Alhamdullilah the TV2 series on the paranormal (fictional) entitled Bilik No.13 is a hit and RTM has commissioned Manjafilms Sdn Bhd to produce another 13 episodes. Firstly I would like to thank all the fans of the series who faithfully tune in to the screenings on Thursday night at 9pm on TV2. Surprisingly, the series is such a hit that RTM actually screens the series again on Saturday night/Sunday morning at 3 am also on TV2.
To date, the current series is on Ep.11 with Patung (my kampung tribute to Chucky) shown last week. Next week is Kabus, about a group of young girls trapped in an SUV along a dark lonely road, and is ambushed by a malevolent fog. The week after is the story of Karipap starring Dato Aziz Sattar in a meaty role that shows his versatility as a serious actor.
Production on the second season will begin either late next week or the week after (depending very much on the weather). Locations too have not been firmed as are actors and actresses. Nevertheless I am looking forward to producing and directing the series along with my son Abadi and my old friend Ken Yap.
As requested by the station to produce a much-better season, it will be a challenge that I relish. In the second season, fans will actually find out the secret behind the Bilik No. 13 title. This time, the second season will go out all the chill your spines - with stories such as Harimau Jadian, Jangan Lupa Tutup Tingkap, Kereta Mayat, Almari, Foto, Bunian dan Artifak. Other short stories that will also make it to the line up include Cari Nombor, Orkid, Topeng dan Orang Langit.
Harimau Jadian will start the series with a two parter. It is my nod to the lost P. Ramlee horror movie entitled Si Tora.
The third episode is a gothic-styled horror short entitled Jangan Lupa Tutup Tingkap. It is about the dangers of naughty children who fail to heed their parents' warning and forgetting to close their windows at night.
Kereta Mayat is based on a short story I wrote and shot about 15 years ago - but this time with a gangland twist. Two small-time gangland 'cleaners' are required to dispose of a gangland's boss's body. Unfortunately for them, the day of their dastardly deed falls on the first day of the Hungry Ghost month.
Almari is a short story about greed and a strange cabinet that offers you riches in exchange for the sacrifice of live animals in the cabinet (a cannibal cabinet). The bigger the animal, the bigger the reward. The man who owns the cabinet realises his nagging wife is the biggest 'animal' he can sacrifice. Does he?
Foto is inspired by Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray. However, this time, the lady in an antique photo becomes younger by the day, but the owner of the photo becomes older. In the original story, Dorian Gray owns a self portrait. His portrait grows old, but he remains forever young.
Bunian? It's an ambitious attempt by me to shoot a story about a parallel world, where a day there is equivalent to one year in the real world. It's about a world so strange that men in the real world are lured into by beautiful maidens looking for husbands. It's a perfect world with a dark secret. A secret that can only be seen through the reflection of a mirror.
Artifak tells the story of an antique Tibetan knife that has a life of its own. It also controls the mind of the person who finds it.
I also wanted to do a tribute to one of my favourite Japanese horror movies off all time, Onibaba directed by Kaneto Shindo. That movie was produced in 1964, but I think I first saw it in a festival in the early 70s. The episode entitled Topeng is a tribute to it.
If Bilik No 13 gets renewed for another third season maybe I'll do a tribute to another great Japanese movie (also produced in 1964) entitled Kwaidan (Ghost Story) directed by Masaki Kobayashi.
Depending on my technical producer's advice, I may or may not do Orkid. The special effects required may not be possible within today's RTM drama budgets. It's a serious ode to the cult movie The Little Shop of Horrors. If the effects can be done realistically within budget then my team and I will try our best to do this sci-fi episode. It is however not the only sci-fi story in the series.
Orang Langit is about an alien who finds his way into a kampung store in the middle of a hold up. The alien has the ability to mimic, and when it sees a TV programme, it takes on the form of a popular Malay actor.
Anyway, it is a tough series to produce - technically and logisticall- but Insyallah we will do our best to deliver. We reallly do not want to disappoint our fans. If all goes well Bilik No 13 Siri Kedua will be screened in June.
Meanwhile, we are also about to start producing the second season of our popular cooking show Dapur Bujang.
Those who want to try their hands at acting, do drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Who knows, you might be my next zombie or victim.