Srimulat is the most well known comedy group in Indonesia. Founded in 1950 by Teguh Slamet Rahardjo, Srimulat started its show in Surakarta. Initially Srimulat was a traveling comedy troupe in East Java and the group was named after Teguh’s first wife. Then, this group getting famous and has spreaded in various provinces in Indonesia with 77 members. Srimulat’s presence has brought fresh laughter to the people who were familiar with old television.
Srimulat’s success then inspired many people to establish other comedy groups. Warkop (warung kopi/ coffee shop) DKI is one of the comedy groups that managed by Prambors Management to make money. Warkop’s wealth is obtained through films, radio programs, tv series produced with comedy themes. Initially warkop was a radio program that satirized social conditions in the 1980s and 1990s. A program filled with laughter and jokes so that the satire given in the program did not seem to corner the ruling regime.
Two legendary groups inspire filmmakers in Indonesia to revive their success today. Srimulat: Hil the Mustahal (2022) and Warkop DKI: Reborn 1 til 3 were a rewarding effort of reviving comedy legends. Srimulat: Hil the Mustahal is the first biopic of the legendary Srimulat itself.
The narration of Srimulat: Hil the Mustahal focused on the issue where this comedy group’s career began to rise and became increasingly known in Indonesia. The same thing with Warkop DKI: Reborn narrated the first movie edition was made in the 1980s.
Of course, the movie industry requires the right profit projections. Movies with old themes that have been proven to have sold well are attractive for recycling. Efforts to revive the theme of the old movie will also evoke the memories that once adorned human’s lives. Film recycling in Indonesia is not only a comedy theme. But also horror films that boomed in the 1980s and 1990s.
Suzanna (2018) was produced to commemorate horror films in Indonesia. Suzanna was foucesd on one of the late actress’s most popular films released in 1981, Sundelbolong. Sundelbolong itself tells the story of a woman-turned-ghost who holds a grudge against people who caused her misfortune. The ghost is known to take the form of a long-haired woman in a white gown who has a hole in her back.
The three remake movies show a populist theme and of course profit. Movie makers earn huge profits by producing these remake the films. Meanwhile, movies are intricately concerned with culture. They are cultural texts, embodying within their frames the entire range of cultural behavior from articafts to motivation. They are cultural statements, communicating messages to huge audiences. Movie is so universal, that what is conveyed in it will still be there for years to come. (*)