Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ghost of Guts Eater (1973)

Ghost of Guts Eater is some kinda legendary movie among video-collectors. The only release (except maybe a VCD) is a Swedish one, from HB Video-Film Norrköping, and it's also in its original language and in the correct ration - which is quite rare for being a Swedish release! Of course I don't own this movie, but I downloaded the same version to be able to finally see it. Surprisingly it's quite humorless for being a Thai movie. No funny-looking wackos or jokes that involves peeing in the pants, which is refreshing to experience for once! 

Sombat Metanee plays a handsome farmer in remote village somewhere. His wife, which I guess is the nice Pissamai Wilaisuk, has one big problem only. She's possessed by her dead grandma's ghost! No one knows about this of course, not even herself, but the other villages suspects she's the ghost (or vampire) who's killing the animals in the village. The possession shows itself in that her head is getting loose from the body and flies away with the intestines dangling under it! Nice! The local priest and shaman suspects her too, and after a fight with Sombat he's planning a revenge by resurrecting a body from the graveyard to kill Pissamai!

After dealing with this problem, Sombat and Pissamai travels to another village where they soon find out that there's another similar ghost (they're called Krasue by the way) eating its way through the animal stock. This scene reminds me of that one in Man Bites Dog where the serial killer and the documentary-crew is running in to another serial killer with a documentary-crew. Surprise! The husband of this Krasue is also a demon who can fly, and he loves to eat baby-hearts!

But the adventures don't end there, and it will be a very tough time for our little family...

It's strange that this movie is so obscure anyway. It's well made, with some crude but effective special effects. The flying head is not convincing at all if you look at just that detail, but it works in the story. It also has two big stars, Sombat Metanee - who was one of the biggest stars in Thailand after Mitr Chaibancha - and Pissamai Wilaisuk who also was very popular. It's shot on 35 mm I guess, which was more expensive than the so popular 16 mm - and probably didn't need any live-dubbers in the theaters either. But the movie over all has a big look, with great landscapes and a lot of special effects-driven scenes.

Ghost of Guts Eaters feels, like another classic - Queen of Black Magic - very exotic, and it also has some almost social realistic views of country-life in general. The scene where Sombat is forced to whip his wife to see if she's possessed by a vampire is something you never would have seen in a western movie. The story also have a few twists, some of the very fast, so I had to rewind to understand what was happening sometimes. It never becomes as crazy or weird as its Indonesian counterparts though, and keeps its feet on the ground even with a zombie, a giant, a flying head and a demon in the cast of characters.

In the end, Ghost of Guts Eaters comes of like quite serious little movie. A little bit to long, but always well-acted and good atmosphere.

A little bitch-fight in the night...

1 comment:

Jack J said...

I have some info from the old French film historian Jean-Claude Michelle who's researched these "flying head with intestines dangling underneath" films and the original Thai title is "KRASUE SAO". I'm 100% positive the English title was made up by the Swedish video company. There are at least 25 films in the genre from various Asian countries. :D
The only known tape went for a huge amount on eBay last year. I have a dvdr directly off the tape (which most likely is as close as I'm ever gonna get to an original release, boo-hoo).