Films from Thailand and Thai Cinema
There is an burgeoning film industry in Thailand that has a few gems hidden among the direct to video folk tales and porn films. Although they are relatively scarce, you may find them in Asian variety stores or on the web from Hong Kong distributors. Here are a few that we've been able to locate:
The Adventures of Iron Pussy
By day he is a humble cashier in a 7-11, but in the off hours she is Iron Pussy, the transvestite superhero. With her faithful scooter driver Pew, IP is keeping Thailand safe from international bad guys and local toughs. Maybe this is a spoof on James Bond films, or maybe it is serious, but the former is more probable. The Adventures of Iron Pussy is filled with static musical interludes and lame fight scenes. This bitch can kick some ass.
At the request of the government, Lamduan (Iron Pussy) becomes a maid in a wealthy household where she can keep an eye on the suspicious foreign visitor, Mr. Henry. Tang, the son of the wealthy home owner, soon falls for her, and they sing a few coquettish duets. Iron Pussy is torn between love and duty when she discovers Tang and Mr. Henry are concocting new ecstasy inducing drugs. Between crime fighting and wardrobe changes, Lamduan also treats everyone to some rockin' musical performances. Unrated. Thai with English subtitles.
Tom Yum Goong
Do you like elephants and martial arts? Granted, it is a strange combination, but Tom Yum Goong has an abundance of both. Kham grows up in the Thai forests helping his dad and their elephant, Por Yai, collect wood. When their great bull elephant sires a baby, Kham gets to raise him, and the two become inseparable. At least until some evil poachers steal the pair of pachydermsm, that is.
Kham, played by the Muay Thai martial arts genius Tony Jaa, must retrieve the elephants and honor of his family. There's plenty of fighting against amazing odds and plenty of well placed kicks and jabs before the task can be accomplished. Lots of cool scenery, plenty of stunts and too many chase scenes to count. The elephants are cool, too. If you want more of the same see Tony Jaa in Ong-Bak. Thai. 2003.
Ong-Bak: the Thai Warrior
Ong-bak is the name of the village's prize possession , an old stone image of the Buddha. When the head of the image is stolen by some Bangkok Antiquities thieves, they send young Ting (Tony Jaa) to the city to retrieve it. Ting is trained in the religious martial art of Muay Thai, so no one can mess with him. But Ting is naive in the ways of the big city. He garners the help of a Bangkok tough who came from his village.
There are some extraordinary fight scenes in which the pacifist Ting is called upon to flatten hulking Australian and American opponents. He dispatches them with ease but is no closer to finding the head of Ong-Bak. In the end, the two locate a criminal mastermind who tricks Ting into a title bout and then orders him killed. Our country boy proves more resilient that his adversary, and good triumphs in the end. You won't want to see this for the story line, which is a little like a Bowery Boys movie, but the stunts and fights are outrageous and worth a look. 2005. Thai. Rated R. 105 minutes.
Tom is sitting home, bemoaning her lost job, when someone leaves a box of money on her doorstep. A bit of a moral dilemma, but, she decides to keep it. It isn't long before two thugs turn up and ask for it back. Somehow they end up dead, and she stuffs them into the closet and goes about her business. Deciding it is in her best interest, Tom methodically arranges to get out of town, buying a black market passport to speed her departure. Thing do not go smoothly or else why would you watch it to the end. It smacks a little of a Thai version of True Romance, but it's quite good. 1999. 90 minutes. Thai w/subtitles.
303 Fear Faith Revenge five new students at the exclusive St
George Boarding school are curious about six students who died at
the school in 1952. They use a Ouija board to contact one of the
dead students and they open a door to the past. All hell breaks lose
and one of the five becomes possessed and the past events begin
anew. fairly stock horror stuff with an Asian flair. Thai
w/subtitles. 93 minute Rated IIb
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