- A vampire dukes it out with an oil man in a horror comedy that will make you smile and also put you to sleep
- Director Afdlin Shauki lets his imagination run wild, but rape comment won’t go down well with some
WRITER-DIRECTOR Afdlin Shauki shows his madcap persona in horror comedy Pontianak vs Orang Minyak (Vampire vs Oil Man).
The film veers from boredom to giggles quite often. For example, just when you’re about to tidur (doze off), a character does or says something that’ll jolt you from your slumber.
However, one scene that’ll really knock you off your chair is the orang minyak wanting to rape a virgin in the forest.
Afdlin writes this as a joke, but I’m pretty sure no one will take this in jest, especially with even members of parliament promising to avoid using sexist language while debating.
Afdlin lets his imagination run wild with his portrayal of two spirits that have long made their mark in Malaysian society.
Other horror comedies, such as Seram Sejuk and Hantu Air, are just boring, but Afdlin adds a touch of asininity to his film that will make you smile.
So, viewers get to see pontianak practising their flying with the help of an air controller while there’s a motivational talk for orang minyak by a multi-level marketing man.
The two protagonists are Ponti (Nabil Raja Lawak) and Omi (Johan Raja Lawak).
The former is the only male pontianak in a traditionally female clan while the latter dons a black skintight outfit only after being rejected in marriage by an elderly divorcee.
Ponti is brought to meet Ratu (Sharifah Shahirah), the leader, and she instructs a vamp played by Sharifah Amani to teach him the ropes about being a vampire.
Ponti and Omi meet in the forest surrounding Kampung Puaka when they’re asked to show their newfound skills on humans.
Both target two virginal sisters (one of whom is played by Isma Hanum) who’ve just moved to the village with their mother, Saodah (Adibah Noor).
The village headman and main entrepreneur is Pak Rejab (Afdlin), who takes a shine to Saodah. Rejab speaks in an affected high-pitched voice.
Rejab’s rival is a man and his wife Ruminah (bosomy Lana Nordin). Afdlin isn’t shy about exploiting Lana’s assets as he gets the husband to stare at her low-cut blouse.
This and the rape comment reveal Afdlin’s true colours.
Nabil plays Ponti also in a high-pitched voice. One thing I’ve noticed about Malaysian actors is their tendency to shout at the top of their lungs. They must believe that this is the only way to get viewers’ attention.
Afdlin’s goal in this film to poke fun at Malaysians’ obsession with these two ghosts.
Unfortunately, while some jokes hit the target, most fall short of this richly talented comedian’s high standard.
2 out of 5
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