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September 2007

September 2007 -- Pirates

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  • Behind the Art:
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  • Fiction: The Broadsheet
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  • Movie: Zombi Kampung Pisang


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  • Zombi Kampung Pisang
    Movie Review
    by Georgette Tan

    When the village muezzin collapses in front of the local troublemakers, they feel duty-bound to deliver him home to his daughters - Maimun (Ezlynn) and Munah (Nadia Mustafar). Pak Abu is pronounced dead by the kampung's medical assistant Sofi (Shoffi Jikan). While paying his respects, the village headsman also falls over dead.

    The bodies disappear from the house as Hussin (Awie) and gang try to decide their next move. They summon the villagers to the town hall to let them know what has happened. While trading rumors, more of them drop dead.

    After much discussion, they narrow down what all these people had in common - they all ate at Pak Menawer food stall earlier that day. Oh, and the bodies all disappear from the hall as well.

    There is nothing left to do but to go summon help. Mat Karan (AC Mizal) and Deris (Que Haidar) are the first to run into the zombies. Comedy ensues.

    Hussin and Maimun make the hike to a public phone some distance away, only to find what most of us find at public phones - that it has been vandalized beyond use. Hussin takes this moment to break the fourth wall and speak to the audience about not vandalizing public property.

    Shortly after, a bunch of zombies chase them back to the village and the zombie siege begins. It's up to a bunch of losers to save Kampung Pisang.

    The key to enjoying Zombi Kampung Pisang (Zombies of Banana Village) is not to take it seriously, because the movie doesn't take itself seriously. It pokes fun at everything - national icons, patriotism, kampung stereotypes, pop culture, current issues and the genre itself.

    This is one of those movies where nobody really gets hurt (if you don't count the brainless bodies littering the road at one point) no matter how much parang-wielding happens. Terrified people run in circles around a room, screaming with hands in the air while other characters stare after them with "What is wrong with you?" expressions on their faces.

    It's a movie where zombification (pengzombian) means your hair will erupt in messy glory straight through your present headgear, your clothes become tattered, and your skin looked as though you were in an accident at the corn flour factory.

    In one scene, the zombie king solemnly imparts words of wisdom to his subjects, including "Jangan merokok. Merokok merosakkan kesihatan."

    And yes, they do drag themselves through a destroyed pekan, moaning "Otak otak otak", while the zombie rempits pop a wheelie on the road!

    The coolest character is a chubby kid who only has a few minutes of screen time. The rest of the time, we assume he's holed up at home playing his favourite violent video game. Who says you never learn anything from video games?

    I think the cast and crew had so much fun making this film that they forgot to tie up a couple of loose ends. Otherwise, it's more fun than I expected to have watching a Malay movie. Just leave your brain at the door. There's a few zombies out there who'll love you for it.

    Genre: Comedy
    Director: Mamat Khalid
    Language: Malay
    Cast: Awie, AC Mizal, Shoffi Jikan, Que Haidar, Ezlynn, Nadia Mustafar.



    Georgette Tan writes for a Malaysian newspaper. She is fond of movies, long walks on the beach and clichés.
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