Before Indonesian cinematography went to extremely hilarious, entertaining and over-the-top action movies (like The Stabilizer) they had bizarre, pointless and bizarre attempts of horror making. Combined with a low budget and non-existence of actors you get lame, unwatchable motion picture. Mystics in Bali is the perfect example of this. Based on an old Indonesian folklore tale (which ground base is almost as weak as screenplay) this movie was condemned to utter failure from the very first scenario pitch (under the condition that actually there were any, instead of some drunk and highly drugged dude took the camera and went to a nearest bush at night).

MysticsMystics…in Bali

The plot is very simple. A young girl Catherine (played by established actress Ilona Agathe Bastian), with interests in occult, wants to learn witchcraft for a book research, so she comes at her boyfriend Mahendra (played by Yos Santo) to the small Indonesian island called Bali. There her boyfriend, who is the native (what a lucky coincidence), used his tribal connections and managed to find a genuine, old, crusty evil witch. As a dark arts training fee witch (played by Sofia W.D.) demands jewels and several jars of blood from Cathy. Cathy pays the price easily (we don’t know whose this blood is or how she had obtained it; maybe Mahendra had some in his stocks in basement). Witch drinks that blood using her tentacles. In return, witch does a tattoo on Catherine’s leg. Now the training can start.

First lesson is scheduled for the next evening. Cathy, like any other good student of occultism, shows on time. Meanwhile, tattoo on her leg has expanded (Mahendra was very glad to have it inspected closely). Anyway, Cathy’s lesson are consisted of learning how to laugh like a real witch, followed by some sort of tribal dancing with a witch. But that’s not everything. Tomorrow Cathy told Mahendra that she is almost a master of liyah spell. After only one night and one lesson! Cool, where can I sign up? So now Cathy can change her shape into everything she wants. And of all interesting shapes she and the witch had chosen a shape of two pigs! Ok first time is always trivial. Second and final lesson will be held next evening at midnight!

How to laugh like a witch

Like always (one previous time, that is) Cathy shows on time. Witch assures her that she is going to become her disciple after in black arts after only one more thing is done. And that thing is to borrow Cathy’s head! No, for real! Witch casts some spell, throwing Cathy in deep state of meditation and detaching her head from her body! Altogether  with spinal cord. Head flies away, breaks into some house and using a vampire teeth, sucks out a baby from pregnant woman who was lying in bed. Now that’s bizarre! Of course, head goes back to witch where she uncovers her real plan. Her name is Leak Queen and as you could guess it, she needs fresh blood to regain, in her words, TOTAL POWER and her youth. Quite typical for a woman to try to satisfy her vanity. Of course, Cathy remains under a Leak’s control and remembers nothing of her evil deeds. As you can see, you can find clichés even in Indonesian culture.

I know you think of porn while watching this

Worried with what he has heard from Cathy, Mahendra asks his uncle Machesse (played by W.D. Mochtar) for a help. Machesse doesn’t take that very seriously, at least not until a second murder of wild flying head. Then he is forced to call for an elder mystics council meeting, where they discuss current situation with drinking, smoking, stating the obvious things and nodding to each other after those statements. On that meaning we learn that witch has to take 3 lives of newborn babies in order to achieve her goal. As for Cathy, she started to suspect something is wrong after her head returned to her body with a blood on it’s lips. Tremendous power of deduction indeed! Still, she doesn’t want to denounce herself of a power and when witch (now looking much younger) visits her at home, asking for more fresh blood, Cathy doesn’t even put an effort in attempt to refuse her. Her only argument was that she is going to do it tomorrow with following explanation “It is late now. Where to find fresh blood at this hour?”. Hm, the girl has the point. But of course, witch can’t wait so Cathy’s head flies out again in search for third victim. This time it has been ambushed by angry peasants armed with torches and pitchforks. Machesse saw whose head is this and warned Mahendra that it is too late for Cathy. He also tried to prevent head to reattach to body by sticking Chinese sticks into Cathy’s still body, but there was no use of it (no shit).


Angry with foiling her plans witch attacks and kills Machesse, in a supernatural low-budget fight, which can be best described as “kindergarten kid draws a lightings on a film role”. Seriously, compared to this, a drawn lighting from the original “Childs play” is an Oscar wining material in special effects department. Anyway, Machesse’s death is not the end of everything and triumph of evil. His brother (oh come on) who is even greater mystic (COME ON) shows himself out of nowhere and engages in wizard fight with a witch who has transformed into some sort of kabuki monster. That means more bad effects during which one member of Worsemovies crew got an epileptic seizure. Second uncle triumphs eventually, as it was expected. Oh yeah, and Mahendra managed to kill Cathy using a dagger his uncle gave him (though we haven’t seen when such thing occurred). End of the movie and complete silence of disbelief in room broken only by sounds of body trembling on the floor.

Rick Baker eat yourself!

Conclusion: Hint for director H. Tjut Djalil: Never try to make a movie based on special effects if you have no budget. Better not to show any flashy stuff than to try it this way and embarrass yourself along with the entire crew. Not that I would say actors in this movie know for shame, regarding their acting. Instead of pissing away entire film budget (2$) onto special effects that cause temporary blindness and malfunction of brain waves, they should have invested it into getting at least one actor who knows how humans behave when they are in fear. Though I would recommend watching this Mystics in Bali. It is a good laugh after all.

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