Indonesian Movies: So Bad … But So Good
The current dearth of Hollywood movies in our theaters has once again cast the spotlight on the Indonesian film industry’s output, specifically the periodic release of horror films chock-full of cheap scares, cheesy stories and cheesecake shots of sexy actresses.
These movies are constantly decried for lacking any kind of value beyond titillation or terror. In fact, people seem to derive the most entertainment from saying the films’ ridiculous titles out loud. Last year, we had “Hantu Puncak Datang Bulan” (“The Menstruating Ghost of Puncak”). Pretty soon, you’ll be able to see “Pacar Hantu Perawan” (“The Virgin Ghost’s Boyfriend”).
The coalition of condemnation against these films ranges from high-brow cultural commentators, who say such movies are nothing but cheap schlock meant to pull a profit by appealing to the lowest common denominator, to members of the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), who decry the films for containing what they consider pornographic content.
It’s easy to conclude that everyone hates these movies, but that can’t be true. If it were, then why would the movie studios keep making them?