Jakarta (1988) from Brainscan

Jakarta is a type 2 undead movie. Undead movies are categorized as follows:

Type 1 undead movies:

1) They involve vampires and mummies and zombies and ghouls... the kinds of things that lived, died and managed to make it back from the other side, usually to kill and sometimes to eat those of us still on this side.

2) All but the originals suck... big time (Uncle Scoopy's First Law of the Undead).

Type 2 undead movies:

1) They deal with people who are supposed to be dead but aren't.

2) See number 2, above.

Jakarta is about a CIA guy in Indonesia who falls for a native lass, played by an American of Chinese extraction, former Penthouse Pet, Suzee Pai. miss Jan '81. (For Asians in Hollywood, one size fits all.) She dies... not. CIA guy falls apart, goes home, gets kidnapped and winds up back in Jakarta, where he spies.... Suzee, his late but not so late beloved!

And all is right with the world, the movie ends at 42 minute mark in a climax of pure happiness, bordering on joy.

If only.

Instead the movie drags along before it sinks under the weight of its own deadly seriousness and complete mindlessness. One-half turgid, the other half vapid, the movie looks to Suzee Pai for rescue. Remember, this babe was a Penthouse Pet. Okay, not from the days when they micturated on camera and stuck all sorts of appliances in places better filled with other, more natural objects. But still she got seriously nekkid in front of a camera. A couple of scenes with her doing likewise in the movie would have gone a long way to improving my mood.

But no.

One sport humping scene behind a mosquito net produced two or three frames of her bum and an equal number of one mini-hootie. A second sport humping scene in a garden, sitting up, partially clothed, one mini-boob visible for five frames. That's it.

Or should I say, "That's it?!!"

And get this: so far as I can tell it was Suzee's only exposure before a moving camera. Gal was pretty, made about a movie a year for five or six years but was replaced by another Asian woman in generically Asian roles after 1988. Jakarta was her one starring role... and she coulda been a contender, an Asian Shannon Tweed, but it was not what she wanted. Que lastima.


see the main commentary

VHS info from Amazon

no DVD available

Scoop's notes:

1. The director, Charles Kaufman, is not the brilliant, inventive author of Eternal Sunshine. This particular Charles Kaufman is the brother of Lloyd Kaufman, well known schlockmeister, and the fun-loving president of Troma Films.

2. The male star of this film is the guy who plays Mr Big on Sex and the City

The Critics Vote ...

  • A few minor reviewers are linked at IMDb.

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics, possibly even less, depending on just how low the rating is.

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