Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Flying head with intestines dangling underneath

I feel that this genre needs some ''background information'', so I ripped this right off Wikipedia:

The Penanggalan or `Hantu Penanggal` is a peculiar variation of the vampire myth that apparently began in the Malay Peninsula. See also the Manananggal, a similar creature of Filipino folklore. "Penanggal" or "Penanggalan"' literally means "detach", "to detach", "remove" or "to remove". Both terms—Manananggal and Penanggal—may carry the same meaning due to both languages being grouped or having a common root under the Austronesian language family, though the two creatures are culturally distinct in appearance and behavior.
The Balinesse of Indonesia also have myth of a similar creature with almost exact features called "Leak".

According to the folklore of that region, the Penanggalan is a detached female head that is capable of flying about on its own. As it flies, the stomach and entrails dangle below it, and these organs twinkle like fireflies as the Penanggalan moves through the night.

Due to the common theme of Penanggal being the result of active use of black magic or supernatural means, a Penanggal cannot be readily classified as a classical
undead being. The creature is, for all intent and purposes, a living human being during daytime (much like the Japanese Rokurokubi) or at any time when it does not detach itself from its body.

In Malaysian folklore, a Penanggal may be either a beautiful old or young woman who obtained her beauty through the active use of black magic, supernatural, mystical, or paranormal means which are most commonly described in local folklores to be dark or demonic in nature. Another cause where one becomes a Penanggal in Malaysian folklore is due to the result of a powerful curse or the actions of a demonic force, although this method is less common than the active use of black magic abovementioned.

The Penanggalan is usually a female midwife who has made a pact with the devil to gain supernatural powers. It is said that the midwife has broken a stipulation in the pact not to eat meat for 40 days; having broken the pact she has been forever cursed to become a bloodsucking vampire/demon.

The midwife keeps a vat of vinegar in her house. After detaching her head and flying around in the night looking for blood the Penanggalan will come home and immerse her entrails in the vat of vinegar in order to shrink them for easy entry back into her body.

Unlike Manananggal, all Penanggal are females and there is no variation in Malaysian folklore to suggest a Penanggal to be male. Another notable difference between a Penanggal and Manananggal is that a Penanggal detaches only her head with her lungs, stomach and intestines attached while leaving the body in a pre-prepared container filled with vinegar to preserve the body against rapid decomposition. Additionally, unlike the Manananggal which uses a proboscis-like tongue, a Penanggal is commonly depicted as having fangs. The number of fangs varies from one region to another, ranging from two like the Western vampire to a mouthful of fangs.

I usually don't to this, I like writing everything myself, but I didn't bother with changing the text and or right a completely new one. But this is a very interesting read, and definately worth reading if you are into or want to know more about the Flying head with intestines dangling underneath genre.

I'm just stealing today! Here is a list of Flying head with intestines dangling underneath movies. This list is incomplete, but it's a good start, most of these you won't even find:

Ang Manananggal - Philippines, 1927 - Joe Nepumuceno
Manananggal vs. Mangkukulam - Philippines, 196? - Consuelo P. Osorio
Krasue Sao - Thailand, 1973 - S. Naowaratch
Fei taugh moneuh / The Witch with Flying Head - China, circa 1977 - Wo Liang-sing
Drakula Tok - Thailand, 1979 - Lor Tok (Poster #3 below)
Krasue - Thailand, 1982 - dir: ?
Mo / Boxer's Omen - Hong Kong, 1983 - Kwei Chih-hung
Itthirit Nammanphrai - Thailand, 1984 - dir: ? (Poster #2 below)
Shakle, Rattle and Roll - Philippines, 1984 - dir: ? (sketch: Manananggal)
Mistik / Le'ak / Mystic in Bali - Indonesia, 1987 - H. Tjut Djalil
Oil of Eternal Life, Thailand, circa 1987 - dir: ?
Krasue Gad Pop - Thailand, 1990 - Phlaawut
Krasue Sing- Thailand, 1990 - dir: ?
Krasue Grahailuead - Thailand, 1995 - Sang-Tawan (Poster #1 below)
Manananggal in Maynila - Philippines, 1997 - Mario O'Hara
Tamnan Krasue / Demonic Beauty - Cambodia/Thailand, 2002 - Bin Banluerit
Krasue Valentine - Thailand, 2006 - Yuthlert Sippapak
Gong Tau / An Oriental Black Magic - Hong Kong, 2007 - Herman Yau
Chao Pous Keng Kang / Grandson's Snake Child/Snake's Love - Cambodia, 200? - Fai Saman
Burn the Witch ! / Plerng Ches Arb - Cambodia, circa 2004
Arb / Nieng Arb ("Vampire") - Cambodia, 2004 - Kam Chanty
Krasue / Erotic Thai Ghost Story - Thailand, ???? - John Wren

Thanks to Sweeney Todd from Cinehound forum for posting this list.

[Click on pictures for large size]


Ninja Dixon said...

Someone should write a book about the "Flying head with intestines dangling underneath"-sub-category of horror cinema :)

Patrick B said...

That would be awesome. A 400 page hardcover with posters, reviews, the myth, pictures and just all about this great genre. So, have you had the pleasure of viewing any of these great films?

Ninja Dixon said...

No, sadly not at all. Well, sure some indonesian movies... but that's all. I love thai cinema so it's weird I haven't seen any "Flying head with intestines dangling underneath"-movies from that country.

And yes, that book you described would be... fantastic!

Patrick B said...

The easy way to start your journey is to get Mondo Macabro's release of Mystics In Bali. Great movie!

Patrick B said...

would be to get*

Ninja Dixon said...

Of course I already own Mystics of Bali. Great movie :)

Patrick B said...

I thought so, I had to mention it just in case! ;)