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Mystics in Bali [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Original recording remastered, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Mondo Macabre
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Oct 2007
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000VNMS6K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,681 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Very strange and very low budget! 30 Jun 2013
By Bogart
Verified Purchase
A strange Balinese film about black magic. The plot revolves around a young couple who seek knowledge of the dark arts, in order to "write a book". Well no book writing takes place here, instead the girl becomes under the spell of the Balinese witch woman who uses her head (detached from her body!) to wreak vengeance on a few enemies and for their blood to make her young! Some great atmosphere and lighting especially during the first half hour and then the finale. What lets the film down is that there is not enough of this outlandish action promised during the opening and first half hour, not enough "head" action if you like. There is a lull in the middle before a satisfying showdown between the witch woman and a "white magician". Its quite silly and has some fantastic visuals, and also some downright shoddy effects although the head when flying looks okay and there is a couple of awesome moments with the witches tongue (its very, very long and likes to drink blood out of milk bottles!. I would recommend this film as its fun and has a nice transfer, its also English dubbed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Totally bizarre 7 Sep 2007
By A. Griffiths - Published on
If you have any interest in extreme cinema, you really have to seek this out. The UK Mondo Macarbro DVD seems to have disappeared without a trace, so thank goodness that this re-issue has surfaced with a better print, although it apparently leaves off a short documentary extra that the Region 2 disc had. But if you do see "Mystics in Bali" at all, you'll be in for a bizarre treat.

An American tourist named Cathy decides to investigate the art of black magic known as "leyak", and she gets her Balinese boyfriend to introduce her to a powerful leyak witch, in the hope of becoming an apprentice. The witch takes Cathy on, and over the course of a few nights teaches her some weird and wonderful magic, but unfortunately for Cathy, the price for such knowledge is becoming a slave to the witch's lust for fresh blood...What follows is one of the oddest spectacles you are ever likely to see in horror cinema. The witch controls Cathy by casting magic on her that causes Cathy's head to lift from her shoulders, pulling her spinal cord and internal organs out along with it! The whole head then flies off in search of blood, and in it's first hunt, succeeds in sucking an unborn baby out from a woman in labour, feeding on it from between her legs. The impact of seeing this on screen is hard to put into words. Despite some pretty low budget effects, the fact that such a thing is represented on screen at all is pretty fantastic.

Now this is probably down to the relatively low exposure of us westerners to obscure ethnic world mythology, as I have read that the main device in the film (a floating, blood-sucking head) is a staple of supernatural folklore in Indonesia. There is a previous film about it from the late 1970's called "Witch With Flying Head", although this does not seem to exist anywhere in English. I have seen it, and the spectacle of the head is just as impressive, plus it gets a lot more screen time, although the film was made in Hong Kong and sets the action in a more fantastical period setting, so such things seem easier to accept among the general mythical atmosphere. But with a western heroine and the modern setting that we have here (it's set in the contemporary 1980's and Cathy and her boyfriend wear t-shirts and swimming clothes), it's pretty startling.

The impact of the film certainly does not come from any technical or artistic excellence, that's for sure. The dubbing is atrocious, and I suspect the English dub was made up based on what the foreign language team felt needed to be made clear in the script at any time. Even so, it's still hard to keep track of the action. There's no sense of pacing at all. Events just pile into each other like a car crash. Scenes switch from one day (or night) to the next without any warning. Sometimes the only way you are supposed to know that time has passed is by checking what the characters are wearing. Neither of the two leads can act (Cathy is wooden and catatonic most of the time, although this does allow her to play an effective evil flying head), however the actress playing the leyak witch throws herself into the part with enthusiasm. Actually, the film certainly manages to build up a mood of hysteria, with a great soundtrack that shakes and rattles at you throughout the many scenes of supernatural mayhem, and underscores each moment of Cathy's head splitting from her body with a ominous drone. There are lots of other effects in the film, including flying fireballs, lightning shooting from fingers and transformations of people into pigs and snakes, and they all rattle off the screen at an alarming rate, leaving you hardly able to take in what you have just seen before the scene changes to something else.

In any other film this disregard for basic cinematic ettiquette would have rendered the final result unwatchable, but with it's the whole flying head thing , "Mystics in Bali" is just too memorably freaky to be ignored or forgotten.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Charles Justus Garard - Published on
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Here is an interesting film that seems to defy being categorized.

It is called an Asian horror film because it takes place in Indonesia, but it is not one of those horror films like THE GRUDGE (I, II and III), THE RING, or THE EYE that have some believable sequences filmed with imagination and-- dare I say it?-- originality. Despite its location, it is not really just another Asian horror film. This one is about a Leyak, a creature in Indonesia and Mayalsia that is able to separate its head and entrails from the rest of its body and go after people. Like the Kuntilanak (shown in the far-better films called KUNTILANAK and KUNTILANAK II), the Leyak is a creature that intelligent people from, or living in, the above-mentioned countries actually believe to be real. Supposedly, these creatures have been seen by credible witnesses. These things, like the Queen of the South Seas (shown in an awful film from Indonesia called LADY TERMINATOR), are not mythological beings like vampires and werewolves that come originally from Europe and are not, as far as I know, witnessed in everyday life.

The acting in MYSTICS IN BALI, unlike in the film KUNTILANAK II, is so bad -- or badly dubbed into English -- that it is hardly worth mentioning, even though I just have. The German non-actress in the lead, supposedly recruited by the Indonesian filmmakers from a beach in Bali, doesn't even try to act. She just spouts her lines as if she were rehearsing a high school play. Apparently, verisimilitude is not a requirement for these films. When the girl's head, and trailing entrails, finally leave her body, no acting is required. Nor, apparently, are semi-believable special effects. Her image changes color and texture just before the separation is made, so we can tell what is going to happen. It is not shocking, as the Amazon reviewer claims, or frightening. It is just different from other horror films. More subtle means might have been employed to suggest this separation of her body and entrails from the torso, the way the mothman being is subtly shown in far, far superior THE MOTHMAN PROPHESIES.

Check out this film if you are merely curious enough to see something different from other creature films that you have seen. Better yet, read about these creatures and talk to some people from Indonesia and Malaysia before speculating on whether or not these might exist in the real world. Remember the famous line which Hamlet speaks to Horatio at the beginning of the classic Shakespeare drama and decide for yourself.

If you cannot decide, don't be dismayed. I still cannot.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Artistically Bizarre and Beautiful 27 Nov 2009
By R.K. - Published on
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Treat yourself to an artistically Bizarre and Beautiful movie with an exceptional music score. Truly amazing!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yawza! This is some crazy stuff! 3 Feb 2008
By JEFFREY PARK - Published on
This is some crazy, insane stuff! You must see it to believe it! I highly recommend this bizarre piece of Asian Cinema! The film is beautifully taken from a Hi-Def source, what more can you ask for?
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MYSTICS IN BALI 29 Nov 2010
By Critique - Published on
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The acting and the plot was good, but the voice dubbing took all of the scariness and suspense out of the movie. I gave it three stars because over all its a descent movie, if you want to see a better movie about the dark arts you should watch the serpent and the rainbow, or black magic. Those movies have good acting and no cheesiness.
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