|Mystics in Bali (1981)|
|Director:||H. Tjut Djalil|
|Writers:||Jimmy Atmaja and Putra Mada|
|Starring:||Ilona Agathe Bastian, Yos Santo and Sofia W.D.|
|The Plot: Catherine is a Western girl who is obsessed with black magic. She has previously learned Voodoo in Africa, but now that she is in Bali she is obsessed with learning the notorious Leak black magic. Leak is a form of magic that is so powerful that it allows its user to shapeshift into nearly anything they want. Cathy eventually meets Henthra, a local boy who she quickly starts up a relationship with. Henthra is soon talked into leading Catherine into the dark jungle so that she may meet a powerful Leak master! When Henthra and Catherine stumble off into the jungle, they do indeed meet a mysterious laughing woman who claims to be a Leak master. Catherine convinces the woman to allow her as a disciple, and before long the young Western girl is practicing the ancient black magic traditions of Bali. This Leak master, however, isn’t as nice as Catherine at first takes her to be. She has her own goals, and she intends to use the detached head of Catherine in order to do her bidding and bring her new life!|
While there are many glorious aspects that make Mystics in Bali such a memorable movie, you really have to give it credit for the transformation sequences. Much like the majority of the special effects work seen here, the transformations are gloriously bad. The effects are of the cheap and homemade variety, which is weird to see in comparison to the overall quality of the production. Shot with an eye towards the stylish, Mystics in Bali actually looks very good in almost all facets. The jungle surroundings are brilliantly green, and the sets, which look cheap, are still lit very well and given a surreal tone within many scenes. All of these facts seem in direct confrontation to the utterly ridiculous special effects work that singlehandedly tries to undo all of the quality cinematography that the movie attempts to employ. The transformations, such as the pig and snake sequences, are done in a time lapse fashion that shows us the actresses having makeup piled on top of them little by little. There’s also a decent amount of, what appears to be at least, shot-on-home-video footage in the midst of the film. The quality of the footage seems to take a downward spiral and the two different film stocks are blatantly obvious.