Mars Men kicks off with a little kid stumbling upon a hidden cave in which he finds a small statue of Yud Wud Jaeng. The kid insists on calling him “Hanamajin”, and the rest of the cast—following that kaiju movie rule that everybody has to follow the 10 year old’s lead—follows suit. Even Yuk Wud Jaeng, when he shows up, does this.
Since the day Tony Jaa, Prachya Pinkaew, and Panna Rittikrai suddenly popped up on fight film fans’ radars, Thailand has become the go-to place for the hyperactive, bone-jarring, stunt filled, totally ridiculous style of film making that defined the Hong Kong action film industry in the 1980s. The arrival of Thailand on the martial arts…
Sompote Sands is one of those figures in cult cinema who casts a long shadow. Granted it’s a shadow that twists around and warps into a demon like Calibos’ shadow in Clash of the Titans, but it’s a shadow never the less. Regarding the origin story of this supremely interesting and bizarre film maker, that…
He can use this force to pull himself through the air, almost as if, oh, as if swinging from, let’s say some kind of web. Like a man who possesses some of the characteristics of a spider, perhaps.
If there’s one lesson to take away from this lavish Thai swashbuckler, it is this: if you are a dick to whales, don’t go to war against a guy who is nice to whales and can also ask them for favors.
The title Shadow Music of Thailand evokes ideas of ancient and mysterious folk traditions. A CD with such a title, one might assume, could offer the listener a portal to arcane, culturally insular sounds that were never intended for Western ears. The truth, however, is a wee bit different.
To judge the film by its shortcomings would be unfair, because the charms that would mitigate them — all of those things that are wonderful about Insee Thong — are less easy to fully appraise.