Fairlane is a devout Asian entertainment fan. On the side, she is a professional screenwriter and author.
This past decade, the Southeast Asian film market became synonymous with creepy psychological horror, thanks to offerings from Japan, Korea, and Thailand. However, some outliers have also proven that the region is known for quirky accessible humor, via comedies that held up well even if there are budgetary constraints.
Malaysia is one country that seems poised to carry the trend. It might not have Stephen Chow as a frontliner nor the budget afforded to its peers, but they have released world class films that tickle the funny bone. If you want to check them out, here are 10 of the funniest Malaysian movies.
10. Jangan Pandan Belakang Boleh
Jangan Pandan Belakang Boleh is a horror comedy film that focuses on a man named Dharma, whose girlfriend Rose died under mysterious circumstances. Together with Rose’s twin Seri, he tries to uncover the truth behind the crime and bring those responsible to justice.
- The film is unique because it manages to skirt the fine line that separates horror from comedy, never going completely in one direction. There’s as much jumpscares as there are throwaway jokes.
- The grandmother is frequently suspected of talking to a ghost, but is revealed to be talking of something more mundane – such as a visitor from offscreen or one of the sidecharacters. In one instance, the grandmother is hunched over and mumbling to someone, but is revealed to be chatting with someone via an iPad.
- The film is a spin off of the straight horror Jangan Pandang Belakang, which currently holds the record for box office numbers in Malaysia.
9. Zombi Kilang Biskut
A zombie infestation movie set in a biscuit factory in Banana Village. Making things worse is the mythical monster called the Pontianak, who is trawling the village looking for revenge on one of the characters.
- The film, aside from mixing comedy and horror effectively, also fuses both science and paranormal with regard to the monsters involved. The zombies in a local village and biscuit factory bring to mind zombie films that had science as the origin of the undead, but there’s also the paranormal factor due to the presence of the Pontianak, which is basically a ghost/vampire-like creature from folklore.
- The film has a lot of funny slapstick moments courtesy of one of the main characters, who is a cripple yet has impressive martial arts skills. One notable scene in the film has him fighting the Pontianak to a standstill only to run away after finding out that the monster is unbeatable.
- The film is a commercial success, boasting over RM1.7 million box office cume.
8. Lu Gua Bro
The story of two best friends, Yu and Mi, who get into trouble after one tries to report an illegal factory producing drugs. The event resulted in the owner of the factory locking down the building with the intent of not letting either of the two protagonists leave the premises alive.
- Lu Gua Bro seems like the Malaysian equivalent of Dumb and Dumber, where one of them is clumsy, inept, and dimwitted while the other is only slightly more intelligent. The main difference is that they seem to be surrounded by equally dimwitted sidecharacters, and many of their hilarious misadventures result in playing off of other people’s shortcomings vis a vis their own.
- The film is peppered throughout by funny moments as it tries to blast the viewers with joke after joke, but the funniest parts seem to have something to do with how one of them is fat, uncircumcised, and has poor luck with the opposite sex.
7. Ah Beng: Three Wishes
Ah Beng: Three Wishes focuses on the titular Ah Beng and his father, who were given three wishes by the God of Fortune during the Lunar New Year.
- The film has a budget of RM3 million, which is enough to provide the film bevy of decent special effects and sleek cinematography, but what really makes it stand out is the excellent performance by the cast list, including the beautiful (and quite popular) artists Mei Yan Gan and Keat Yoke Chen, who are not averse to looking silly and ugly in order to sell a joke.
- The funniest parts of the film has to do with the father and son duo of ah beng and ah long, who play the parts of bumbling buffoons all too well, making the viewers laugh through slapstick and wordplay in equal measures.
- The film boasts of being one of the most successful Malaysian films to date in terms of profit, as it managed to garner a total of RM7.55 million in ticket sales in 2012 while only costing RM3 million to make.
6. Adnan Semp-it
Adnan Semp-it follows the titular Adnan, an orphan who decides to migrate to to the big city in Kuala Lumpur in order to get away from his cruel aunt. He moves in with his older brother Macha and finds work as a dispatcher, where his beautiful boss Nadia hires him to pose as her boyfriend for an event.
- Adnan Semp-it is unique because the lead actor, Shaheizy Sam, is physically attractive so the odds are not in his favor when it comes to doing comedy. He can’t simply rely on his appearance to bring the laughs, so many of the slapstick and situational humor in Adnan Semp-it were only possible because of Shaheizy Sam’s timing and delivery.
- There’s a lot of funny scenes in the movie, but the funniest ones tend to be those that involve the leading lady, Intan Ladyana, as she is perfectly fine with being the punchline even if the joke relies on physical comedy (including falling off a motorbike), the fact that she looks so gorgeous and classy makes the jokes even more effective.
5. Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah
The lead character Husin goes back home to his hometown in Malaysia after working in Singapore for some time. On his return, he senses that his neighbor Kak Limah might be a ghost. He and a friend decide to go to the house in order to investigate.
- While technically a horror comedy film, Hantu Kak Limah stands out because it goes much deeper than just providing cheap laughs—it also provides a satirical take on Malaysian culture and politics.
- The funniest scene in the movie is when an allegedly tough guy tried to pick up the ghost and get “her” to ride on his sidecar. Thanks to the actor selling the scene with such gusto, the punchline when he rode his bike so hard that it left without the sidecar was extremely funny.
- There’s also a scene when the ghost started chanting something, which a crowd of onlookers holding torches recognized and started singing along to.
Ngangkung tells the story of three friends who have resolved to get the winning lottery numbers, at all costs. Their efforts lead to all sorts of problems and hilarity.
- Ngangkung pays homage to Malaysia’s rich culture full of folklore and superstition, and the trio had the brilliant idea of going to a witch doctor and use magic to solve their financial woes. Promises were broken, and the protagonists learn that one does not break promises made to spirits without suffering the consequences.
- Many visual gags come from the trio’s interactions with a ghost that has decided to tag along. In one scene, they pay homage to the common scene where friends dance and sing along to the car radio. This time around, the ghost is also seen bopping and dancing along, in a manner that is very un-ghostly.
- Ngangkung was the highest grossing Malaysian film in the year of its release (2011), and is still one of the most profitable modern Malaysian films to date.
3. Man Laksa
The movie tells the story of the shy young man, Man Laksa, who earns a modest living selling laksa (a spicy noodle) in the village. He is in love with a girl named Chah, but can’t make a move on her because she’s the daughter of the village head.
- The funniest scenes in the film all rely on Man Laksa himself, who is well-meaning but a clumsy, socially inept man. So most of his attempts to court Chah fail and result in hilarity.
2. Zombi Kampung Pisang
Zombi Kampung Pisang is a horror comedy film that focuses on a village beset by a zombie infestation, the main difference is that these zombies tend to do hilarious things, despite being a dangerous threat to everyone in the vicinity.
- The film plays on the fact that zombies, while technically dangerous, are still slow, lumbering pieces of rotting flesh with no cognitive ability, so it’s easy for the characters to run around screaming while the undead get into all sorts of funny situations.
- The funniest parts in the film usually involve a pair of zombies who look dumbfounded at everything. Not that the rest of the zombies aren’t equally dumb, but the facial expressions of these two zombies make them look like cartoon characters instead of brain-eating malfeasants.
1. Baik Punya Cilok
Baik Punya Cilok tells the story of five friends who conspired to rob a pawnshop that refused to return their grandmother’s brooch. However, on the day of the actual robbery, they fell into a trap as someone has already robbed the pawnshop while they become the main suspects.
- Baik Punya Cilok is a buddy comedy that tries to paint its protagonists as modern day versions of Robin Hood, with the main difference being that these are inept robin hoods armed with makeshift and useless weaponry, such as eggplants and cucumbers wrapped in cloth.
- The funniest parts in the film are the earlier parts when the protagonists rehearse the robbery that they’re about to do. The process is not exactly smooth, and runs as well as you would expect when done by people who are not that good at anything, much less committing crime.
Fairlane Raymundo (author) from Los Angeles, CA on June 30, 2015:
@missy12 i cannot print the site here. send me an email address and i'll give the website url to you
missy12 on June 28, 2015:
which site you watch these movies?