What the hell I’ve just watched?: 3 Cewek Petualang (a 2013 horror movie review)

3 Cewek Petualang, or 3 Adventurous Girls, is a 2013 horror movie from the prolific Indonesian director Nayato Fio Nuala. And believe or not, this guy is slowly becoming my favourite Indonesian moviemaker. Why? Glad you’ve asked.

But let’s talk about this movie first.

The story is as generic as it could be. 5 high school friends got together for a reunion on a small Indonesian island, upon insistence of one of them, Sally (Julia Perez), for whom it should be the last holidays before her marriage. Or, at least, this is what she’s told them.

3 Cewek Petualang movie poster

Unbeknowst to them, Julia has a little personal motive to go there and we get ot know it quite early in the movie.

Basically, it’s all about the legend of the King Tail (or, in bahasa, Raja Ekor), who was apparently some cannibalistic half-human half-dog king from the past and Sally is after some parchment with the spell to invoke the spirit of the long gone king. Sound silly? Yeah, it does.

And that’s about it, really. We’re spending time watching the group of 5 folks running around the island (and dying one by one), with not so much of an explanation. The moving vegetation betrays the possible inspiration from a 2008 horror movie Ruins, but apart from the scene with the snake slowly coming to one of the girls (which really gave me creeps, as I hate snakes), the whole movie was anything but scary. Not to mention the ending, which was a total WTF.

That being said, obviously, I can’t help but judge it from the usual, average, Western perspective. Personally, I didn’t mind the movie, it has a lot of flaws in script and logic (as usual), the low budget was evident…basically, one can say it was the equivalent of the movie produced by The Asylum. And I love The Asylum!

If I should judge this little flick, for me it was more of the lecture on how to make a low-budget movie. With a better script it might be much better, that’s for sure, but these movies are not shot with the vision of getting the Oscar for it.

Let’s have a look at who’s who of the 3 Cewek Petualang now:

As mentioned, the movie was directed by Nayato Fio Nuala, who also gets his credits as a producer and a cinematographer, and the list of movies he’s directed is very interesting for any world cinema (and B/C-movies) fan. I love the fact he uses a few pseudonyms as well, and he’s actually directed this movie, 3 Cewek Petualang, under two different names! This guy is a legend already! Well, at least in my book.

Among his more known films are Panggil Namaku 3x (2005), Hantu Jeruk Purut (2006), Hantu Ambulance (2008, the last movie of the Indonesian horror legend Suzzanna), Kereta Hantu Manggarai (2008), he also touched the legend of Kuntilanak (check my reviews of Rizal Mantovani’s Kuntilanak trilogy here, here and here) with the movies Sarang Kuntilanak (2008), Kuntilanak Beranak (2009), Jeritan Kuntilanak (2009), Kuntilanak Kesurupan (2011), Pelet Kuntilanak (2011), Keranda Kuntilanak (2011), Santet Kuntilanak (2012) and Kuntilanak-Kuntilanak (2012)

Not enough, you say? He’s brought us movies about the other supernatural creature, pocong, with movies like Pocong Kamar Sebelah (2009), Pocong Jalan Blora (2009), Pocong Jumat Kliwon (2010), Pocong Rumah Angker (2010), Pocong Ngesot (2011), Pocong Minta Kawin (2011), Bukan Pocong Biasa (2011), Poconggg Juga Pocong (2011), Pocong Kesetanan! (2011) and 3 Pocong Idiot (2012).

And, obviously, that’s not all of his movies, and I will just mention his duology After School Horror (2014) and After School Horror 2 (2017). His latest movie, according to information available to me, is a 2018 movie Wengi: Anak Mayit. Well, that’s a lot of movies I want to see, what about you?

Probably the most known of the actors in this movie is the late Julia Perez, here in the role of Sally, who’s – beside her acting – was also a dangdut singer, check her video here, for example:

Her acting career was also quite rich, and she was also in other Nayato Fio Nuala’s movies, like aformentioned Kuntilanak Kesurupan, Pocong Minta Kawin, Helfi C.H. Kardit’s horror comedy Arwah Goyang Karawang (2011), Hanny Mustofa’s 2012 horror Kutukan Arwah Santet and others. Her last movie was a biographic drama from the director Hestu Saputra titled Merry Riana: Mimpi Sejuta Dolar (2014). She died in 2017 from the cervical cancer at the age of 36.

Other actors in the movie were Dion Chaw (with just 3 films credits to his name, previous to this movie he’s appeared in Nayato Fio Nuala’s 2012 horror movies Dendam dari Kuburan and 3 Pocong Idiot), Imaz Fitria (who only starred in one more movie, a 2015 Hestu Saputra’s drama Air Mata Surga), Guntur Triyoga (who also got part in other Nuala’s movies like 2011 Kuntilanak Kesurupan or 2011 actioner Tarung: City of the Darkness, among others)…

And, lastly, Aura Kasih, who’s starred in movies like Fajar Bustomi’s and Andreas Sullivan’s adventure/drama Surat Kecil Untuk Tuhan (2017) and horror movies like Hedy Suryawan’s 2017 flick Keluarga Tak Kasat Mata, Billy Christian’s The Sacred Riana: Beginning (2019), Noviandra Santosa’s horror Pintu Merah (2019), Erwin Arnada’s movie Kelam (2019), Ifa Isfansyah’s comedy Koki-Koki Cilik (2018), Hilman Mutasi’s and Kunun Nugroho’s comedy PSP: Gaya Mahasiswa (2019).

The final verdict? Despite its flaws, I’ve finished 3 Cewek Petualang without falling asleep, so it’s watchable, just don’t expect much.

Trailer:

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I am the founder/owner and editor-in-chief of the Rubber Axe webzine, the underground/overground cultural publication, publishing also this website dedicated to all things Indonesian. I'm a happily married guy with 2 kids and a fantastic wife, and I'm a relentless discoverer of all things cultural and culinary. An everlasting dreamer and idealist.

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