Scriptwriter Syed Mohamad Asri or popularly known as Usop Wilcha only has this to say when the press asked if his film Usop Wilcha Menghonjang Makhluk Muzium was inspired by the Night At The Museum film series starring Ben Stiller.
“You’ve seen the film, what do you think?” he said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, recently.
No one responded.
The 50-year-old actor who also stars in the film as the titular character then revealed that the inspiration for the film is Malaysian history.
“What I really want to tell is the story of our Malay warriors who fought colonisation to preserve the sanctity of our country. But instead of giving the audience a typical history lesson in film, I used fantasy as an element to reel them in,” said Usop. “Then they will discover for themselves about the sacrifices people back then made just to ensure that the generation today has a land to call home.”
In Makhluk Muzium, Usop plays an electrician who is sent to a museum in Tanjung Malim, Perak to fix an air conditioning problem.
Later, he discovers that some of the displays such as Datuk Maharaja Lela (Nam Ron) , Sultan Mahmud Syah (played by Nasir Bilal Khan) and the archaeological find known as Perak Man (Pyanhabib Rahman) come to life at night.
Nam Ron said his character is someone who is stuck in the past.
“He and the other museum displays have no knowledge or memories of the modern world. He also believes that Malaysia is still under the threat of colonisation. He is always on the lookout for enemies.”
Datuk Maharaja Lela and his friends also have to come to terms with being forgotten by the museum management. They have been placed in a store room to make way for the museum’s latest attraction: Vlad The Impaler, The Grim Reaper, a werewolf and Jason Voorhees from the Friday The 13th movie series. Talk about a fright at the museum.
Trouble ensues when Vlad The Impaler has his own dark agenda that needs to be stopped. It’s then up to Usop Wilcha and the historical figures to stop Vlad The Impaler from taking over the world.
The film also stars YouTube sensation Elizabeth Tan in her debut feature film role as Tyra Vlad, a museum curator modelled after Indiana Jones. The 22-year-old singer was secretive about the details of her character. “All I can say is that I’m really nervous watching myself in the film!”
Makhluk Muzium, directed by Mamat Khalid, is said to bear the price tag of RM2mil. Usop calmly explained that the budget was due to the cost of wardrobe, special effects as well as the actors’ salary.
“It’s about making a quality film and also to raise the standards of my fellow actors. I think it’s time we start paying our actors better.”
Usop Wilcha Menghonjang Makhluk Muzium is currently showing in cinemas nationwide.