So, I’m sure we’ve all seen this movie poster circulating the internet and thought to ourselves, “That must be a parody! That can’t be real.”
Unfortunately folks, it is real. And I’ve watched it. Twice.
Apparently, the film Scorpion Queen (the main title because the director was sure it would permeate the international market) or Ratu Kala Jengking is actually based on a true story. It follows the tale of Cik Siti Aminah Tanah Mahsyur who is currently buried in Kota Tinggi, Johor.
According to her tombstone, she was an irresistible woman with looks that could kill – literally.
While that is interesting on its own, you probably clicked on this article for the sole purpose of reading my review so I won’t keep you waiting.
Originally, the film was meant to be 5 hours long but it was edited down to 1 hour and 40 minutes. In my opinion, that is still way too long.
Without further ado, this is my lengthy review of Scorpion Queen. Grab a snack!
Review of The Best Worst Movie I Have Ever Seen
The movie begins with the protagonist, Siti, discovering that she has a pimple on her face. God no! Not the clogged pores! It’s starting off scarier than I thought…
We then cut to her screaming atop a hill and begging for the sweet release of death. She shouts, “God, why don’t you just take my life? Why did I become like this? What did I do wrong?”
To be fair, that is exactly how I am when I wake up with a pimple too.
But then we find out that the reason her face is deteriorating – although we can all see that she is still conventionally attractive – is because she almost did the nasty with the hottest guy in the kampung, Awang, at the waterfalls.
During their little excursion, a spirit starts aggressively spouting some gibberish and they both look around in fear. Who needs sexual education when there’s a bunian who will give you acne for attempting pre-marital sex, amirite?
After being cursed with a “hideous” face, Awang no longer wants anything to do with Siti. Mind you, his face is completely unscathed. It’s probably that 3-in-1 body wash that men always use… Ladies, take note!
Feeling completely dejected, Siti finds new companionship with Nadim aka Legolas Malaya because for some reason he is always carrying a bow and arrow.
Cue the romantic montage of the two doing adorable couple activities such as… catching fish with sticks and rowing sampans by a tiny waterfall. Nadim? More like Na-damn this guy’s got game!
One day, a couple of pak cik bawangs (love how this movie is breaking gender stereotypes) are gossiping about Siti and one of them reveals that there is a nenek kebayan residing in the mountains who can cure all illnesses.
This conversation was eavesdropped by one of the girls from the kampung who quickly brings the news to Siti.
Siti is ecstatic to hear that she might be able to get rid of her deformity. Even after hearing that the mountains are home to fierce creatures and requires a gruelling 4-5 day hike, she says, “I would rather die than continue to be ugly.”
This is a fantastic message for young women in Malaysia. It’s almost as good as telling girls that spiritual woodland beings will punish only you and not your male partner for attempting pre-marital sex! (Drinking game: Take a shot every time this movie sets feminism back by at least 5 years.)
Despite the behest from her mother to stay home, Siti still ventures into the mountains in search of the nenek kebayan.
While she trudges through heavy downpours and trips down steep hills, her mother’s clairvoyant abilities (or maternal instincts – whichever you prefer) allows her to feel the suffering of her daughter.
We may be in the kampung, folks, but these two are connected through some powerful Bluetooth! They should pattern this technology and sell it to the masses… Maybe then this film would achieve its RM20 million goal instead of the RM800,000 that it actually pulled in.
At long last (for both me as a viewer and Siti as the protagonist), she finally encounters the nenek kebayan and guess what? This nenek is hot!
Siti is incredulous at the sight of this nenek kebayan. She says, “I thought nenek kebayans were supposed to be ugly?”
The nenek scoffs and says, “If I can make others beautiful, healthy and young, why not myself?”
Now that’s great advertising.
From here, we get a Karate Kid montage of the nenek kebayan Mr. Miyagi-ing Siti into performing various rituals in order to harness her powers and ail her skin deformity.
We also get a scene of these two ladies performing the silat and I can speak for all of my friends (who kindly sat through this film with me) that we desperately wanted to see them kiss. The sexual tension was so thick, you could cut it with a keris!
It is also during this montage that we can see where the film’s RM2.3 million budget goes – into CGI that looks like this…
Now that she’s back and more beautiful than ever, Siti has no time for boys who took her fishing.
When Nadim asks for another date, Siti simply retorts, “Who do you think you are? You think you’re worthy of becoming my boyfriend?”
Instead, she is engaged to *drumroll please* Awang, the dude that almost beat her up for being ugly. Don’t forget our drinking game!
During Siti’s stroll in the woods, she encounters Mawar, the girl who told her about the nenek kebayan, and they get into a tussle, but it’s no ordinary catfight.
Apparently, everyone and their moms are packing magical abilities because they start Expelliarmus-ing each other out of nowhere.
That wasn’t established before, but who am I to expect any coherency from a film titled, Scorpion Queen?
Siti is equipped with new powers and a gorgeous face all thanks to the nenek kebayan but obviously, there were some terms and conditions that needed to be adhered to.
In Siti’s case, the nenek kebayan told her not to be mean to her mother. That’s it. One rule. Do you wanna guess what happens?
While Siti was away, Nadim was there for Siti’s mother – waiting for her hand and foot – which impressed her greatly. With that, Siti’s mother agreed to betroth the two together.
Siti, furious at her mother’s actions, spits on the ground and goes off on a verbal rampage.
In true cerekarama 6 petang fashion, this slew of insults triggers a heart attack causing Siti’s mother to collapse and die – leaving the nenek kebayan to witness it all.
Not even a second later, we completely disregard all of that because it’s time for the wedding! All that mommy-daughter bullshit isn’t going to reap in the views, we wanna see some action in the bedroom!
The whole kampung has banded together in festive celebration to watch the two village hotties tie the knot. But what is that? The curtain is moving on it’s own…
In my head, I picture the nenek kebayan letting out a huge fart to make sure Siti knows she broke her oath.
The villagers look around with distressed expressions and the atmosphere feels eerie. I wonder what nenek kebayans eat because the air must reek…
After their first night together as a married couple, Siti expects to wake up to her loving new husband but instead she finds him dead next to her.
Gossip ensues in the kampung and it is revealed that Awang died due to a sting from a venomous creature. Hmm, I wonder how that could be?
But nevermind all that, we never liked him anyway. So, I’m sure you would be happy to find out that Siti is on the prowl again and has captured her next husband-to-be.
Mawar, the girl who previously dated both Awang and Siti’s new beau, is furious that Siti keeps stealing her men. With that, she meets with a shaman, Mak Esah, and asks her to teach Siti a lesson. In her words, “Let her suffer until she dies.”
We love wholesome female friendships where grown women rival over misogynistic men. Remember, we have that drinking game!
However, when Mak Esah attempts to hex Siti, Siti’s nenek kebayan hocus pocus proves to be much stronger thus blocking the effects. In the words of Datin Hajjah Baby Tate, “You can’t outdo the doer!”
After that failed attempt, Siti is set to marry her next husband. At the ceremony, the nenek kebayan lets out another gust of wind and – we all know where this is going – her husband is found dead the next morning.
Clearly distraught (who wouldn’t be? You get married to hot men and before you can kongkek they croak? Devastating), Siti sets off into the woods with the help of Nadim in search of the nenek kebayan but not before she is ambushed by a strange, facially-disfigured man.
Enjoy these screenshots of what appears to be the cetak rompak version of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon:
When their search for the nenek kebayan ends up futile, Siti sits down with Nadim and asks him to marry her. Why? I guess a girl’s only purpose in life is to serve a man as his wife.
Are you hammered from our drinking game yet?
Well, the same thing happens to Nadim as it did with Awang and the other guy. Surprise surprise and we’re only 50 minutes into this 1 hour and 43 minute movie.
God, why is time not moving for me? Why am I stuck in this wormhole? Do I still have braincells left? Will I ever achieve happiness again?
Sorry, I felt my brain leaving my body and entering a different plane of existence… Where were we?
Oh yeah, so since marrying bachelors in the village hasn’t been working out for Siti, the mak cik bawangs devise a plan to affiance her to an Indonesian widow from a different village.
I guess the nenek kebayan’s powers are determined by the kampung’s cellular range. When you live nearby, you get the 4G effect. Yeah, you can load Youtube but you might also drop dead after marrying Siti.
Now, I have to admit, this new guy is my favourite!
Not only does he say, “Since you are this beautiful in person, I don’t mind dying to marry you,” but he also breaks into song for a full 2 minutes. I recorded some reactions which you can watch below…
Warning, you might fall in love with him too:
He even has the gall to say, “If you want to hear me sing again, marry me.” Bro, since we’re being romantic, I would rather kiss the angel of death than hear you sing again.
But our girl, Siti is charmed and the wedding is set yet again. Spoiler alert: he dies but at least he breaks into another musical number before doing so.
This time however, we actually get to see how the death happens and it is pretty gruesome.
When people ask, “Girl, what dat mouth do?” I’m sure they weren’t expecting this:
So, in the spirit of wanting to find a solution to this black widow’s problem, Siti’s best friend suggests she seduces a married man. Yeah, why not create more problems by involving other women in your mess?
Take a shot! At this point both feminism and you are heading to the toilet.
The wife of Siti’s new target will not go down without a fight though so she employs the help of Mak Esah with Mawar as her chaperone.
Unfortunately, things backfire and the both of them end up dead. I know… Where is this movie going? Also to quote The Pixies, “Where is my mind?” because I am very close to losing all brain activity by now.
In true FINAS-approved fashion, Mak Esah – disturbed by the aftermath of her seance – confesses to the villagers that she has been using black magic to hex Siti. She then repents because the lesson here is: When you do bad thing, say sorry lor.
I know I’m operating with only one braincell at the moment but even I can come up with a better story arc than this.
In this scene, Siti admits that she is fated to kill anyone who marries her. So, you would think that she would stop marrying men because they always end up dead, right?
Oh how naive of you. THIS MOVIE HAS MADE NO SENSE UP TO THIS POINT, YOU THINK IT WILL SUDDENLY HAVE MEANING NOW?
Sorry for yelling at you. It’s not you, I promise. It’s just this movie that’s driving me crazy. I still like you, dear reader. Do you still like me?
We then cut to 25 years later and Siti has not aged a day due to the nenek kebayan kung fu magic.
Apparently, Siti has been hopping from one kampung to another and has amassed a whopping total of 99 dead husbands. Girl! At this point, she’s the most notorious serial killer in history.
With a reputation like that, you’d think word got around especially in a kampung filled with mak cik bawangs but surprisingly (not really that surprising since this movie’s script was probably written by a 3-year-old using crayons) some men are still oblivious to Siti’s fatal attraction.
Well, it’s either that or they would gladly die after sleeping in the same bed as her. Now, I’ve heard of men being down bad but this is down abysmal.
Come to think of it, in hindsight, dying in bed with a sexy lady might be one of the better ways to go.
While most men at this point are scared of being Siti’s 100th kill, an unassuming ustaz catches a glimpse of Siti and decides, “I can fix her!”
So he proposes and wants to marry her but on one condition – that is only if Siti agrees to recite the Quran and learn how to pray. And so we get a delightfully boring montage of him teaching her religion while the village folks start making the ustaz’s coffin.
You see? They all know he’s going to die, yet they remain complicit. Stop drinking the kool aid, y’all!
We are finally at the climax of the movie (even though nobody actually climaxes in the movie) and we see the ustaz staying up while Siti sleeps soundly on their bed.
All of a sudden, smoke enters the room (the nenek kebayan probably bought a new vape) but the ustaz is equipped with the almighty power of religion and manages to simply blow it away.
He then notices that scorpions are spilling out of Siti’s mouth and to that, he grabs what looks like a nutcracker and begins chipping away – one by one.
But you didn’t think it was that easy, did you? Of course not, this movie likes to torture me.
The ustaz realises that there is a keris underneath the bed and as soon as he touches it, he is transported into a lucid dream.
Now, we finally see how the Scorpion Queen looks like and in all honesty, it’s a lot better than Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in The Mummy.
The ustaz then battles a man who is being puppeteered by Siti and of course, he wins! Does this mean that his life is spared?
Thankfully, yes because he wakes up the next morning to greet the other villagers who have arrived at their doorstep with his coffin in tow.
So, in the end, it’s still a man that has to save a woman from her own fate. And they lived happily ever after.
How many shots did you take?
So, you see folks… The moral of the story is to marry an ustaz. All Muslim-conservative moms are silently nodding their heads in agreement as I type this.
But let’s get serious for a moment. I have reviewed many movies from Pencuri Hati Mr. Cinderella and Cinta Kura-Kura, which were both undoubtedly horrible, to Mentega Terbang and Kickflip, which were both incredible snapshots of talent and artistry, but I can tell you right now, no movie review has ever exhausted me the way this has.
Here are a few screenshots from my live updates as I wrote this:
I’m running out of adjectives so I will describe how this movie made me feel.
This movie made me feel like someone took a scalpel to my head, pried it open, grabbed my brain and tossed it into a deep fryer.
The absolute audacity of this person to gloat and expect a RM20 million gross is just baffling to me. But what else should we expect from someone who was recently assigned as a member of the board of directors at FINAS? Yes. That is completely true.
And where did that RM2.3 million budget go?
Did they just use it to buy a shit ton of hallucinogens so they could create this movie? We’ll never know. And frankly, I never want to find out.
So, because I like happy endings, let me end on a positive note.
This movie (and review) teaches you to be grateful for all the opportunities in your life because at least you’re not some jaded writer staying up ’til 3am to watch Scorpion Queen for the second time.