“Splish, splash!!” Our Mermaid fun continues here at the Litterbox with another of those odd little Indonesian Horror goodies that your Favorite Catgirl Princess just can’t seem to live without. Up this time out for our “Frolicking Under The Sea: Mermaid Fantasy Film Festival” we have 2011’s “Arwah Kuntilanak Duyung” or… if my Indonesian translating skills are improving “Demon Mermaid Spirit”. 😉
Our synopsis is as follows: “Linda and Ardo meet and fall in love on a beach. Ardo was so happy to have Linda, so he purchased a beach villa for his beloved wife. But the beach was haunted by the spirit of a murdered woman Ayshah who has become a mermaid demon who causes much mischief as she seeks out her killer to get revenge for her untimely death.”
Yep… it’s our old friend Dewi Perssik, Indonesian dangdut singer and wannabee actress donning the “Fins & Tail”still trying her darnedest to be Indonesia’s Top “Scream Queen” and horror movie star. Persistent lil’ lady isn’t she? Here’s hoping she’s managed to elevate this one above the usual “craptastic” standards that most low budget Indonesian horror seems to revel in. But… hey… Your Favorite Catgirl Princess isn’t holding her breath with anticipation, Hehehe!!!
It’s been a while since we saw Dewi here at the ol’ Litterbox. Poor dear has had to headline a veritable rogues gallery of downright crappy movies the last few years while trying to get her film career going. I’d been wanting to catch this particular effort for quite a while since rumors of it surfaced at Twitchfilm and other film sites I frequent, but unfortunately for me it came out right about the time my one reliable Indonesian DVD source went belly up so I missed the chance to grab a copy. Thank goodness for eBay… somebody’s always trying to sell their old movie collections and the terrible ones this kitten likes are always pretty darn…. err… ummm… “thrifty and reasonable” price-wise. 😉
Good thing too… because there are really two kinds of Indonesian horror movies. On the one hand we have some truly scary and impressively slick efforts that more than stack up against the best horror films made anywhere in the world…. and then on the other hand there are a virtual deluge of pretty darn crappy fly-by-night efforts made only to cram as much risque sexploitation as the censors will allow along with downright crude humor and terrible acting into a plot that sounds like some drunken frat boy’s last hangover crossed with an Ed Wood film. Yeah. That bad. And that’s coming from a lady that actually kinda likes bad films….
Unfortunately for us, this time out we have a rather excellent example of the latter.
Basically our very stupid story seems to revolve around two newlyweds, Ardo (played by Afdhal Yusman) and his new bride Linda (played by Dian) who meet while she’s experiencing a flat tire and Ardo is off in the woods peeing on a pocong. Seriously… I kid you not. They immediately fall in love and then become the owners of a seaside bungalow they plan to run as some kind of Bed& Breakfast. (I think… our movie really wasn’t toooo darn clear on this… ) It’s reputed to be haunted… naturally… and the sketchy guy they buy it from doesn’t let them in on that lil’ piece of info during his sale pitch. Hey… what do you expect when you buy a house at the drop of a hat from a guy you just happen to run into alongside the road? I bet you that if he wasn’t also selling stuff out of the trunk of his car too he probably should have been…
Wannabee Real Estate agent Jati (played by Saipul Jamil) is a sleazebag. Plainly put. I almost don’t feel sorry for poor Ardo and Linda for falling for this guy’s sales pitch. He spends most of out movie screwing around with a series of stupid, empty headed bimbos that he physically abuses and treats like cheap hookers. More on that later…
Until then our plot lurches unevenly along as all the ghostly stuff gets underway. First off we find out that there’s a pocong hopping around messing with a couple of hapless bike taxi guys, you know, doing that whole “ghost in a bag thing”… Why? Darned if I know, it has nothing whatsoever to do with our mermaid ghost and feels crammed in merely to help pad this one’s pathetic 77 minute runtime.
Our mermaid meanwhile gets practically no screen-time till right around the halfway point even after one of those silly bike guys angers her by tossing his wife’s placenta and some afterbirth into the waters of her beach thus waking her from her watery grave and unleashing her “wrath”. Huh? Yeah… not kidding.
So… what’s the big “wrath” of the demon mermaid? Well… once it finally gets going, it mostly seems to consist of Dewi doing her own interpretation of “Splash” meets “Rain Man” with this annoying tittering laugh that makes her sound more retarded than scary and frolicking about where people can see her… letting them kinda freak… and then disappearing till her next goofy prank appearance. Ummmm? Yeeeaaahhh… 😦 I guess “scary” has a whole different meaning in Indonesia.
So… err… ummmm… what’s her big problem? I mean don’t ghosts usually have some big grudge they have to work out so they can pass along to the afterworld? Yeah… yeah… don’t worry… we’ve got that… but don’t find out what exactly the heck it is until the very last few minutes of our film…. and then only as a lame “tacked on” ending to sorta wrap things up.
I’d warn you about “spoilers” right about now, but I’m thinking having me spill the beans for you is soooo darn much more preferable than having you need to sit through this on for yourself. Trust me.
So, it turns out our sleazebag Jati was Dewi’s husband… or boyfriend… again, the story isn’t particularly clear on stuff. She tells him she’s pregnant and so he brutally kills her, chainsaws her to bits, and dumps her body into the sea. Dipshit… hasn’t he been paying attention to Indonesian horror stories? Murder a pregnant woman and she always comes back as a kuntilanak to seek revenge. Always… always… always. Or in this case, a mermaid kuntilanak… He does that again at our film’s climax to yet another one of his poor girlfriends and this time finally Dewi shows up long enough to scare him into crashing his car to kill him… then she and Jati’s new most recent dead girlfriend Neneng can go back to the sea to happily frolic about in the surf like carefree Marineworld hostesses. Roll those credits. Please, quickly…. 😉
Oh yeah. This one really stank. Kinda like dead mermaids left out in the sun too long after an toxic oil spill… and no amount of Dawn dish detergent or air fresheners are gonna fix it. I’m just soooo darn glad I didn’t subject my sweet Carolyn to having to watch it with me. I give this pathetic excuse for a film a measly 1 “Meow” out of 5 and definitely warn my Gentle Visitors to avoid it like the Jersey Beach at low tide.
Dewi… Dewi… Dewi… I feel for you, I really do and if these are the sorts of films you are stuck making, I’d seriously suggest that you might want to rethink your whole “actress” gig. On the bright side… there really couldn’t be anywhere to go but up from here… Goodness, I’m soooo hoping my next mermaid movie can wash away the memories of this one. The plot was terrible, with no continuity or common sense, no clue about proper narrative flow, horribly unoriginal and lacking in any real sexy fun to even try to distract the viewer from it’s stupidity. Film-making at it’s worst.
As always, as bad as it was, there a goofy lil’ Trailer for this that’s even better than the film itself, and here we go o’ Gentle Visitors!