Sunday, May 9, 2010
War of Devils (199?)
According to IMDB, Tony S. Suvat wrote two movies around 1990: The Lost Idol (with Erik Estrada and Sorapong Chatree) and In Gold We Trust (with Jan-Michael Vincent and Sam J. Jones, got good reviews in Variety in 1992)), both directed by one "Philip Chalong". If Tony is just a writing-alias for Philip Chalong I have no idea, but Tony S. Suvat (or maybe his name is Buncherd Dhawee?) is credited as the director and writer of this little known movie, War of Devils. The only place I've seen something that resembles a review say it's from 2007, but that's not correct. It look more like early nineties.
Inspired my American horror-movies, it starts of with a couple of teenagers (but I guess they are well above 25, going with the tradition of slasher-movies) in a Scooby Doo-van, looks like something right from the seventies with the famous peace-mark embedded in a a very trippy paint-job.They are rocking to the max while listening to a, probably, unlicensed Highway Star with Deep Purple! After a few hours on their trip they are far out in Reckneckistan and stops by a little store - where some hillbillys, here represented by local gerillas or something, starts bugging them. Soon they are out in the jungle and meet an old (floating in the air) man that warns them about going further, but they don't listen to him.
Not long after this the rednecks is catching up and wants to have little fun with the girls, and maybe kill their boyfriends, but they are stopped in the last minute by a forest ghost, a flying woman with a manic laughter and with the power to transform herself to a rotting corpse - still flying, waving her arms like a bird! The rednecks wants to take revenge for her stopping the fun, and finally manages to kill one of the kids - and this starts a war! Finally one of the bad guys uses his black magic to invoke a couple of monsters: a vampire dwarf, a rotting zombie, a Thai-warrior with two faces and a bat/ape-esque demon from Hell!
The kids takes shelter in a house and has to defend themselves against the monsters outside!
The inspiration from the US slasher movies obviously stops with them leaving the rednecks at the store, because after that it's traditional weirdo Thai-territory! War of Devils is a good-looking little movie who are more ambitious than a lot of the other movies set in jungle thats been produced in Thailand. The direction is inspired and way better than usual, and it also looks damn good. The first half is a bit slow, with too much talking, but it builds up to the Night of the Living Dead-style finale and delivers a lot of fun during the time. The special effects are good, sometimes very good. The flying woman and demon from hell works very good and looks cool and convincing. They also added some animated sparkles to the woman, which actually works fine. The rotting zombie is disgusting, the vampire dwarf is cooler than you would think and the Thai warrior is a bit scary with his huge deadly sword.
It also delivers some gore, though not in any big amounts. There's a nice chopped of arm, some impalings by sword and other pointy things, a quite dark scene of the zombie ripping out the intestines from a character, some squibs and a little bit more. But the best thing is just the monsters attacking the house in different ways, the black magic vs the white magic. It's a bit childish, but with a mean-spirited feeling of sadism.
I have the Thai VCD, and the cover don't look that exciting. But it's a fun movie (and the picture quality is ok) that belongs to the old style of Thai-filmmaking, still low budget and quite obscure. I was afraid that the generic (but competent) beginning would set the course for the rest of the movie, but it takes a wonderful quirky turn and shows us that the Thai's always know how twist our expectations a little bit extra.