The international version (US DVD by Mondo Macarbo) was compared to the Indonesian version (Malaysian VCD by Music Valley).
Cathy from Australia comes to Bali as a tourist to research a book about black magic. At a party, she meets the open-minded Mahendra, with whom she falls in love after a short time. Mahendra shows her the cultural treasures of Bali before he tells her about the black arts, called Leák. Cathy is interested and Mahendra makes contact with a witch who is well versed in black magic. Cathy gets more and more into the clutches of the witch, unaware that she is only used in the shape of a flying head, on which the intestines hang, to suck out the unborn children of pregnant women. Mahendra recognizes the danger and tries to fight the witch together with his uncle.
Mystics In Bali is the first Indonesian film production intended for a western audience. But what the producers regarded as an adaptation to the western market does not correspond with what one would necessarily have expected. The films mostly pack Indonesian folklore into a wild story with even wilder special effects. In the Terminator rip-off Lady Terminator, the Indonesian legend of the Queen of the Southern Sea - a mix between The Snake Queen and the legend of Nyi Blorong to be precise - has been included, while in Mystics In Bali, a demon figure common in Southeast Asia is included, which in the form of a woman's head with her intestines hanging from it, follows her vampire inclination by drinking the blood of humans and animals. In Thailand, the demon bears the name Krasue, in Cambodia Ahp and in Indonesia Leyak.
The leading actress in the film is the German Ilona Agathe Bastian, who only wanted to go on holiday in Bali, but was persuaded by the producers to take over the role in the film. It remained her only, but memorable film appearance as Cathy, whose interest in the black arts led her to a witch who presents us with a collection of special effects. Hands are cut off, people turn into pigs, fireballs fight each other and finally Cathy flies around as a Leyak. Those who aren't necessarily more familiar with Indonesian folklore, which certainly applies to a large part of the western audience, might find many of the events in the film bizarre. Yet, it's the many bizarre moments that make the movie so appealing. Mystics In Bali is a good introduction to the Indonesian exploitation cinema.
There are two different versions of the film. One is the original Indonesian version and the other is the international version, which has been heavily shortened for the export market. In order to make the 111 minutes long original version a bit faster, many scenes were removed. Thus, the opening scene of the film in which Cathy and Mahendra get to know each other at a party is missing. After the witch's first visit, the original version contains a new story in which Cathy and Mahendra talk and get the bottles of blood that were demanded by the witch before they visit her a second time. In the export version, the two visits were cut together. After Mahendra has received the dagger, he talks to Cathy. For the international version, however, a scene was used that comes later in the original version. This explains a film mistake in the international version in which Cathy's clothes suddenly change.
For a long time, the VHS from Japan, published by Sony in the EXC!T!ING series, was the only way to see the film. It included the international version, which was later released in England on DVD by Mondo Macabro. Years later, Mondo Macabro released a restored version on DVD with improved picture quality in the US. The only known release of the Indonesian version can be found on the Malaysian VCD by Music Valley. Since Malaysia is strongly influenced by Islamism, this release is unfortunately not quite uncensored. Completely harmless scenes in which Cathy and Mahendra kiss briefly had to be cut from the film probably due to censorship requirements. To make matters worse, the film was mercilessly zoomed to 1.33:1 using Pan&Scan. The image comparison further below illustrates the immense loss of image information at the left and right edge. An English dubbing exists only for the export version of the film, therefore only the Indonesian language version is available on the VCD.
If you want to see the film, the best thing is to use the US DVD from Mondo Macabro, despite the cuts. The DVD is in the right picture format, has the English sound and is still available via retail. The VCD on the other hand is not so easy to get, in the wrong picture format and you should be able to speak Indonesian to follow the plot. Due to the more compact editing, the film is also much faster. Due to the shortening, the plot even seems a bit wilder, which increases the entertainment value.
International version: 85:52 min.
In the original version, Mahendra talks to a man at first. The two go to Cathy and Mahendra is introduced there by the man. The man is called by a woman. Mahendra and Cathy are talking. The man comes back and talks to Mahendra.
OV: 2:41 min.
Alternative title displays. The picture freezes in the original version.
After the opening credits, you see Mahendra and Cathy earlier. They're talking to each other.
OV: 11 sec.
The walk of Mahendra and Cathy is much longer. As they talk, they pass a temple with dancers.
OV: 2:10 min.
There is a fade from the statue to the next scene. Mahendra and Cathy marvel at the traditional dances. The international version only starts when the dancer in white comes down the steps.
OV: 1:07 min.
In the international version, a part of the dance performance is missing. Mahendra comments on the performance.
OV: 1:04 min.
Missing part in the original version: The dragon runs off the stage.
Int: 9 sec.
The OV is missing how Mahendra and Cathy kiss.
Int: 2 sec.
The original version shows a montage in which Mahendra and Cathy have a good time together. They visit a temple complex and go to the beach by motorbike. This is accompanied by a greasy love song.
Afterwards, there are some shots in which they ride to the island with the speed boat.
OV: 2:41 min.
Mahendra and Cathy walk along the path longer.
OV: 6 sec.
Another shot of Mahendra and Cathy can be seen. After that, Mahendra goes to a shrine.
OV: 33 sec.
Mahendra and Cathy talk for a longer time in their room. Cathy then sits down in front of the mirror.
Afterwards, you can see them driving to the ceremony by car.
OV: 2:26 min.
Mahendra and Cathy talk longer after Cathy said it was like a cemetery here.
OV: 45 sec.
After the visit of the witch, a new scene follows in the original version. Mahendra and Cathy are talking in a restaurant. Afterwards, they walk through the town and pick up a box with the things the witch wants. The next shot shows them walking through the jungle at night and zooms away from them.
In the international version, the shot in which they walk through the jungle begins earlier without zoom.
Int: 3 sec.
OV: 1:09 min.
After the second visit to the witch, Mahendra and Cathy chat on the beach. They walk back to the hut.
Mahendra runs to his car and gets something out of the trunk.
OV: 2:22 min.
Mahendra and Cathy go into the room. She gives him the cloth with the drawings.
OV: 43 sec.
Mahendra and Cathy have a drink on the veranda before she has to go to her session with the witch. Mahendra makes a joke and is playfully sent away by Cathy.
OV: 57 sec.
After the meeting with the witch, Cathy is seen in front of the mirror. She has stains on her neck, which she powder-coats and covers with a scarf.
Mahendra's bringing the car around. He notices Cathy wearing a scarf. She shows him the marks.
The international version only begins when the two go for a walk.
OV: 1:52 min.
After the prayer, the original version has more dialogue between Mahendra and his uncle.
OV: 1:00 min.
There is also more dialogue at the end of the scene. The uncle then stands up, lights something in a bowl and carries it to an altar.
The international version sets in as he sits down before the altar.
OV: 1:09 min.
After Mahendra received the dagger, the international version shifted the scenes slightly.
The international version shows here how he talks to Cathy. In the original version this is at [01:08:32].
No time difference.
After Mahendra has received the dagger, you can see him sleeping and his alarm clock ringing. He hurries out of the house.
OV: 19 sec.
Mahendra and Cathy talk for a longer time.
OV: 40 sec.
In the international version, another meeting with the witch follows immediately after the leak sequence. In the Indonesian version, this was already shown at [00:58:16].
No time difference.
In the international version, Cathy and the witch can be seen a little earlier.
Int: 3 sec.
The Indonesian version is missing a few shots of Cathy and Mahendra kissing.
Int: 8 sec.
Cathy vomits a little more.
Int: 1 sec.
After the witch has won her battle, the original version shows a dialogue scene between Cathy and Mahendra.
OV: 1:40 min.
After Mahendra receives the receipt, he talks to Cathy. In the international version, the sequence of some shots has been changed.
OV: 41 sec.
The scene with Cathy follows in the original version at [01:19:08].
No time difference.
The scene with Cathy starts earlier in the original version. Cathy is currently working on her book. Mahendra visits her. The two talk.
OV: 1:37 min.
The international version ends with a thank you and the sponsors before "The End" is shown.
In the original version, Mahendra can be seen sitting in front of a temple while praying. Then "The End" is shown.
Int: 27 sec.
OV: 59 sec.