Upon receiving Bangkok Haunted I was immediately overwhelmed with excitement at the thought of another Asian horror film. I’m an Asian horror junky and there’s no denying that I love MOST of the Asian horror I watch.
Unfortunately, the drool and heavy breathing quickly subsided when I noticed the names attached to the top of the DVD…Danny and Oxide Pang. I’m sure those of you that have actually seen the franchise killer that was The Eye Pt. 10 can understand my wood decline. The Eye 10 was a stinking heap of shit and that’s putting it nicely. Duty calls though and I figured if my fate was to watch another Pang film like The Eye 10…I might as well get it over with.
Danny and Oxide Pang have officially redeemed themselves in my eyes. Bangkok Haunted was surprisingly cool to watch. We get horror and Thai girl boobage. Course…we get to see some dead Thai girl boobage too but that’s a matter of preference. (quickly hides copy of Dead Girl Monthly)
Bangkok Haunted is an anthology that presents a wrap-around tale of 3 women sitting around in a cafe drinking tea and telling each other 3 scary stories. Sort of like an updated campfire thing but without the twigs in your underwear and vicious chigger assaults.
The first story is entitled, “Legend of The Drum” and tells the tale of a young woman who comes into the possession of an old drum. She does a bit of digging and upon further investigation she learns of a story attached to the drum. Paga, an orphan girl, is taken in by a drum maker and his Family and raised as their own. The young Paga befriends a hideously deformed and outcast by the name of Gnod, who falls in love with Paga. As the years progress Paga soon meets a suitor and is arranged to be married. This doesn’t sit well with Gnod and they both end up vanishing. This is where the story of the drum in the present day kicks in.
The next tale, “Black Magic Woman”, is about a lonely girl named Pan whose search for a love interest doesn’t appear to be going so well. A chance encounter with her next door neighbor introduces her to a deadly perfume called “Ply Essence” and its terrifying ability to draw men to the wearer…at any cost. Pan, of course, uses the oil on a gentleman, and does the deed, giving him a bit of morning sickness (go figure!). Once she finds out it works, she sets her sights on a specific love interest. After she uses the Ply Essence nothing will stop her new lover from being with her…not even death.
The last tale in the anthology is called “Revenge” and boy does it deliver! Inspector Nop is investigating (natch!) the apparent suicide of a girl named Gunya. The investigation leads Nop to her husband, who beat Gunya, and her lover Tongin. Nop leans on both and just as you have one suspect pegged…the rug is pulled out from underneath you. You’ll be shocked and surprised by this tale of an avenging cop caught in a web of his own rejection.
These tales may not sound scary and but they are on many levels and they succeed in making your skin crawl. For a few years now I’ve been hooked on Asian horror because it brings back those old feelings of fear that had grown numb after years of Hollywood horror. This film definitely had a creep out factor and the end (concerning the girls in the café) was just sweet. Horror fans should definitely check this out. Panik House has a great film on their hands and a nice track record starting out.
This DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen but the picture was probably not as sharp as it could have been. It had the feel of a high quality VHS at times, though I highly doubt its Panik House’s fault. I see more and more Asian horror hitting US DVD in this manner. Perhaps we’re just too accustomed to clarity nowadays.
The disc comes with some interesting extras, though nothing earth-shattering. The nifty holofoil sleeve made this quite attractive. Solid movie.