Pee Hua Kurd: The Beheaded
"This limp-wristed Thai film (all three of it) seems to be afflicted with the cinematic equivalent of multiple personality disorder."
Pee Hua Kurd: The Beheaded (2002)
Director: Komsan Tripong
Cast: Thep Phongarm , Theng Therdtherng , Thanisorn Satayamongkol , Note Chernyim , Noppawan Srinikorn , Jaturong Mokjok , Chanis Yaisamer
Running Time: 120 min. (PAL)
Plot: One part bloody vengeance from beyond the grave added to one part sappy romance and two parts screwball comedy; shaken, not stirred. The Beheaded features zombies, Miracle Midgets, kick boxing, jokes at the expense of the handicapped, and "an eel that fucks your Daddy!"
NUMSKULL'S REVIEW: This limp-wristed Thai film (all three of it) seems to be afflicted with the cinematic equivalent of multiple personality disorder. It starts off with a ten minute, Mr. Vampiresque segment in which a sorcerer named Master Gorey visits a graveyard with his three bumbling fuckwit assistants: Puag (cross-eyed), Koa (hard of hearing), and Muek (irritable bowel syndrome). He accidentally summons a small army of zombies and one of his underlings ends up having to have snake venom sucked out of one of his butt cheeks. This was done previously in Corey Yuen's "High Risk", but it's funnier here. All in all, this opening sequence promises a good amount of amusement in the upcoming 110 minutes. The rest of the film's failure to keep that promise can only be described as "spectacular".
For the next hour and change we are subjected to a dull and meandering story about Diew, a wandering good guy who shows up in this little town looking for a "Mr. Groan", his late father's kick boxing teacher. The town is run by Chief Khem and Mr. Yang. The former has a son named Maad who beats people up for not paying protection money and always wins the yearly festival's boxing competition; the latter has a son named Mompong who always wins the buffalo race at the same festival. Naturally, it's up to Diew to defy the powers that be and win the heart of Tuptim, the local beauty, while he's at it. However, that stuff has to wait until after Diew meets up with Master Gorey (aka Mr. Groan, big surprise) and bails Puag, Muek and Koa out of the trouble they keep landing themselves in. Nothing remarkable here except for the fact that the hero has an infuriating, high-pitched, girly voice that makes you wish the bad guys would come along and chop his head off.
And you know what? They do. Oh, don't look so shocked. That's Diew's severed head grinning at you on the DVD package. Besides, what the hell did you expect from a movie called "The Beheaded"?
So, Diew and his trusty buffalo are killed in an ambush and subsequently framed for murder. Such a shame, he won the boxing match, he won the buffalo race, he seemed like such a nice boy, his voice could cut glass in cold weather, blah blah blah. Maad abducts Piptin and her friend Sa, and since Master Gorey and his trio of dipshits can't do much about it, Diew comes back from the dead to wreak bloody revenge upon all of the villains. Even his buffalo rises from the grave, hell-bent on goring every evildoer in sight. Obviously, the buffalo is the coolest character in the film. Even more obviously, this is the movie's other big tone shift; the supernatural element makes a big comeback, especially when Gorey has a sorcerers' duel with a villainous mystic. Gone, though, is the outright buffoonery of the now distant opening scene. The Beheaded scores some points for being unique, but very few for overall entertainment value. When the most likable character is a large, hoofed mammal, you know you've got problems. The lackluster fight scenes and sappy romance aspect are impossible to ignore. Only the opening, which is like a mini-movie in and of itself, is truly worth your time.
NUMSKULL'S RATING: 4/10