Reviews

Temptation of the Demon Woman (1978)

Let’s talk desserts. Pie, cheesecake, cookies, brownies, that ice cream cake you bake in the oven but somehow doesn’t melt. I don’t know what sorcery that is, but I know I like it. Everyone likes desserts. Everyone, that is, except for my mother. Growing up, my mom gave me fruit after dinner. Obviously, I had an abusive childhood. All of this to say that sometimes what you want for dessert is something simple. Like a sweet, juicy baby.

Karta is pregnant. Her dutiful husband Bam is a modest farmer, tending his crops. But soon there’s a demon loose in the village. She’s got long teeth and even longer claws, and her shaggy mane could use a little styling. What does this wicked servant of Satan want? Why the delectable treat that’s inside Karta’s belly, of course.

The demon changes into a bewitching lady. She beguiles Bam with her feminine wiles and with a little nod, turns his shack into a manse. He marvels at the velvet green couch. I, too, marvel at the velvet green couch. Bam blinks and rubs his eyes. “I inherited magic from my brother,” she explains. No big deal. I can say without a doubt that I will inherit absolutely nothing from my brother.

Soon there are eyes watching from the trees—literal eyeballs on a branch reporting on Bam and Karta’s whereabouts. Snakes flood the yard and a simple breakfast of noodles and rice turn into worms and maggots. Karta almost pukes many, many, many times. You almost want her to puke just so she feels better. Bam goes under the demon woman’s spell and is suddenly transported into a disco where people are line-dancing under colored lights and getting lit. I do not understand line dancing—the Tush Push, Tango with the Sheriff, Boot Scootin’ Boogie, Hoedown Showdown. Sure, dance while no one is watching but just know that definitely no one will be watching that.

With Bam under the spell of evil, Karta must save her husband. She meets a shaman with a nasty, pus-leaking, maggot-infested leg wound and she is forced to kiss it. Remember that fairy tale about that princess who has to kiss a frog? Well, that doesn’t seem so bad now. Soon the shaman goes head to head with the demon and gets slapped around. There’s an adorable goat with bangs, a calico cat who just wants a warm lap, and cobras and mongoose that battle to the death. 

Temptation of the Demon Woman is a head-spinning ride filled with twists and turns and rapid-fire editing. Scenes pummel you in succession, and while they don’t always make sense, the energy and excitement is always there. There’s fantastic make-up effects, glowing eyes, and heads that get replaced. People get drugged and get horny and pretty much everyone gets slapped around, including a child. It’s a slap-happy family affair and every minute is sweet. While a middle section does get bogged down, the last twenty minutes rip through your psyche.

Once again, Indonesia delivers a dessert that fills our twisted little bellies with joy. Films like Mystics in Bali, Lady Terminator, Special Silencers, Srigala (aka the Indonesian rip-off of Friday the 13th), and Satan’s Bed (aka the Indonesian rip-off of A Nightmare on Elm Street) have introduced us to an endlessly fulfilling world of DIY effects, nonstop action, and people vomiting. Now we can add Temptation of the Demon Woman onto the table to feed our souls.

“The evil spirit is always hungry!”

I’ll take another serving, please.

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