Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tale of a Scary (?) Flick

When was the last time you head for the movies? Over the recent weekend? Last week? Last month? Dare I say last year?

Me, I don't remember, but Pak Abu, whose memory beats me hands down each time, said we have not gone near a cinema since we returned from the Hajj, and that was in January 2009.

Ever since the old man and I got hitched a decade ago, we have been to the cinema all of five or six times, averaging one movie in every two years. Not bad, considering how much I shun tengok wayang.

The abovementioned forays, by the way, were strictly for creepy films, one of the two genres I do not mind, the other being animation. Except for The Others, The Ring and Shutters, I can't recall the other two (or three).

(I watched a few other spine-tingling stuffs such as Blair Witch Project, Sixth Sense, Paranormal Activities etc in the comfort of my living room].

There is no specific reason for this disinclination towards the cinema. I'm just not drawn to films and couldn't care less about theatre offerings either. Neither do I like concerts and stageshows.

People who knew me from back then would probably find this strange, considering I spent the last few years of my journalistic career as an entertainment writer for an afternoon daily.

Those were the early years of TV3 when Mahadzir Lokman, Wan Zaleha Radzi, Ezzah Aziz Fauzi, Norfarahin Jamsari and Fuad Rahman held court, a time when TV3 and the NST group were part of a big family.

A time when Klang-born and bred Fauziah Latif was just a skinny and shy Form Five kid with sawo matang skin and big ears, but one who sang like a nightingale.

And of course, a time when singing diva Sharifah Aini couldn't bear to hear my name mentioned without going all prickly, all because I occasionally wrote critical reviews about her performances.

But I digress, we're talking films.

Once, there was a 14-year span (the entire duration of my single-momhood, actually) between one visit to the cinema and the other.

In 1987, not long after the big 'D', I went with some friends to watch comedy flick Ruthless People starring Danny de Vito and Bette Midler. It was meant to lift my flagging spirit, and it did.

I didn't step into a movie theatre again until 2001, when Pak Abu took me to watch Pearl Harbour. By then it was called cineplex (and looked and felt) eons better than the dilapidated, cramped panggung wayang of old.

It was there, in one darkened cineplex in One Utama, that I learned firsthand my new mate's peculiarity; he snored contentedly as the Japs rained bombs on the hapless harbour.

Way back in the '60s and '70s, when filem Hindustan was the rage, my best friend Hamidah, an avid fan, would regale me with long-winded tales of dramas, romances and tragedies dished out by such films.

I couldn't stomach the screenplays, but loved the songs. Only three people seemed to be singing all the playbacks then; Mohamad Rafi, Lata Mangeskha and Asha Bosle.

In 1971, whilst in Ipoh spending my school holidays with my paternal grandparents (read here), I was taken by an aunt to watch my first ever Hindi movie; Hatti Mere Sathi, about the elephant.

It would be almost three decades later (in the late 1990s) when I saw my second Hindi film, and that too out of curiosity.

The family was then living in Section 11, Subang Jaya, our (haunted) house facing the municipal council (MPSJ) padang.

Each Sunday some kind of aerobics would be held there, during which the song Kuch Kuch Ho Ta Hei would be played full blast.

The weekly blare (it went on for several months) finally got to me; I asked the kids to buy a VCD of the film so I could watch it at home. It didn't disappoint but like before, I only appreciated the songs.

And so my 'tak kisah' attitude towards the cinema in general continued, until recently when there were so much hoohas about a spate of Malay horror flicks.

I was so intrigued by discussions about Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah that I went out to purchase both Hantu Kak Limah.. and its prequel Zombi Kampung Pisang.

Thankfully, both were decent enough pictures and I found myself appreciating their directorial efforts. In fact, I'm not surprised that Zombi Kampung Pisang has reached cult status locally.

There were talks about how scary Jangan Pandang Belakang was, so I got a copy of that too. Fifteen minutes into it, I still couldn't make head or tail of the storyline. In fact, the movie seemed to progress from silliness to absurdity.

I wasn't anywhere near getting scared; far from it. Peeved, I gave up watching whilst Pak Abu plodded on valiantly. He concluded on a 'blur' note as well, poor man.

It was not until a couple of days later, when I mentioned my disappointment to son Naj, that he said: "You must have bought the spoof la Mak. It's called Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak 2."

Patutla! Small wonder I couldn't connect at all. And so, I still owe myself Jangan Pandang Belakang... I am hoping to be scared out of my wits.. boleh?


Saudagar Kacang said...

Sudah tonton Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah?

Kama At-Tarawis said...

oh sudahh.. tengok zombie kampoung pisang dulu kemudian followed by hantu.. best.. :D

MA said...

I stopped watching horror movie after being traumatised by
Pontianak Gua Musang when I was 8... Hehe

DD said...

I takut tengok cerita Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam... can't watch it again dah.

Anonymous said...

Salam Putri

My last trip to the cinema was for The Other Side of Midnight many decades ago. I have never been to a hindi/tamil film in my life, if at all I ternampak on tv while switching channels. But I would sit through a live telecast for hours to watch golf (yes Pak Abu I was a single handicap lady golfer, now retired). Pity otherwise would love to have a round with him with your permission of course Putri!!!).


Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Puteri,
I thought you have your own version of spookiness....the vanishing at the lift etc? Mama hates hantu movies so I don't get to watch any. Give us animation anytime! purrrr.....meow!

QOTH said...

I haven't seen any of those scary movies you mentioned, but near my MIL's house there's a place called Kampung Pisang. Wonder if there are zombies there, hehehe.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

MA - and I hv not watched that pontianak movie..

DD - neither hv i watched this pontianak movie..

Ami - It's a pity I hv not been able to meet his dream of having a wife who's also a golf partner. but one can't hv everything in life, eh..

Cat - mama can sit with me & watch animated films.. I love them..

Qoth - be very careful when you go a-visiting MIL's place.. hehehe..

Aida Marie said...

Kak Puteri ada nampak zomba naik wilcha? LOL. My two fav words of the moment now...zomba and wilcha.

Jangan Pandang Belakang is good.

Do you buy DVDs from the kedai sebelah Dapurmas?

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Aida - zomba and wilcha indeed! Our DVDs are usually supplied by the kids. on the rare occasions that kami beli sendiri, it would be dekat kedai video sebelah Paandi (sebab terus makan nasi daun pisang kat Paandi!)

Wan Sharif said...

Somehow the children loved to see those scary flicks and will later ask if it is ok for them to sleep in parent bedroom.. alahai

_deli said...

Salam Kak Puteri,

I recommend Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam 1 & 2. I simply love the way they tackle the entire movie. To me, they did it tastefully. Ada layers of stories. The “silent” back ground stories pun ada – Gamelan for the first and Kuda Kepang in the second. Sinematografinya pun okay juga.

This is a sad Pontianak story kindda like Nang Nak (though not as good). The way they expand the storyline into the sequel is quite brilliant, if I might add walaupun sedikit luntur dari garapan ceritanya. Waris Jari Hantu is also good (from the same team though bukan cerita hantu) and the back ground canvas is batik.

The other seram movie that I nak promote is Susuk. Some says it’s confusing. I love the challenge to decipher the whole plot. Should you watch this movie, the story is told in parallel; A to M and N to Z simultaneously instead of straight from A to Z. So the challenge is to know whether Q comes before R or does it comes before F? If you think my word is sewel, wait till you watch this movie.


Kama At-Tarawis said...

wan -memang pun.. hehehe.. tu anak2 punya ruse nak kacau daun.. :D

deli - wow.. nampaknya macma ni kak puteri kena gi cari la all those films yg u namakan. i know about them (i mean the titles, jalan cerita tak tau), cuma tak pernah tengok aja. insyaallah nak tengok..

Al-Manar said...

The films that I remember are the likes of Tea for Two, Magnificent Seven, April in Paris etc. Does it ring a bell? I have not been to a cinema house since mid 20th century!

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Pakcik - those are classics! Indeed, just get some DVDs and watch at home Pakcik, more comfortable. boleh tersadai depan tv like nobody's business.. heheh

Anonymous said...

Always salute those who like to tonton horror flick, I tidak akan pernah, too timid!!


Kama At-Tarawis said...

Anny - i pun penakut.. i hv to watch in the company of others. takder orang kalo, no way jose! and i only like the creepy, scary ones.. those blood & gore kind i wont touch with a ten-foot pole..

Tommy Yewfigure said...

I like pontianak movies and whenever I drive at night by myself, my mind will begin to play tricks, I would imagine a long black haired woman by the roadside carrying a 'baby', then when I drive passed, she'll start clinging on my windscreen.....helpppp

Kama At-Tarawis said...

tommy, you're my kind of guy!

Anonymous said...

Hi, random search if past Tv3 hosts brought me here, I love horror flicks too, n hv been waiting for one that truly scared me out of my wits... If Jangan Pandang Belakang (after a year n u've finally gotten round to watch it) do watch Quraffat, I like it better. Though I think local productions need to work on that makeup... I was not impressed looking at the fake ghosts, but otherwise I think the stories are good. Give it a go.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

anon: looks liek i hv to cari and watch the jangan pandang belakang movie lah liek this.. hehee.