Nyi Ageng Ratu Pemikat is an odd film. Odd not just because it is an Indonesian action fantasy directed by Sundel Bolong’s Sisworo Gautama Putra and starring Suzzanna and Barry Prima, which are characteristically odd, but also odd in contrast to the expectations that such films typically raise. The best I can put it is that, for a large part of its running time, Nyi Ageng Ratu Pemikat is like a steamy plantation romance with all of the sex taken out. Its most erotic moment sees Suzzanna felating her own finger, followed by a shot of two frogs fucking.
Such pairings usually featured Prima as the righteous muscle farmer pitted against one of Suzzanna’s patented wild eyed devil women. In Nyi Ageng Ratu Pemikat, however, we get the rare treat of seeing both cast as protagonists, a pair of star-crossed lovers who come up against obstacles both worldly and otherworldly in their quest to be together.
Nyi Ageng Serang -- though, if it is, I feel comfortable in saying that it is very loosely based on same. In any case, the first act sees Suzzanna’s 19th century heroine, as we are so accustomed, repeatedly subjected to the worst depredations of men. In most Suzzanna films, this would be balanced out by her becoming some kind of blood thirsty vengeance demon in the second half, but in Nyi Ageng Ratu Pemikat, well… perhaps I should just continue with the summary.
Nyi Ageng Ratu Pemikat is one of those films about which there appears to be a lot of information on the internet, until you find that each site simply re-pastes its meager Indonesian Wikipedia entry. What I did learn from that entry is that Nyi Ageng Ratu Pemikat was Indonesia’s third highest grossing film of 1985. Despite arousing suspicion that the author of that entry suffered some confusion around the movie’s actual release date, I can totally understand it being that popular. I admit to being baffled by Nyi Ageng Ratu Pemikat at first, but, by the end, I was so on board with it that no amount of counter-hexing could break its spell. Score one more for Indonesia.