Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Blind Vengeance Week: THE BLIND WARRIOR (1987)

I guess enough folks in Indonesia went to see THE WARRIOR AND THE BLIND SWORDSMAN (aka SI BUTA LAWA JAKA SEMBUNG) that a take off on that take off was in order. So Rapi Films returned to the blind justice subgenre with...


THE BLIND WARRIOR (1987) aka NERAKA PERUT BUMI - Ruthless tyrant Raden Parna (which always sounds like characters are saying 'Rotten Panna') has enslaved a village and taken over their goldmine. To amuse himself, he has young ladies offered as sacrifices to his God represented by a huge statue with glowing red eyes. What folks don't know is this cad is actually just taking them to bed in a secret room under the statue with a pool filled with styrofoam pellets that look like Dippin' Dots. Enter Barta, blind warrior with monkey sidekick, who can't stand to see...er, hear these injustices going on. Barta saves virgin Sirimbi (Enny Beatrice) from some of Parna's helpers and soon an all out war is going on with Barta inspiring the villagers to rise up.

This Indonesian flick is pretty damn entertaining. The first hour is routine normal stuff as we see Barta save folks and Parna scold them. I'm really kind of scared of Barta's fish scale looking outfit, which looks like a costume in a cheap-o water monster movie flick. Is he Barta the Blind Warrior or Slithis? The last half hour is where the film really shines and pours on the insane. I say pours because there is tons of blood flowing thanks to spearings, beheadings, slashings, and exploding bodies. I swear, something like 50 or so of Parna's henchmen are killed. It is like the director is thanking you for sticking it through.

Check out his gory highlight someone put on Youtube for a small taste:


What is also really funny about THE BLIND WARRIOR is that the filmmakers have basically remade John Carpenter's BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA from the previous year. The end confrontation - a small group bands together to stop a wedding, complete with an identical huge statue - is just like Carpenter's film. Hilarious!

Naturally, one of the best things about the film is villain Raden Parna, played by Advent Bangun. Bangun was the blind man in THE WARRIOR AND THE BLIND SWORDSMAN so now he gets to feel what it is like on the other end of the stick. His biggest skill - outside of his smooth moves in the Dippin' Dots (see photo) - is apparently his sharp tongue as he is constantly admonishing his underlings. The English dubbing for him offers some real zingers. For example, this is how he bumps his gums after his men fail to catch Barta:

"Goddamn idiot! Are you telling me you can't even catch a blind man? Maybe I should have all of you blinded? Huh!?! You bunch of idiots!"

"Perhaps I should just pluck your eyes out of your stupid head? Because they are of no use to you, are they?"
Meeeeow, fiesty! The guy who dubs Barta is also the guy who normally goes Jimmy Wang Yu in movies so that is fun too.

My other favorite thing about the film is when the villagers do the cliché bit and ask Barta to stay and help. He refuses and says, "No, I've got things to do" and splits. Then they are all slaughtered! Even in the end, he only disposes of the big guy. Granted, it is in amazing fashion and he sticks his pole in Parna's mouth (get your mind out of the gutter!), breaks it through the back of his neck and then rips off his head clean off. Yet everyone else has to do the ground work when it comes to taking out underlings. I guess Barta only had enough in him for one devastating death? Classic!

Moments of Clarity:

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