Hooptober 8.0 – Queen of Black Magic (1981)

Being Film #28 for Hooptober 2021

A real quick summary/review of the classic (I guess?) Indonesian horror film Queen of Black Magic goes something like this: Evil Dead and Hausu vibes mark this horror revenge flick as a young woman seeks revenge after being left for dead at the hands of her ex-lover and the village he incites to action after suffering black magic during his wedding to another woman. It looks to want to have its Feminist anti-patriarchy theme and eat its pro-Islam message too, which feels a bit convoluted but was still enjoyable to see the shoestring-budget sincerity shine through.

THE QUICK SUMMARY: Murni is devastated. She reluctantly gave away her virginity to local playboy Kohar, but now he’s marrying another woman. On the he day of their wedding the village is plagued by wicked black magic and Kohar riles up the village to blame Murni so she can’t speak the truth. Thrown off a mountain and left for dead, she is discovered by a shamanistic practitioner of black magic, and she takes her revenge. But is revenge what she wants, or is she now merely the tool for another man’s desires? Maybe the wandering holy man preaching the tenants of islam can solve this…

I think the best thing about Queen of Black Magic is the sincerity of the performances, and the fun way they find to make the most of their gore effects. Of particular joy is a floating head that I thought any minute would start shooting lasers from its eyes. No lasers, sadly, but still a delight.

Not much else to add here. You get some fun effects, solid performances, and show it has more on its mind than just scaring you. Try not to get too bogged down in the myriad of politics going around and just settle in for a surprisingly fun flick.

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