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Myths, Magic & Monsters Documentary

A series of 5 one-hour adventure documentaries written and presented by explorer/anthropologist Dr. Lawrence Blair – a long-time resident and expert on Indonesia. The series is a startling weave of high definition film, rare historical footage and linking animation. These are true fairy stories, for children of all ages, shot in Indonesia, in often hazardous circumstances, which reveal creatures and human abilities rarely, if ever, previously filmed.

FILM 1) SEAS Lawrence takes us on an adventure cruise, above and beneath the little-explored seas between Borneo and New Guinea, in search of the brightest bio-luminescent creature in nature: the rare Banda ‘flashlight fish’. These fish are part of the Legend of the Ratu Kidul, the South Sea Goddess, who rules the Indonesian psyche.


– Underwater bubble baths where volcanic gasses seep out of a neighboring volcano, providing the chemical environment of strange creatures.

– The Asian Manatee, or Dugong, the probable source of the of the Mermaid myth.

– Species of fireflies which ignite the trees in rhythmic synchrony, as if the whole colony was a single creature.

– Exotic marine organisms which challenge our understanding of how life works.

– Swimming in Open Ocean with the world’s largest carnivore, the Sperm Whale, of Moby Dick fame.

– Diving off a remote volcanic peak amongst swarming Sea Kraits, the world’s most venomous serpent.

– Deep night diving to encounter the brilliant Banda flashlight fish, which the Indonesians believe to be the ‘Glowing Gems’ of the South Sea Goddess.

Film 2) SNAKES With his phobia of snakes, Lawrence takes us on a journey to the heart of his fear through an archipelago ruled by both real and supernatural serpents.


– Large, wild snakes invading private homes.

– Families endowed with ‘Serpent Power’ who with their young children perform publicly with fully loaded poisonous snakes.

– Lawrence handling the most poisonous snakes in the world – the sacred temple sea kraits of Bali.

  • The world’s smallest ‘two-headed’ snakes, with tails resembling their heads.
  • The world’s longest snake – the man-eating python.
  • Shamanic healers who manipulate the ‘web of serpent energies’ in the human body.
  • Dining on serpents at Snake Restaurant, and drinking the revitalizing blood and bile of cobras.
  • Hiking to the heart of Flores Island were Lawrence confronts his worst nightmare in a hidden cave of pythons.

FILM 3) BEASTS An odyssey into Indonesia’s relationship with animals, in a land where the cow the dog the pig and the cat are not at all what we expect. Lawrence reveals not only unlikely animals, but their even odder relationships with humans.


  • The power of birds in the national psyche.
  • Flocks of ‘funeral birds’, released at cremations ceremonies, to guide dead souls back to their source.
  • The ferocious six-foot Cassowary birds which can disembowel a man with its talons.
  • Chickens which really fly.
  • The world’s only known 2enomous bird.
  • Climbing dogs which prefer roofs and trees to solid ground.
  • Devil dogs of Bali believed to be possessed by demons.
  • Dogs on the menu.
  • Wagering bets on lizards and buffaloes.

‘Weather Frogs’, stored in the mouths of weather shamans to help them alter the weather.

  • The world’s most expensive coffee, passed through the guts of wild civets.
  • The vanishing, cat-walking Sumatran Elephant.
  • The cocoanut-collecting Pig-tailed macaques of Sumatra.
  • The evil macaques of Bali’s sacred monkey forests, where there is no honor amongst thieves.

Film 4) SUPERHUMAN. Lawrence takes us on a quest for our own species, culminating with startling visions of shamans, magicians and trance healers with seemingly supernatural powers.


  • Questioning the distinction between human and animal from the bones of long-vanished species.
  • The tribes of the Tarsiers, our tiny primate cousins, which reveal the dawn of human diversity.
  • Trance and possession amongst the itinerant mystics of Java. Pierced with metal skewers, abused with sharpened bamboos and sliced with knives, with no sign of pain or bleeding.
  • Fire walking, trance dancing, possession by animal souls, and exorcisms and ‘alternative healing’.
  • The Day of the Demons, when even Bali’s international airport closes down for 24 hours in deference to the underworld.
  • ‘Dynamo Jack’ the Javanese healer who’s apparently extraordinary powers mystify the scientists who arrive to examine him.

FILM 5) MYTHS, MONSTERS AND HOBBITS A quest for those strange Indonesian creatures which are the probable origin of such mythological beasts as goblins, phoenixes, dragons and unicorns. We also examine the ancient Indonesian – and international – myth of the orang pendek, or ‘little people’. We reach the cave of the recent discovery of the bones of the ‘hobbit’, or Homo floresiensis, which anthropologists now recognize as a different species of man, only three feet tall and alive and well only 12,000 years ago.


  • Capturing on-camera, in remote Siau island, an entirely new species of Tarsier, a six-inch tall primate with enormous eyes, which is a close cousin to man.
  • The maleo, a species of Megapodus bird which incubates its huge eggs over volcanic fumeroles. The steam arising round these birds caused the first foreign explorers to think they had discovered the Phoenix bird.
  • The Coelacanth, a pre-fish 360 million years old, re-discovered again late last century, in the waters of Northern Sulawesi.
  • Close encounters with the Sumatran rhino, of which its believed barely 50 individuals remain in the wild, and thought to be the origin of the myth of the unicorn.
  • The dragons of Komodo island, thought to be the origin of the ‘fire-breathing’ dragon myth, which reached Europe via the Chinese on the overland Spice Trading route.
  • The Giant Rat of Flores, the largest rat species in the world.
  • The cave in Flores where the remains were recently found of the ‘hobbit’ or Homo floresiensis , a 3 foot tall human being who lived as recently as 12,000 years ago.
  • The contemporary pygmies of Flores, barely four foot tall.

The Myths, Magic & Monsters DVD

We have acquired the rights to re-release the DVD of Myths, Magic & Monsters. You can now own this incredible documentary by adding it to your cart below.

DVD – PAL Format
Price: $50.00 USD [OUT OF STOCK]

DVD – NTSC Format
Price: $50.00 USD [OUT OF STOCK]