Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Ratu Ilmu Hitam aka The Queen of Black Magic (1981, Liliek Sudjio)


Suzzanna gives a chilling, multi-layered and effective performance in The Queen of Black Magic, aka Ratu Ilmu Hitam, an early 1980s Indonesian horror movie that is quite gory and very entertaining. Murni was just an innocent woman accused of witchcraft by the local villagers. Wronged by a man who lied to her about marriage, and completely innocent, she is thrown off a cliff. Yet a local shaman rescues her, and trains her for revenge!

The locals already think Murni is a witch, and thus she decides to become one. Striking back at the villagers in so many different ways, she becomes a force of terror, a nightmare to the locals. One kill I particularly remember is her using a scarf to hang a man from a tree. Plus causing a man to tear his own head off, and have the head fly around, which is crazy and a tad freaky.

However a local holy man appears and throws a wrench into Murni’s master’s plans. Even though the finale is a bit too long and isn’t completely satisfying, I still really like this movie. The Queen of Black Magic is the second Indonesian horror movie I have seen, and both of them stand out in my mind really well. Sometimes it’s nice to venture out and watch a foreign horror movie, especially since many of them are often better than American or European ones.

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