censor also had it’s way with things…. so much so that the film ends up very choppy and abrupt at times. Even the ending seems somewhat rushed and presumptuous, as if they just ran out of steam at the last moment.
Nope… I can’t say this one’s going to be remembered long after we’re all dead and gone to that big movie theater in the sky. Despite Dewi finally rising to the challenge and giving it her all, I’m afraid Neko can only give this one 2 “Meows” out of 5 for just not being all that good. I’m thinking Miss Perssik needs to look for something better than these forgettable “fly-by-night” matinee specials if she wants to be a star. She’s certainly attractive enough, and maybe with some work she could do it, but she’s got to find a classier vehicle to show us what she’s truly capable of. As for the adventures of our goofy “ghost busting” corpse hunters? Let’s just say that horse has officially been ridden to death…. Can we just try something new next time out, huh guys? (Gosh…. I soooo need a good scary Thai movie to wash this one out of my brain!!)
Trailer? Oh, yes gentle visitors…. Neko’s got one for you. Why should I be the only one to suffer? Hehehehe!!