Sunday, January 26, 2020

Siapa Menabur Benci Akan Menuai Bencana (1988)

... aka: Whoever Sows Hate Will Reap Disaster

Directed by:
Ackyl "Anwary" (Anwari)

I wonder if Madonna knows that she appeared in a low budget Indonesian horror film? Melissa ("Lidya Kandouw" / Lydia Kandou) is so busy gyrating to The Material Girl performing "Causing a Commotion" on TV that she doesn't even realize someone's stalking outside her home and about to break in. The black-clad psychos (there are two) then accost her right after she gets out of the shower. She has her wrists tied up, her panties ripped off (as "Safe Sex" appears on the TV screen) and then her head bashed against the marble stairs until blood sprays out... all as "Who's That Girl?" plays (!!) Her body is then dragged outside to a car and stuck in the trunk. The mysterious killers drive off into the night. When Melissa's housekeeper Parmi (Lina Budiarti) returns home to see the place a bloody mess and Melissa missing, she immediately hops on the phone, calls Iskandar (August Melazs) and asks him to come over. By the time he arrives the police are there and he finds himself the chief suspect in her murder.

Iskandar and Melissa were lovers which, in itself, wouldn't make him a suspect except for the fact he's married to another woman and had impregnated Melissa. During police questioning, Iskandar openly admits to the affair and pregnancy, and his bitter wife Marta (Ully Artha) cops to being aware of the affair. Because of Marta's jealousy of the other woman and the fact she's infertile and cannot conceive a child, she's pushed to the front of the suspect list. However, there's zero proof either did it, no evidence was left at the scene of the crime and there's no body, so the authorities have little to go on and are forced to let the unhappy couple go.

However, there's another person the cops never factored into the equation. Dita (Wieke Widowati), Marta's husky-voiced younger sister, has also fallen in love with the apparently solid-gold-penis'd Iskandar. It's not hard to see why once we meet her current boyfriend Rudy (Rudy Wahab), who's abusive, worthless, mulleted and steals her jewelry and pawns it because he doesn't want to get a job. Dita stalks Iskandar to his disco club hangout and jealously drives off when she spots him talking to another woman ("special guest star" Sitoresmi Prabuningrat) and then gets into an argument with Marta, which ends in big sis slapping her in the face. Even though Dita parades around braless and in short shorts with her ass cheeks hanging out, her attempts at seducing Iskandar always fall flat.

Meanwhile, Parmi goes to some kind of primitive village pharmacy where the perverted owner (who keeps trying to grope her) takes her around back to see a shaman busy at work. He calls forth a spirit, which uses a pen attached to a doll to spell out messages on paper. Seeing how the police haven't been able to do anything, Parmi decides to repeat the same act at home by herself to contact Melissa's spirit. Though she manages to call her forth, Melissa refuses to name her murderers because she's dead set on avenging her own murder.

Aside from the opening sequence, the first hour is almost nonstop soap opera drama, which is mildly entertaining but dragged down by useless filler flashbacks detailing Melissa and Iskandar's secret affair. That leaves only about 20 minutes for the supernatural / horror elements and the killer's reveal proves to be utterly predictable. So what exactly does Melissa's revenge entail? Well, an obese queen who wears makeup and carries a purse blackmails Iskandar when he catches the sister-in-law in his office trying to seduce him yet again and, later that night, Melissa's ghost turns all of his money into maggots. She then slams a guy under the hood of his car and smashes him against a tree. She turns an outdoor water fountain into a geyser of blood. And, finally, she possesses one of the women, who then destroys half the house with a golf club, rolls around on the floor and tries to kill Iskandar with a broken bottle before she throws her host body through two windows until she bleeds to death.

There's a long love montage of the adulterous couple going to a beach, going to the disco and then fishing set to "You Are My Man" by Belgian-French singer Viktor Lazlo (a female). There's a weird dream sequence where Iskandar astrally projects out of his body so he can make out with Melissa's ghost. And there's a fantastic outdoor break dancing party (!) filled with lens flares set to Gloria Estefan's "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" (!!) that gets busted by the cops.

Kandou is actually one of the most acclaimed actresses in her country and recipient of multiple Best Actress Citra Awards so it may seem odd she'd appear in something like this but that's the Indonesian film industry for ya. Anwari directed other rarely-seen-outside-of-Indonesia genre films, including Godaan Siluman Perempuan / TEMPTATION OF THE DEMON WOMAN (1978), Ratu Pantai Selatan / "Queen of the South Coast" (1980), Dukun Lintah / "Leech Wizard" (1981) and Dewi Angin-Angin / "Goddess of Wind" (1994) but was more prolific as a writer. He was also assistant director on three Cynthia Rothrock vehicles filmed in Indonesia.

I couldn't find a poster or VHS / VCD cover for this title. In fact, I could find no evidence whatsoever that it played in theaters or was ever even issued on home video. It's also not listed on IMDb or most other film sites. There's a possibility it was made for television.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...