Taking a break from his poorly received Spanish-produced Fear Factory films, Yuzna headed out to his native neighbor, Indonesia, to make two movies for local consumption. The second one, AMPHIBIOUS (2009), was co-written by S.P. Somtow, shot in 3D (which immediately makes it more watchable than the mega-buck fake 3D crap) and in spite of its tiny budget and risible premise (a giant scorpion is attacking a fishing platform run by child-slave labor), turned out to be better than your average Asylum or SyFy outing. Though it did get a run on the SyFy network where viewers seemed to be upset that it was a low-budget movie with a not-true-to-life monster. Uhhhh... yeah. And this is different from the rest of the SyFy line-up, how?
|Ah, the old "scary cellphone light" trick.|
The first tale is SHOW UNIT, an SOV in black and white with color accents (for no reason whatsoever) and tells a tale of a guy who accidentally stabs his stepdaughter. Instead of calling an ambulance, he decides to stab her father who comes looking for her. When a neighbor tries to blackmail him, this jackass tries to make it look like a kidnapping attempt, but the wife finds the girl's body in the house. The end. Yeah, spoilers, sorry. Why is is called SHOW UNIT? Because the last scene is of the neighbor's wife (who is a real estate agent) trying to sell the house. Uhhh... yeah. Irritating and amateurish, SHOW UNIT gets this collection out on the wrong side of the bed.
Normally I cringe at directors with cheesy DJ nicknames, but here "The Mo Brothers" (Kimo Stamboel and Timothy Tjahjanto) pull off one of the best short films I've seen in ages, titled DARA. A beautiful chef, Dara (Shareefa Daanish), feeds unwitting male suitors at her restaurant and invites them back to her home where they find out exactly what makes her food so good. No spoilers for this one, though you find out her secret right away, the filmmakers do a superb job in the telling. From cinematography to sets, these guys know exactly what they want from every scene. Daanish completely steals this film with a wonderfully creepy china-doll performance that puts similar efforts to shame. So good is she, in fact, that the Mo Brother's first feature film is the 2009 remake of sorts titled RUMAH DARA (DARA'S HOME aka MACABRE on the international market). This 26 minute short has been playing festivals, so if you have a chance to see it, don't even worry about the other shorts in TAKUT. This is a must see and showcasing it is probably the entire reason TAKUT was put together in the first place.