This is partly due to the fact that the country is extremely heterogeneous in religious, territorial and ethnic relations. As a result, the national culture of horror has been shaped by the strangest and darkest images and practices of different regions and peoples, mixed in the political cauldron of the newly formed unified Indonesian nation.
Kejawen, a Javanese philosophical and religious worldview that can be described as a syncretic mix of Buddhist, Pagan, Islamic ideas and traditional folk practices, had a significant impact on national horror.
Another important component of Indonesian mysticism is the beliefs and religious practices of Bali and Sumatra. Researchers say that in Bali, there is still no clearly defined difference between:
- myth and reality
- in Balinese literature, there is no division into “realistic” and “fantastic” genres.
In other words, the archaic in this region is so strong that people quite consciously live in the “space of Myth”, mixing national beliefs with introduced intellectual and cultural trends.
The result is amazing
For example, in 1989, one of the best Indonesian horror Directors Tjut Jalil made the film “Lady Terminator” (Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan), in which he combined the tracing paper from the American” Terminator” with the national myth of the Queen of the South sea.
The result is a magnificent and original XXI Indonesia product that combines atypical for Asian and Islamic countries emancipation (there were more than one flash of bare breasts, and the heroines are very emancipated and aggressive) with an exotic reinterpretation of the classic Cameron plot, a slightly theatrical and exploitative style of shooting and appropriate acting. People watch it with great pleasure.
The backdrop for the shooting was the capital of the country, Jakarta, which in the 80’s experienced a period of intensive development, and this urbanism, interspersed with sea sketches, gives the film even more charm. The mystical background and “sexual” murders of men, whom the “terminator” mutilates and tears off the genitals, actually turn the picture into a mix of an action movie, an exploit movie and a mystical horror film.
Perhaps there was no more “magically strong” talisman in Malaysia, because the Indonesian artifacts are valued much higher — but the result was brutal and grim: Idris was cut into several parts, partially skinned and buried parts of the body. Mona has become a cult figure in the Malaysian countercultural underground, local Satanists honor her as an Asian Bathory Erzhebet, there are laudatory articles about her in various black/death metal fanzines and the film “Dukun” was dedicated to her not so long ago. However, thanks to the amulet of Sukarno, jadwal film xxi became known in Indonesia. There were even rumors that it was there that she underwent magical initiation.