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Movies From the Black Lagoon: Mystics in Bali-1981, Unrated
Movies From the Black Lagoon
Mystics in Bali-1981, Unrated
An American, studying witchcraft in Indonesia, becomes the pawn of an evil witch and inadvertently helps her slake her ghoulish thirst for blood in this totally bizarre thriller that features some of the most insane imagery ever captured on celluloid.
The film opens with tourist/voodoo student Cathy being escorted around Bali by a dude named Mahendra, who appears to be passing for American himself by rocking a 70's mustache and sporting a wardrobe of designer jeans and flashy, albeit tight fitting tops. Cathy aims to study Leak (Lee-Ack) magic despite warnings that it is very powerful and utterly evil. She gets her wish when Mahendra arranges a meeting with a nameless Leak priestess. They meet at a graveyard, natch, and the Leak states that she will happily train Cathy if she does some shopping for her. Cathy agrees despite the fact that said list includes such diverse elements as diamonds and four quarts of human blood.
The next night the witch shows up but remains behind a hedge and all Cathy sees is a ten-foot tongue, which oozes out of the hedges and slurps up the blood.
The tongue then burns some magic symbols onto Cathy's thighs and states that they'll come off with vigorous bathing but are vital to the training.
This is all no problem for Cathy who also agrees to meet on the next night without Mahendra present. Thus begins a strange courtship with the witch teaching Cathy how to morph into other shapes such as snakes and even pig people. The best, however, is yet to come as the witch turns out to have an ulterior motive. She apparently needs the blood of the unborn to get back into fighting shape. You see she has a score to settle with a rival and it involves turning into a flaming, flying, rock and then bashing the other wizard (also in the shape of a flaming rock.) To power up she must command Cathy's head to detach from her body, trailing a slimy spinal cord, and fly to the homes of expectant mothers in order to eat her prey (should have seen that one coming). After doing this a few times Mahendra becomes suspicious when he hears reports of a flying detached head proving that he has a modicum of intelligence. He seeks out his uncle who is a wizard. The uncle admits they have a serious problem and states that time is of the essence but still opts to meditate for a while before dealing with the witch.
It all leads to a fantastic showdown in which Steven Spielberg-style light effects are employed (here you can read that as scratching the film negative).
Uncle proves to be less than a match for the witch but, luckily, a bearded wizard in a white toga pops out of the bushes to finish the fight.
This one is a real trip and features tons of imagination that has to be filtered through a micro budget. There are plenty of whackadoo scenes and special effects that range from adequate to jaw droppingly awful. Still it is a lot of fun and there's even atrocious dubbing if you like that sort of thing. This cinematic mind bender is just the latest release from the people at Mondo Macabro. Their mission to bring you "The Wild Side of World Cinema" is not a promise they take lightly. You will enjoy any of their discs if you want something off the wall and each release includes tons of bonus material and trailers for their outrageous releases. These guys are the real deal and deliver films that are entertaining and, for the most part, undiscovered by American audiences. If you're looking for something scary but off the wall then you can't go wrong with this label.
Best Line: "From the information we have it seems that this thing was a flying head."
Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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