If you've seen Mondo Macabro's interview with Barry Prima, you know that he doesn't look too kindly upon those exploitation films that made him one of Indonesia's biggest stars during the 80s, nor does he hold in high esteem anyone who would seek such movies out. Well, guess what, Barry? I'm going to continue watching your shitty old movies, because they're awesome and you're a god. So screw you -- er, in the most respectful and heterosexual way possible, that is.
review of it over at The Horror!? if you want to get up to speed. As for this entry, it's helmed by H. Djut Djalil, who also directed Mystics in Bali, Lady Terminator and Dangerous Seductress, which bodes very well for Bajing Ireng dan Jaka Sembung indeed.
Despite what you might think, though, it turns our that Jaka Sembung's services might not be needed, because this town already has a righteous freedom fighter of its own. That would be Bajing Ireng (Zurmaini), who is a humble peasant woman by day and, by night, an ass-kicking lady ninja who steals the wealth of the white occupiers for distribution among the poor townsfolk. Of course, since no one can imagine that anyone else could be as awesome as Jaka Sembung, the powers that be assume that he is responsible for these crimes, and so begin a reign of terror against the inhabitants of the town in order to shake him out. This indeed brings our hero out of hiding, and also into an alliance with Bajing Ireng, which makes for some pretty spectacular scenes of the Dutch forces being gorily dispatched by their combined fu.
And when this moment comes, it is indeed an occasion for much whooping and hollering. Bajing Ireng shows up with an army of rebellious townsfolk in tow, most of them women, and, after a chaotic, drawn out battle involving all hands, her and Barry take part in parallel fights in which each goes one-on-one against one of the big bads. In Barry's case, it's a crippled mystic who fights only with his hands while sitting in a lotus position. This may not, in fact, sound like a very involving match-up, but it's to Bajing Ireng dan Jaka Sembung's credit -- or perhaps my own willingness to buy into the crazy universe that it presents -- that it ends up being pretty kinetic and exciting. For Zurmaini's part, she pairs off against an evil sorceress, delivering the film's standout OMG moment when, in a final burst of rage, she grabs her opponent and quite literally tears her fucking face off.
*I had originally thought that Prima only starred in the initial trilogy of Jaka Sembung films, but Jack J. from En lejemorder ser tilbage set me straight: There were two further Jaka Sembung films made in the 90s in which he also starred.