High-Kick Girl was one of four films that came out or were announced close together that featured new female fighting talent as the leads, the others being Coweb from Hong Kong, Fighter from Denmark (review forthcoming), and Chocolate from Thailand.
For what is undoubtedly a low-budget flick, it does mush of what it sets out to do. The main goal is to showcase the karate skills of the stars, with plenty of real karate action and moves. Forget your wire work and CGI. The amount of prep work required must have been enormous for such a low-budget affair. Rumors abound that stunt people had to go take MRIs for having so many kicks to the heads and were really upset that the fighting was all “real” and they didn’t do takes where punches and kicks were pulled.
One constant stylization that High-Kick Girl uses is the different angle slow-mo instant replay. Many of the more brutal hits are instantly replayed from an alternate angle slow enough for you to enjoy them. This happens often enough that it probably added 20 minutes to the length of the film
Many of the characters are given introductions with their names when they first appear on screen. One problem is the fact the intros are in Japanese with no subtitles. I can read some of the characters, so there will be a few actual names below, but some of them I didn’t catch.
Planet Hulk is a storyline from the Incredible Hulk series where our favorite giant green monster gets rocketed to another planet, where he becomes a slave, a gladiator, a rebel, and finally a king, smashing things all the while. It was very popular, for good reason, because it was freaking awesome! It spawned sequels, spin-offs, and this DTV animated film. The storyline was mainly written by Greg Pak, or Robot Stories fame. Planet Hulk brings about memories of stories such as the John Carter of Mars series, Gladiator, and Conan the Barbarian. If you have the time, I highly recommend reading the story, collected in graphic novel form. It helped get me back into reading comics for a while, which was pretty difficult to do thanks to Marvel ruining things with stupid Spider-clones and crap.
The DTV film which is the subject of this review differs from the original story in several ways. One of the main differences is the fact the Silver Surfer is nowhere to be found, instead replaced by Beta Ray Bill (which is pretty random, sort of like the Silver Surfer’s original appearance in the story!) Surfer’s non-appearance is apparently due to licensing reasons. The story is also missing the Warbound Brood character No-Name, so I guess all those Brood fans will be disappointed. As the film is not so long, the story is sped up and most of the last act is hurriedly paced, even if I hadn’t of read the original story it would have felt rushed. Along with that, many subplots die by the wayside. Finally, the tragic ending of the original storyline does not occur, probably due to them wanting to end the story on a positive note and leaving the rest for a possible sequel. Hulk may be green, but Marvel wants the other green, money!
So since I loved the original story so much, that probably means I hate this version? Not quite. Despite over-simplifying it to the point where much of the flavor is removed, the same basic story is there, and there is plenty of fighting action. There are numerous scenes with the Spikes, which show someone involved in the DTV production really liked zombie movies. Parts of it are actually creepy/scary in a way they fail to be in the comic. I didn’t hate this version, I actually liked it, but I’ll be keeping the graphic novel instead of the DVD on my bookshelf.
There are numerous cameos in the audience, including Pip the Troll, Gamora, Adam Warlock, a Skrull, Star-Lord, and some guy hiding behind the Red King who might be Grandmaster. So if you are that guy who loves Grandmaster, this is the film for you.
Legend Of The White Snake
Directed by ???
When I first got this, I thought by the name Legend Of The White Snake that it was a Thai take on the Madam White Snake story. Boy, was that wrong! Instead, it is just your run of the mill movie where an evil snake witch invades some baby girl’s body and evil stuff happens years later when everyone is grown up. And there are a few random dances and scares, but this is hardly a fun movie, it is more of a movie you have on in the background while doing other stuff and then you pay attention when the few weird things happen. Or you just look at the clips here, read the synopsis, and never have to worry about tracking down this film ever. Because you won’t, unless you are a Thai snake girl film completeist, in which case I can’t help you unless I charge an hourly rate.
There is absolutely zero information about this film online except for a single place to order the VCD from. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. So if TarsTarkas.NET did not bite the bullet and review this stupid thing, there would be no record that it ever existed. And who would want that? We must record even the boring examples of ridiculous films, because, the world becomes a less magical place if they aren’t here. It is just like when rare animals disappear. It doesn’t affect you personally if the white rhinos go bye-bye, but it is a bad thing to know that something once was there and now it is not. And even if no one knew about this movie before, now you do and you are better for it, despite the film’s little entertainment value.
The score is stolen from various sources including Halloween. There is a secondary track the director must have loved because it plays like 30 times, but I don’t recognize where it is from despite it sounding familiar.
We don’t got names so we got guesses. Okay, I figured out the names of a few of them as they got their named mentioned in subtitles. The rest are complete guesses, and for no one do I know who played them. I was told that the following actors are in the film: Mechai Panchar, Picharak, and Chokiwa Luck. I have no clue who any of them are, and Google finds nothing (though Picharak is a planet in the Rebel Squadrons Wiki.)
UPDATE – After chatting about this film with Todd from 4DK (what, you don’t talk about weird Thai films with your friends?) we’ve determined that this film was actually made in the 1960s instead of the 1980s, as the guy playing Kroo Prakit is probably Mitr Chaibancha, who died in 1970 because man was not meant to hang from helicopters. Thus, Mechai Panchar = Mitr Chaibancha. Picharak = Petchara Chaowarat, who plays Van Far. Chokiwa Luck is still unknown, but he’s probably the guy who came up with Thailand’s many, many translation schemes that make doing research in English agonizingly frustrating! If I ever get off my lazy butt Mitr Chaibancha will be back when I watch the Red Eagle movies I have of his.
Star Trek: Hidden Frontier – 209 – Worst Fears Part I
2001 Official Site
Directed by Risha Denney
Not a cliffhanger! I don’t think I can wait another year to… Oh, wait, I don’t have to since the entire show is finished. That’s the power of procrastination! Laziness wins again. You can’t fight the lazy, because it won’t bother to show up to the boxing ring.
This is the end of Season 2, and what a magical ride it’s been. We had characters leave, die, and disappear. We’ve had new characters show up. We have the Grey invading multiple times. We got people with big ears. We got improved makeup effects. We got alternate universes and flashbacks. We even have Chimp Guy! Thus, it is the best season yet. But let’s get this episode out of the way!
Guest Star Roll Call