"It's good fun, but there are no genuine scares to be had, and at some point even the most thick-headed viewer will resign him or herself to the fact that one dick joke is very much like another."
Body Jumper (2001)
AKA: Porp Weed Sayong
Director: Haeman Chatemee
Cast: Danai Samutkochorn, Angie Grant, Chompunoot Piyapane, Chatewut Watcharakhun, Chaicharn Nimpulsawasdi, Napatsanun Thaweekitthavorn
Running Time: 98 min.
Plot: A vicious, hungry ghost is ravaging the small Thai village. When a new school year begins and a group of students arrive from Bangkok, the ghost possesses one of the them; and when they return to Bangkok they are not alone.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
NUMSKULL'S REVIEW: Body Jumper is a horror-comedy that has but two settings: "Knowingly Campy" for the former aspect and "Gleefully Lowbrow" for the latter. It's good fun, but there are no genuine scares to be had, and at some point even the most thick-headed viewer will resign him or herself to the fact that one dick joke is very much like another.
To start off, we see an angry mob ambushing and executing a woman who seems to be possessed by a demonic spirit. This takes place in 1932, in a small, backwater village. The traditional horror tale atmosphere generated by this sequence is quickly dispersed by the ceaseless scatological buffoonery of the university students who comprise the lion's share of the cast. There's Com and Woo, two fairly normal guys. There's Pim and Fah, two fairly normal girls. There's Gir, the white-hot temptress who inspires erections (and subsequent nosebleeds, presumably a culture-specific sight gag) in every postpubescent male who lays eyes on her, except for Belle, the beefy young man who dresses like a girl, ogles guys like a girl, and in some ways believes that he IS a girl.
With the film's maturity level now firmly established, we see the main characters visit the village in the present day to participate in some silly-ass youth volunteer program to whip the rubes into better physical shape. Gir gets possessed by the same spirit from 1932 and consequently develop a taste for liver...especially if it's from a human being. When not watching The Scary Monkey Show, Gir selects a male, gets close to him (not much difficulty there) and strikes, usually fatally. This behavior leads to a few humorous moments, the best of which involves a stuffed bunny and a magnifying glass. There's also a subplot about a guy in the "Scream" mask stealing girls' underwear. This is pretty much just tacked on to pad the length of the film, although it does produce a standout moment in which the thief sings a modified version of "Old MacDonald" to one of his victims over the phone.
Back to the demon business...Com is the first person to come close to figuring out what's going on and has trouble convincing his friends until Woo has a close encounter (not the sort of encounter he wanted) with the possessed Gir. Once they're all on the evil whatzit's trail, they land in hot water but are bailed out by Kong, a black guy with mysterious expertise in the field of demon-fighting. Then they transform themselves into an organized assault force with Kong's supply of high-tech weapons and magic condoms.
Obviously, this isn't high art, and as low art goes, it's good, but not great. A significant plus is the striking beauty of Chompunoot Piyapane (Gir) and Angie Grant (Fah). Chompunoot's scantily-clad gyrations on the hood of a car are certain to induce a certain quickening of the pulse, but perhaps even more noteworthy is the fact that the irresistible Ms. Grant achieves very similar results late in the film with a simple come-hither gesture and a bat of her eyelids. Alas, some of the special effects leave a lot to be desired, and all things considered, the film doesn't quite achieve the cultish, see-and-see-again quality it seems to be aiming for.
NUMSKULL'S RATING: 7/10