Friday, March 7, 2008

Natural Mystics

I had "Mystics in Bali," this Indonesian horror movie at the top of my Netflix queue for about 2 months. I pretty much gave up on ever seeing it when it arrived in the mail a couple weeks ago. After a period of quiet reflection, I understood why it took so long to arrive.


Netflix was testing me. Would I give up after a few weeks and pick another movie for my top pick? If so, then I wasn't really worthy of watching the awesomeness of "Mystics in Bali." Luckily, I persevered, and Netflix noticed and rewarded me.
I am so very, very glad I passed the test.


In the movie, an American woman is writing a book on black magic. She learns that Indonesian Leyack magic is the strongest magic in the world so she goes out in the field to complete her work.

She meets a witch who can extend her tongue about six feet and speaks like an evil Yoda. The witch agrees to teach the woman her secrets, but of course, this knowledge comes at a price.

I've seen some crazy stuff in movies. Back in Gainesville, I would regularly walk over to my friend Keith's apartment, where he had all sorts of wonderful and strange VHS tapes. Kung fu movies where vampires enlist the aid of Dracula and eat placenta and urine to grow stronger. Another kung fu movie scene in which a group of turtles get on their hind legs and dance to Roxy Music. "For Your Height Only," featuring Weng Weng, a two foot tall Filipino midget as a James Bond superspy. A movie about a lady who fell in love with a corpse and keeps his pee-pee in the refrigerator. All sorts of Jackie Chan or John Woo stuff that is pretty commonplace now, but at the time was pretty mind-blowing. After a lot of these movies or scenes, whoever was gathered in Keith's apartment would sort of look at each other to make sure that, yes, we really did see that.

But the scene in "Mystics in Bali" where the woman's head pops off her body and flies away with her lungs, heart and entrails attached flapping in the breeze? That just might be the damndest thing I've ever seen.

Oh yeah, the head/guts fly around looking for blood to keep the witch young or something. In one scene, the head throws a midwife through a wall like Popeye, then gets down between a pregnant woman's legs to suck out a baby.

Luckily, there are some good monks who agree to fight the black magic, who also give all sorts of information on Indonesian magic. If anyone walks in on you watching "Mystics" and accuses you of watching trash, you can always select one of these scenes and you can say you're working on an anthropology degree in folklore.

So yeah, "Mystics in Bali." You might have to wait a while or prove your worth to the gods of Netflix, but it is totally worth it. Now if I can just appease the gods to send "Flash Gordon," which has been number one in my list for like a year, I will have all the secrets of the universe.

3 comments:

Alonzo Mosley (FBI) said...

I currently have four "Very Long Wait" titles at the top of my Blockbuster queue: "Two Lane Blacktop", "California Split", "Panic in Year Zero" and "Extreme Prejudice".

Of the four, I've only seen the last one previously (Lot's of Walter Hill action goodness), but I'm pretty sure none of them go to the lengths that "Mystics" does.

I'd have to say the weirdest thing I've ever seen (Outside some MST3K titles and Eraserhead) was a rare VHS copy of Urotsukid├┤ji back in college. You're never the same after your first exposure to Hentai.

scott said...

I've had "2 Lane Blacktop" on netflix for like 100 years now. I gave up and ordered it for the library last week.

Alonzo Mosley (FBI) said...

Ahhh. The pay isn't much but we DO have our perks, don't we! :)