Siluman Teluk Gonggo
Siluman Teluk Gonggo
Based on work by Bastian Tito
Directed by Lilik Sudjio
A giant martial arts fighting spider, a mad rapist with an evil parrot, a giant bird that has seen better days, and a bamboo flamethrower are just part of the fun of Siluman Teluk Gonggo. This fantasy martial arts adventure (since it is Indonesia, it is silat) is one of a series of films about pulp hero Wiro Sableng.
Wiro Sableng’s serialized martial arts adventures gained fame in Indonesia and turned the character into one of their most famous pulp heroes. The world of Wiro Sableng is best described as similar to the Jianghu “martial world” of wuxia fantasy, with different clans and martial sect that have different fighting techniques and local drama. Wiro spends much of his time wandering from area to area learning from the various masters and getting involved in local drama. Author Bastian Tito actually spent time traveling around Indonesia to the places Wiro was visiting, so he could write first-hand knowledge of the area. This also occasionally caused the stories to be delayed.
This is the sixth movie in the series starring Tony Hidayat as Wiro Sableng. This series is comprised of Empat Berewok Dari Goa Sanggreng, Dendam Orang-Orang Sakti, Neraka Lembah Tengkorak, Tiga Setan Darah Dan Cambuk Api Angin, Sepasang Iblis Betina, Siluman Teluk Gonggo, and Khianat Seorang Pendekar. There were two television series that portrayed the further adventures of Wiro Sableng, first starring Sukendro Herning (also known as Ken Ken) and then Abhie Cancer.
As you can imagine, there isn’t that much information in English. But I have determined the names of the two men who help Wiro Sableng are Lor Gambir Seta (K. Supranto) and Dewa Tuak (Piet Pagau), though I’m not sure which one is which.
But it’s not the actors that give our attention to Siluman Teluk Gonggo, it’s the monsters. Yes, there are Indonesian giant monsters! We get not only Wiro Sableng’s faithful giant bird companion, but a giant spider, a human-sized monkey creature, and some monster so large we only see it’s eyes and huge King Kong-sized hand. Exactly what it is, is a mystery to the ages. Or at least to people who don’t speak Indonesian, as they probably explain what it is.
Director Lilik Sudjio has a prolific career pumping out lots of Indonesian genre film that has gone barely noticed in the West for far too long. For every The Queen of Black Magic that gets a cool DVD release, there are a dozen Siluman Teluk Gonggos that sit around on vcds. Before his film work he was an actor, and then spent some time in film school in the US before returning to Indonesia and producing a lot of cool stuff. After 1990, he turned to directing television, as that was the way of the future as the film industry was collapsing.
Pulp hero Wiro Sableng has a tattoo that reads “212”, and carries around a variety of weapons. He has an ax that has a dragon-head hilt, and a throwing weapon used like a shuriken, in the film it has a sort of boomerang power and looks like a take on the weapon from Krull, but with just two blades.
The fighting choreography isn’t half bad, either. It’s not The Raid, but it isn’t The Bumbling, either. Though many of the actors are terrible at playing dead, they just casually drop to the floor like they’re going to sleep. The pacing and lack of subtitles (Here at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!) might drive some away, but stay for the last 20 minutes, that’s where the real fun and most of the monsters are.
At this point, Wiro Sableng is a young arrogant dude who spends most of his time laughing at the various local martial arts masters and getting drunk, often at the same time. There are a handful of characters who spend part of the film chasing after Wiro before the plot finally kicks in and Siro is going after the bad guys.
An evil witch doctor is hanging out in a spooky valley. A guy named Sonya comes to him for advice, what looks like a family man leaving his desperate family. But since this witch doctor is evil, soon Sonya is a student of the evil witch doctor, and has grown evil eyebrows! The evil witch doctor teaches him some evil stuff and gives him evil powers, and also gives Sonya an Evil Parrot. Then the witch doctor explodes!
Sonya takes his Evil Parrot and goes on a raping spree across the country. Anyone who stands in his way, Sonya rips their faces off! This is gruesome and dark, but luckily Wiro Sableng is…still goofing around. Finally he stumbles across the aftermath of some of the raping and murder.
Wiro Sableng begins tracking Sonya, who at this point is tracking down sifus to kill them off and kill their female disciples. Whom he then resurrects and rapes. A total one track mind. Eventually Sonya has a whole harem of resurrected slave women who do his bidding, which just means he sleeps with them.
Sonya kills a whole council discussing him, and then rapes a woman on the floor while her two children are sleeping right next to her. He then kidnaps one of the kids to toss over a cliff into the ocean! (The kid is magically transformed into an obvious plastic doll when we see it bobbing in the surf. Black magic!) I believe this was Sonya’s family, though the image is too dark to be 100% certain.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, Sonya is evil.
Finally, Wiro Sableng runs across some of Sonya’s goons as they are kidnapping more women. He gets on his Giant Flying Bird (whom I guess he has had for other installments in this series, but just comes out of nowhere for this entry) and chases them down. A scene where the hero was supposed to be leaping off the bird and into the fight just makes him look like he’s gliding around on a wire. This would have been awesome had the producers had any money. The actual fight choreography is pretty good for a cheap production.
Wiro is aided by a one-eyed guy in lavender as more villains teleport in. Wiro pokes these new guys and gals in tantric points that freeze them up. But one goon escapes with the kidnapped woman, who still gets taken back to the lair and raped.
Wiro and One-Eye are joined by Another Guy in white, and the three pick up some martial arts lessons from his master, a Fat Guy who smokes a pipe.
The three heroes (as Fat Guy was too busy smoking his pipe to help) reach a cave at the beach that is a back door entrance to Sonya’s lair.
Finally we get some paydirt as our heroes face…
A giant spider!
With glowy eyes!
That spits rockets!
And fights with martial arts! This Giant Spider totally kicks a dude!
Luckily one of the heroes has a bamboo stick that also shoots flame like a flamethrower and this Giant Spider is now roasted well done. Who wants some Giant Spider burgers? Yummy!
The Heroes then battle a giant monster, who we only see as giant movie eyes and a single giant hand. The Giant is defeated by Wiro’s flying blade weapon.
Next up are some rock creatures that look like monkeys, so Stone Monkeys it is! These rubber suits gets stomped as will.
The battle against Sonya begins. Remember that bamboo stick that shoots flame? Well, now it shoots green liquid. Which is acid! And Sonya becomes a deformed mess! Wiro stabs him with an axe, and he explodes. Then the toss Evil Parrot into the fire and free all the women and slaves (by slapping them awake!) and the day is saved.
Wiro flies away on his Giant Bird to his next adventure.
Rated 5/10 (townsperson, skeleton, skeleton, skull power, spider eyes)
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