Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

The Fanged King

February 3rd, 2011 · No Comments

The granddaddy of Malaysian vampire flicks, 1968’s Raja Bersiong tells the tale of a pre-Islamic king who develops a taste for human blood—a culinary affection that eventually leads him to grow long fangs, and then (spoiler alert!) to be killed by his subjects for paying more attention to his snacks than his royal duties. As related here, the movie was sort of the Heaven’s Gate of late 1960s Malaysian cinema:

As has often happened when a film industry is at a moment of crisis, Malay Film Productions (MFP) tried to spend its way out of trouble by making an expensive color and widescreen epic that could turn the tide. Raja Bersiong cost RM750,000, which was more than ten times the cost of the average film. The film was directed by Jamil Sulong and employed a Japanese crew, causing major production and communication problems. Even though the story was written by Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, and was a nationalist epic set in northern Malaysia, the film failed at the box office.

Hmmmm…any chance it was unwise to hire a politician to write a horror flick? I certainly wouldn’t have wanted Margaret Thatcher doing the screenplay for 28 Days Later.

Check out the rest of the movie here; part three is highly recommended.


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