‘Pontianak’ rakes in ‘RM2m in first two weeks


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 02 Jun 2004

PETALING JAYA: The bloodthirsty she-vampire, pontianak, who has frightened Malaysians for generations through village folklore, books, movies and even a hit song by the late Ahmad Daud, is hovering again in the dark.  

For the past two weeks, the spooky spirit, who takes the form of a beautiful maid when she is out looking for victims, has been making the rounds of major cineplexes in the country and is set to also take Thailand by storm through the latest offering by acclaimed director Shuhaimi Baba. 

Her masterpiece, Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam (Fragrant Night Vamp) surpassed the RM2mil mark in box-office collection in just two weeks of screening.  

The sold out tickets and the long queues of cinemagoers reflect the overwhelming response of fans from all walks of life. 

CROWD PULLER: Crowds queuing up to watch 'Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam' at Tanjung Golden Village in One Utama in Petaling Jaya.

This was achieved despite the blockbusters from Hollywood – Shrek2 and Harry Potter 3 – also making their way into local cinemas. 

“I am thankful the movie has made it as we had done a through research on the subject. There were a lot of positive feedback and I was told that most of the cinemas were full and some even have to turn away the audience.  

“What’s inspiring is that a new audience of mixed races is coming to see my movie,” she added. 

Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam has already started to make waves outside Malaysia. It has been invited to take part in three film festivals this year – the Asian Pacific Film Festival, the Spanish Fantasy Festival and another one scheduled to be held in Rome. 

Come July, the horror thriller will be released simultaneously in 25 cinemas in Thailand, including 10 in Bangkok alone. 

Production company Pesona Pictures is in the midst of finalising the contract with Sun Master, the Thai distributor for the film. Sun Master would be arranging the dubbing in Thai. 

This is the first time a Malaysian movie is breaking into Thailand, where the movie market has been thirsting for more horror flicks following the international hit of their local productions Nang Nak and Demonic Beauty

These films, along with other acclaimed blockbusters such as Taloompuk and Iron Ladies, had also a big following when they were screened in Malaysia. 

The trailer and movie profile of Shuhaimi’s Pontianak have been given to representatives of Sun Master, who came down from Bangkok a month ago.  

They were keen to have the film screened in Thailand and would be working on Persona Pictures’ behalf to have the movie screened in 15 cinemas in Jakarta, Indonesia during the same period. 

Shuhaimi promised there would be a sequel, which would be scarier and gripping.  

She said if the guidelines from the Censorship Board could be lightened up, the ghostly elements could be better and she could fully exercise her creativity.  

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