‘Mystics in Bali’ from 1981 is truly one one wild and crazy Indonesian horror flick and just what I was craving during lockdown! My first viewing of this gem would have admittedly been better had I not known a damn thing about the plot, so if you’re reading this and are interested, I’d suggest checking it out blindly to get maximum enjoyment! So you’ve been warned…
Anyway I’m kinda new to the whole Indonesian cult cinema scene, but I can say so far everything I’ve checked out has been pretty top notch. Mystics in Bali is 100% weird and wild. It follows an American named Cathy who travels to Bali to do extensive research for her book on the mystic ways of the mysterious black magic cult of the Leyak. She meets the handsome Mahendra a local man with knowledge of the dark local magic who also happens to have connections to a woodland witch. He takes her out to the forest to her lair and the bizarre woman vows to expose the secrets of the dark arts and their rituals to Cathy. Excited to get this exclusive info for her book she continues to meet the witch, who in turn tricks her into becoming her evil minion, transforming her into a Penanggalan, a horrific flying head with internal organs hanging from her neck!! GAAAHHHH!
Things go from bad to worse, as Mahendra has fallen in love with Cathy by this point and has no other choice than to ask his uncle Machessea practitioner of magic himself, to help him stop the witch and save Cathy from the curse of the sinister Leyak. This leads to a pretty epic battle towards the end making the whole thing a such a bizarre slice of foreign 80’s horror, it’s most definitely essential viewing for genre fans! There’s a pretty intriguing story here to fuel the horror as well along with the sets and general locale of the film make this a special treat by just that alone. There’s also some low budget but fully ambitious special effects at play here that really amp up the general madness of this movie. Also prevalent are a few relatively shocking moments here that are unlike anything I’ve personally ever seen before in a horror flick.
Some “must see” sequences that will stick with fans of the genre and leave you scratching your head in disbelief! The creature Cathy becomes is clearly the main attraction here and surely is one of the freakiest movie monsters I’ve seen in some time. The final showdown is a pretty great time as well, sure it’s a clunky battle, but it’s a ton of fun to behold. It’s no wonder that this movie was done by the same director, H. Tjut Djalil who also brought us the mega bonkers ‘Lady terminator’ which is def worth tracking down! I’ve also heard that his movie ‘Dangerous Seductress’ is quite a wild gem as well. So..Mystics in Bali is a true oddball, one of a kind horror flick and leads me further down the path of an era of movies other countries were producing during the 80’s that rival some of the best the USA had to offer-Check it out!
Last night I had the pleasure of seeing a fantastic lost haunted house 80’s gem from Japan called ‘Sweet Home’! I only heard great things about this one recently online while looking for obscure horror movies and just had to check it out for myself. It was never released here in the USA but luckily there’s a great site called Twisted Anger that has some excellent lost cinema you can purchase if you’re not thrilled about watching movies on Youtube (it however is indeed on Youtube).
Sweet Home has some real sweet things going for it, right from the start of the movie it’s clear some love went into the production of this one. It’s beautifully shot and filled with some stunning locations and sets peices. Writer & director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who’s probably most well known for his 2001 horror film ‘Pulse’ does a great job here letting his spooky tale unfold on screen with tons of color and a great score to accompany it as well. We follow a TV production crew who’re making a documentary about the legendary, now deceased painter, Mamiya Ichiro. They trek out into the foggy countryside to his creepy abandoned mansion and begin exploring, discovering his strange paintings about the house. Soon they begin filming & are confronted by a deadly presence that intends to possess and destroy all who remain inside.
It’s a simplistic story that takes some nice twists and turns along the way and is filled with some colorful characters as well as some nice comedic moments thrown in for good measure. The real star of the show however is clearly the movies excellent special fx work from American master of trade Dick Smith. Smith’s got an impressive resume too as he’s well known for his work on movies like The Exorcist, Poltergeist 2, Scanners, Altered States, Taxi Driver, to name a few. The movie starts off with a quiet tone however when weird shit begins to go down Smith’s stunning fx work really pushes the movie into new territory and is a true glory to behold. The quiet little ghost story by the finale explodes into an action packed visual feast with one of the best onscreen ghostly monsters of the 1980’s. Creepy babies, melting men, monsters & with tons of that 80’s electricity I adore so much, it really contains some “why the fuck have I never seen this before” moments that if you’re a fan of that classic decade of horror you’ll truly appreciate and likely never forget.
From what I’ve read about this movie, it’s been said the director wasn’t happy with this or really most of his 80’s work. Like ‘Poltergeist’ where it’s rumored Steven Speilberg was actually the one on set with the megaphone rather than Tobe Hooper, Sweet Home’s producer was also rumored to be quite an imposing force to director Kurosawa’s final vision. Still the movie manages to be one helluva good time despite any behind the scenes squabbling and is must see for any fans of ghostly 80’s horror done right. The movie also spawned a rather hard to find Nintendo NES Capcom video game as well as being the main inspiration of ‘Resident Evil’. I recommend seeking this odd little lost treasure of flick out this halloween, the fx alone are worth the price of admission!
So my first entry I did on the top ten “stranded on an island” movies has easily been my most popular post here at Universal Dork, sooooo naturally I am giving a sequel to it right here, today! I simply love the idea of being castaway to a remote island, far away from the bustle of everyday life. There’s something about this idea that has always captivated audiences and it remains to be a situation I often think about every damn time I get on an airplane. So let’s not waste any time and get right to one of the most romantic, exciting and frightening movie topics of all time. It’s time to take a look at the other movies that deserve to be on this epic list!
10. Swept Away, 2002
Yeah this list is going to have some cheezy ass movies on it and this one here is a guilty please to start it off. It’s also likely the most well known of the bunch. Of course this movie was a box office mega bomb and totally panned by the critics.
However if you’re looking for a fun time on a stranded island with the legendary icon Madonna then look no further!
9. The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark, 1980
Here’s an interesting Disney movie with Silver Spoons star Ricky Schroder – Bonus right there folks! It seems that Disney was all in on the whole desert island theme as this was just one of quite a few that follow a similar storyline.
While this movie isn’t bound to blow your mind it’s got a pretty cool premise of flipping a B-29 bomber over on it’s back and sailing it to civilization! Continue reading
So I’ve already raved about how much I loved Krampus by Michael Dougherty and I’ve bee so surprised that no one has come out with a Christmas movie about Krampus before the craze hit recently. However yesterday I saw an odd trailer for a movie supposedly from 1958 called Krampus- check this out:
So the question is, is this trailer legit? It seems a lot of websites out there claim this to be a lost trailer of movie which only print was destroyed years ago. After a little digging however it seems that this faux trailer was actually produced by Midnight Crew Studios. I had a feeling, but damn if that trailer wasn’t convincing upon the first watch!
Lastly there’s some cool new Krampus holiday figurines that have just been released from James Sizemore’s (The Demon’s Rook) company Wonder Goblin, they’re pretty awesome and can be purchased through the website for that Krampus fanatic in everyone’s life this year!
As far as debut issues of comic books go these days I’d say the Boom! Studios debut issue of ‘The Woods” is one of the best! It’s a great little sci-fi/horror story that involves an entire High School (yes the building and all of the students and faculty) being transported to a strange forest seemingly on another planet. That’s the least of their worries though as they soon find out they are not alone there. With no idea how or why this happened students and faculty go head to head with each other trying to figure out the best plan of survival. This is a great start to hopefully a great series, the first issue has a little bit of a “LOST” which I adore, being a giant fan of that tv series. It also reminds me a bit of the tv show because of the mysterious situation, which for the time being there is no explanation for that they have found themselves having to deal with. It leaves me wondering what’s next and longing to read the next issue. It’s a lot of fun, with fair parts of horror, gore and comedy mixed in at just the right amounts.
The artwork done by Michael Dialynas is also alot of fun here and adds to the strength of this debut. It’s a really great to find a good solid first issue and a new series to look forward too. I’m finding it harder and harder to find books I want to stick with by Marvel or DC. I actually realized that at the moment I am not reading ANY tltles by the big two. Now that could easily change at any moment, but it’s a bit shocking that I’m not absorbed into any title right now that they are offering and at four or even five bucks a pop now a comic book better be good!I am open to suggestions also because at that price it’s not exactly easy to sample the platter, as comic books can easily add up every week at these prices. So here’s a little comic I think is a safe bet, The Woods was a damn fine fun ride-check it out!
Ha ha well ok you got me, it’s not a lost Princess Bride scene but it does feature the late, great wrestling superstar Andre the Giant going crazy for giant Honeycomb cereal as his persona from the movie!
I remember when this cereal came out-it was all the rage, anything made bigger back then was always better! I think this commercial is from around the time he appeared in The Princess Bride! A nice little reminder of how bad ass the 80’s were!
I thought I’d share this new Mister Saturday track just posted up to Youtube yesterday. Yeah I know you’re still wondering who in the hell Mister Saturday is? Well in short it’s me. I started this little project years ago, where I’d take dancehall and instrumental hip hop tracks and rapping or DJ-ing (as it’s referred to in Jamaican culture) over them. I became a big fan of reggae dancehall when I was just a kid and always wanted to hear songs about stuff that I liked, like say The Incredible Hulk, Star Trek and Dungeons & Dragons. That stuff though isn’t real big in Jamaica so I decided what the hell, I’ll make my own songs about that stuff! Somebody had to do it. So I did it, and songs like the one below are the result. Nerdcore reggae dancehall.
I figured if MC Frontalot could invent nerdcore hip hop, then I could invent it’s reggae rappin’ counterpart. This track was an instrumental from 1985 called “Land of Rhythm” by Sly and Robbie the legendary riddim twins. I always thought it deserved some vocals so I added them, get out your break dancing attire, grab a spliff and boogie down! Subscribe to my Youtube channel to as I’m always adding more songs and vids! Been working on a live show with my partner in crime Ensly Mogul who also has been makin some wicked beats & riddims, now all I gotta do is get Frontalot or MC Chris to take me on tour with them!
“The Land of the Long Lost Riddim”
It’s no doubt to me that I have seen two of the BEST movies this year at the theater in the span of a week! How often does that happen? Last week I was lucky enough to catch “The Raid: Redemption” which will easily be the best action movie of the year or maybe even the past decade. This Saturday I saw “Cabin in the Woods” and was blown away!
What an awesome original idea for a movie. I know, I know you think it’s just another Evil Dead rip off? Wrong. It’s not at all what I expected, though to say it doesn’t share some similarities with Evil Dead wouldn’t be true. However it’s something truly of it’s own. I did a blog a couple weeks ago about wishing for Hollywood to kick out something original instead of remakes and rehashes. Well this movie is a prime example of what I wished for in every way. A fresh, inventive slice of cinema.
Now I am not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. What I can say is that it best that you know as little as possible about this one if you plan to see it. I purposely avoided reading reviews for this before I saw it and it really did make the experience that much better! So stay away from spoilers for as long as you can!
What I will say here is that it’s a comic book, sci fi, horror fan’s wet dream in every way imaginable. It’s a funny, scary, exciting, gory , unique adventure-with some great twists along the way. The effects are brilliant as well, straying as far as possible from CG schlock as it can. Most of the film has a highly organic vibe to it and when there is any CG it’s used only when needed and tastefully at that. We all know that Hemsworth stars in the movie and I can’t help but think they waited strategically to release this movie, as it was made a couple years ago, to cash in on his Avengers/Thor star power. My question is where does The Cabin in the Woods go from here? I can only hope it doesn’t spawn any un-needed sequels and if it does it better have the same creative team of Whedon & Goddard. Personally I think this movie is best left alone as a one shot. It just can’t get any better than this!
I find myself thinking a lot about getting stranded on a deserted island quite alot! Perhaps it’s because of my love of the show “Lost” or maybe it’s just because life here in the USA can get a little too stressful! Well either way the dream of being stuck on one sounds quite nice most of the time but in actuality it’d probably drive me just as crazy as city life does in the end. Well here’s my top 10 stranded on an island movies (Check out part two right here!) -some of them make the idea pretty appealing as others turn the idea into a total nightmare.
Even though after watching the worst case scenarios go down I still think it’d be pretty damn fun to try and restart civilization-but it seems in the movies no matter how hard they try someone always ends up fuckin’ up the program. Good or bad these flicks are definitely worth a watch if you’re hoping to get the hell outta’ dodge! Check it out… Continue reading