Gundala Putra Petir (1981)

The Indonesian superhero Gundala was influenced as well as the legend of Ki Ageng Selo, a powerful figure able to catch lightning with his bare hands. In the comics, Gundala is a scientist named Sancaka who is trying to create an anti-lightning serum. He’s so intent on his lab work that he forgets the birthday of his girlfriend Iris West — I mean Minarti — and they break up.

Sancaka gets so upset that he brings to run in the pouring rain and gets hit by a bolt of lightning that sends him to another reality where Emperor Kronz of the Lightning Kingdom gives him the power to shoot thunder from his hands and the ability to run quickly from King Typhoon of the Bayu Kingdom.

Created by Harya Suraminata, this movie was directed by Liliek Sudjio and finds Sancaka near-instantly electrocuted by that lightning bolt and meeting the very Crystar-looking Emperor Kronz and then battles a gang of drug dealers led by the gold claw-handed Ghazul (W.D. Mochtar).

Also: Ghazul drinks so much J&B that you’d think he was in a giallo.

Go into this knowing it has a very low budget but you’ll find something fun in the pre-MCU and way before CGI era of comic book films.

Today, Gundala is a part of Bumilangit Universe which is bringing back many Indonesian superheroes. There was a new Gundala movie in 2019 and films were planned for Godam, Tira and Patriot.

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