Indonesian Action Cinema | Offscreen
Despite the recent success of “The Raid”, Indonesian action cinema at large remains relatively unknown to Western audiences. Film production grew enormously since the 1970s, when due to a government imposed quota system, one local film had to be shown for every imported three. Meanwhile, sex and violence made their way to the screen thanks to a more permissive censorship. The 1980s were a golden period, with “The Warrior” as one of the biggest hits. Inspiration was found in the fantastic tales of the folk theatre, popular Hollywood films and martial arts movies from Hong Kong. But a distinctively Indonesian ingredient was added: mystical local heroes fighting the Dutch invaders during the colonisation period. Main actor Barry Prima became a star and appeared in a series of similar features, like the outrageous fantasy film “The Devil's Sword”. The peak period came to an abrupt stop in the 1990s when the quota system was abandoned, with the legendary rip-off “Lady Terminator” as one last highlight.
Introductions by film expert Pete Tombs (Mondo Macabro)
Animation by Juul Barnard (Night of Error)
In collaboration with BUT Film Festival
An informative and highly amusing documentary on the Indonesian action film, spanning a period from the first martial arts films in the 30s, over the peak of the 80s to the recent success of “The Raid”, including mind-bending clips of ultra cheap super heroes, Bruce Lee clones and sexy secret spies.
Rebel fighter Jaka Sembung takes on the Dutch oppressors who in turn call in reinforcements with the help of a black magician. Body parts are suddenly airborne, Indonesian actors wear blond wigs, palm trees explode and surprised looking bulls get wrestled to the ground: top entertainment.
Brace yourself for an outrageous “The Terminator” rip-off where Arnold Schwarzenegger is replaced by a woman with balls of steel: possessed by the spirit of an Asian sex goddess and armed with a rattling machine gun she turns the streets of Jakarta into a veritable battleground.
In a hidden palace on the ocean floor lives the sexually insatiable crocodile queen and her army of sex slaves. She seeks world domination but for this she needs a mythical sword, made from a fallen meteorite. Non-stop fun in this bizarre fantasy film featuring laser duels and cyclopic monsters.