Although “Air Terjun Pengantin” (“Bride Waterfall”) falls into the slasher genre, where blood and gore replaces the need for a strong storyline, Rizal Mantovani’s film comes with a bonus: a drool-inducing exhibition of voluptuous ladies in skimpy outfits.
The movie begins when Tiara (Tamara Blezynski), her boyfriend, her niece Mandy and her friends go on vacation to Pulau Pengantin (Pengantin Island), a beautiful, secluded and uninhabited island — or so they think.
Apparently, the island has a dark history. The story goes that a man wanted to marry a woman in the village, but was denied his love when the citizens found out that he was a dukun (shaman). The marriage was canceled and the angry villagers burned his face before ostracizing him. Seeking vengeance, he sadistically murdered the whole village.
Since then, the vindictive psychopath has been the desolate island’s sole inhabitant. So when Tiara and her friends alight from the boat, little do they know that an unhinged killing machine is about to make their expedition a lot more interesting.
At its core, “Air Terjun Pengantin” is a slasher film. Consequently, brutal deaths and sharp-edged murder weapons are an essential element of the movie.
Some of the more memorable sadism includes a broken bottle being stabbed into a person’s eye, a fishing spear being thrown at a man’s forehead, and a spike being run through the back of someone’s head, popping an eyeball from its socket.
Although these scenes may sound scary, they don’t appear very convincing, as the special effects fail to give any real credibility to this grisly movie.
The slashing seems unrealistic, the flayed wounds look dry and unconvincing, and for a movie that is supposedly a bloodbath, this 80-minute thriller just doesn’t show enough red liquid.
In a recent interview, Rizal Mantovani, who also directed the “Kuntilanak” (“Female Ghost Dressed in White”) horror trilogy, said he wanted the movie to take its cue from Hollywood’s “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Scream” and “Halloween.”
These movies rely heavily on shock-and-surprise scenes, where the antagonist appears out of nowhere, bone-chilling music plays loudly and the villain swiftly takes the victim’s life.
Another crucial factor for this kind of movie is the main antagonist, the slasher himself. This film’s long-haired killer wears a skull-shaped mask, a batik headband and exotic necklaces around his neck. His outer appearance is quite disturbing, which helps to paint the scene for his role as a ruthless killer.
But his characterization has limitations. His gestures aren’t quirky and sinister enough to indicate that he is an inhuman murderer, he doesn’t possess a sense of mysteriousness and there are times where he’s portrayed as a bit weak for someone who has apparently obliterated a whole village.
Those who come to the movie expecting a parade of gore should prepare to be disappointed.
But this movie presents something that will definitely wow the audience, especially those after some eye candy. Epitomizing the sexually suggestive esek-esek genre, the movie contains a number of titillating scenes.
The movie opens with Tiara lying temptingly on a bed, as if posing for a male magazine photo shoot, wearing raunchy black-and-pink lingerie, showcasing her breasts and well-toned body.
Other scenes include a video-clip beach scene where the oiled-up girls play around and pose daringly in their bikinis, and a three girl shower scene hovers between body soap commercial and steamy half-nudity.
Revealing as much cleavage as possible seemed to be the costume artist’s main assignment for the movie.
“Air Terjun Pengantin” also contains a number of kissing scenes, which is rare for an Indonesian film.
This movie is, after all, produced by Maxima Pictures, the production house that stole the media limelight earlier this year with their failed plan to make a movie with Asian porn queen Maria Ozawa.
A combination of unrealistic gore and testosterone-friendly female characters perhaps provides the reason why “Air Terjun Pengantin” is only being screened at selected cinemas.
Air Terjun Pengantin
Directed by Rizal Mantovani
Starring Tamara Blezynski, Marcel Chandrawinata, Tyas Mirasih, Kieran Sidhu and Jenny Cortez