17 comments on ““Tolong! Awek Aku Pontianak!” (2011) – Malay Horror/ Comedy/ Romance

  1. Huahaha you really have an odd taste for movie 😉 I probably won’t watch this movie but your review is very enjoyable and fun. The movie is really predictable … but the comedy sounds funny.

    When I first read the title, I thought it was Kuntilanak (Indonesia’s famous most ghost)…Pontianak is the name of a city in my country. Never knew Malaysia has a name for vampire…we don’t any special term for vampire here in Indonesia.

    Thank you for sharing this fun review 😉

    By the way…I am sure you will enjoy my Indonesia Banget post October edition, I am going to share about Famous Ghosts in Indonesia 😉

    • It was a very simple film, but so sweet that it won me over with it’s warmth and humor. 🙂

      The Pontianak does seem to be a Malay version of the Kuntilanak, at least as far as I can find out. But there are some conflicting elements too.

      Oooohhh! Yes! Novia, I’d so like to hear about Indonesian ghosts from someone who is Indonesian. I’ll definitely be reading this when you publish it.

      • Hehehe… I think the Malay filmmakers wanted to deliberately make the Pontianak sound more like the typical “Western” vampire for the film… there is even a funny bit where the two “na’vi” try to trap Lyana by feeding her garlic buns, only to find out that she actually finds them yummy and wants more. Bob even dresses up as “Dracula” for the costume party…. But I am not certain if the “traditional” Pontianak is very much like our vampire stories.

        Otherwise, to me at least, they seem very much like the Kuntilanak I see in movies. There’s a mention of the wailing sound that is loud when they are far away and quiet when they are really close… there’s the idea of them having a nail in their head that I’ve seen in Indonesian Kuntilanak film… (But I don’t know if this is “traditional” or made up just for movies…). I read at Wikipedia that Pontianak in Malaysia are the ghosts of women who die in childbirth and who fly around at night eating entrails and babies…. soooo scary and gross!!

        I anxiously await your post on this topic… there are so many ghosts in Malay, Indonesian, Philippine, and Thai films that I have trouble telling them apart sometimes. It will be nice to finally hear the real folklore stories. 🙂

  2. I do love a kooky comedy Asian horror. Trouble is most of the one that I can find and havent seen don’t have subtitles. ggrrr. This one looks silly enough to interest me.

    • Hehehe… I pick up most of my Malay films direct from Malaysia and a surprising number are subtitled into English. Prices for them are crazy cheap too… even with shipping and handling they usually run anywhere from 6-12$ US. Hard to pass up bargains like that. 🙂

      Toughest thing is waiting for them to come in the mail….. 😉

  3. Hey Neko. Watched this last night, and actually just wanted to say thankyou. I have not had so much with a new film for a long time. I’ll be reviewing it myself this week, but although the acting is adaquate, the direction is not flashy and the special effects are dated, it is a film that has more heart than 10 US blockbusters, and a sweetness and a lack of cruelty which has been missing from my film watching recently. It has “heart”, which I am sure you will have guessed from my blog is one of the most important things for me. A totally unexpected delight, which really raised my spirits on a day which needed that. Plus, unless something utterly unexpected happens, it is going to make my “Films of 2011” list.

    Now back to my Wong Jing Marathon (and yes, “Treasure Inn” is in there, as is a cult classic, some Maggie Q, and Jackie Chan – no prizes if you can guess what is coming up though).

    • Hehehe… glad I could find one you liked so much. I agree that the acting and overall production weren’t amazing… but for me it was the very real and undefinable “chemistry” that the cast had together that made this one work so well for me. You are right…. for a Malay film it has loads of “heart”…. and I truly enjoyed the way Bob was portrayed as such a man without the usual xenophobic Malay dislike of outsiders and foreigners… a real breath of fresh air when you compare it to other Malay films.

      Wong Jing…. where would 90’s HK cinema be without him? 😉 I’ll be checking out your Marathon for certain….

  4. Hiya. Could you recommend a few sites to find films? I’ve been using zoommovie, yes asia, sensasian, and ethai cd. Oh, and ebay. All to varying degrees of success. Stock runs low quickly on these things!

    (Nice review- found a copy of this on zoommovie. Yay! :D)

    Thanks, and sorry to go off-topic.

    • No problem…. I’m able to “go with the flow” as they say…. Hehehe!!

      Hmmmm? You’ve already mentioned the most of the main sites from what I can see, although having a Singapore site just to grab those Thai films that never seem to get released in Thailand with English subs anymore would probably be helpful. For that I can recommend moviexclusive.com…. they dropped their e-store for a while but I see it’s back. Prices are in US dollars and shipping, although pricey, is tolerable. Wish I could help with an Indonesian e-store, but I’m still trying to find one that looks “safe”….. This wee Catgirl is more than a lil’ bit gunshy about just buying blind from people I don’t know…. I normally like to hear about good sites from other film buffs before giving one a try.

    • It’s a fun lil’ film… and so far most people who give it a try have really been pleasantly surprised by it’s fun and warmth. Hopefully it’ll work it’s quirky charm on you as well…. 😉

  5. Where in the world can I find a copy of “Tolong! Awek Aku Pontianak!” ? I watched it once in an Asian Horror Film class, and haven’t been able to find it since.

    • There a possibility you won’t find one at all. 😦

      Malay DVD releases have this tendency to come out and then disappear once the first pressings are sold. Zoommovie out of Malaysia itself might still stock it, but if not then eBay is probably your best bet to score a copy.

  6. Pontianak are the spirits of woman who died while pregnant. Langsuir are the spirits of women who suffered from laboring sickness which resulted in the death of both mother and baby during childbirth. So, the pontianak in this movie have nothing to do with what the Malays believe as pontianak or langsuir. The truth is we don’t have the correct term for vampire, thus, using pontianak seems appropriate even though it is wrong. I don’t even think that both pontianak and langsuir wails.

    Unfortunately, this movie flew under my radar. But, I’d got to watch it on Astro. I’ll give it 4.5/5 because I love sweet Bob, Nadia for for being downright scary looking in vampire form and Lyana for her do-I-look-like-I-care attitude.

    • Hahaha!! I was fairly certain I was getting a “made up” version of local Malay folklore for this one, but it was still neat to see how another culture might take familiar western vampire legends and make them their own. 😉

      For such a minor little film, this one remains one of my all-time favorite Malay films ever. It’s such a sweet story with a lot of heart that almost everyone I’ve recommended it to seems to respond to. That’s a good movie in this wee lady’s book.

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