Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lumpoon Daeng (1988)

The original title is ลำพูนแดง, which means Red Country. I have no idea what this refers to, if it’s just a poetic form of blood or if it has something to do with the evil communists that always was the baddies in these movies. I doubt it’s the last, because here we have something that looks like a very typical countryside action story with legend Sorapong Chatree as the good guy and (I think) Rith Luecha as the bad guy.

I’m not totally sure about the story, but think it’s like this: Sorapong gets his hands on a Buddhist amulet, obviously a very sacred one. Suddenly he can’t be hurt buy guns and becomes a helluva fighter. He’s shot and shot, but no scratch on his body! This is of course fine until the day he tries to save a girl (Duangduen Jithaisong) from get kidnapped. He and the girl’s sister (or friend) chases them but it ends with her getting fatally injured and the baddies gets away! She dies and the police of course think he’s guilty to the kidnapping! So he’ll have to prove that he’s innocent by saving the other girl and killing all the bad guys!

Something like that, sorry if it’s not correct, but I can seriously not find any other storyline to fit in to the movie! At first the VCD looked like shit, but after a couple of minutes it became quite good, which helps a lot when you watches a film without subtitles. As usual this is Sorapong Chatree’s show and he’s just fabulous. He has a strong screen presence and handles all kinds of action very well. Here he has to fight and shoot his way through a lot of baddies, with a lot of chases and explosions around him. The action is good, not bad at all. Squibs are plenty and the stunts are quite good to.

This is also a good example of how local traditions and folklore is weaved into the story without much hoopla. Sorapong just have this power because of this amulet, and in the end he takes it off to be able to fight the bad guy without cheating. That’s it, nothing more is analyzed around this. I remember myself being in Thailand wearing an amulet which caused a lot of interest at some old men. “Can we buy it?” they asked and then told me how someone experimented with hanging these on people and then practiced shooting on them! If they survived I have no idea, but this amulet was obviously good to protect against bullets and knifes! Sorry for the sidetrack, but I love it when the filmmakers don’t makes such a fuzz about small details like that.

Lumpoon Daeng, in the end, is a good action movie with lots of stuff for us fans of older Thai action.

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