Cool Gel Attacks (Review)
Cool Gel Attacks
aka Kradeub aka กระดึ้
Directed by Jaturong “Mokjok” Phonboo
Alien goo monsters from space crashed into the Earth and start sucking the moisture/warmth from people. It’s up to two rival families to put aside their differences and save the planet. Cool Gel Attacks is a cool, refreshing burst of fun scifi monsterism in a world where fun romps are sorely lacking.
The cool gel monsters look like cool gel packs that you wear when you have fevers to cool down your body temperature. This method isn’t that common in the US, but at least according to this film, is the bee’s knees in Thailand. Ask anyone there, and they’ll tell you that they’re gellin’ like a felon. They eat melon because they’re gellin’. Magellan wishes he was as gellin’.
The beginning is a montagy showcase of a bicyclist who finds a mysterious gel thing on the road, which becomes a national phenomenon until scientists figure out it is just the insides of one of those cool gel packs. But by then, people are touching it for good luck and trying to determine lottery numbers.
You might think this is all fun and games, but it is 100% true! One woman even cooked up one of the gel packs and fed it to her kids to make them more intelligent. No word on what horrible brain damage eating the gel packs did to those poor kids. And now we know how the Thailand ET film will end! Just kidding, I have a Thailand ETish film that will get reviewed soon, and no one eats the alien. UFO interest has spiked up since the national headlines, and Thailand is becoming a minihotspot for alien activity. Aliens will even call you on the phone or communicate with you telepathically, as the many totally true alien stories from that link tell us.
Director Jaturong “Mokjok” Phonboon is a comedian who directs films on the side, and gets a bunch of his comedian buddies to star alongside him. Thsu, many of the goofy, silly Thai films you see when you go search on eThaicd have his fingerprints on them.
Other characters of note include Teerachai’s wife (whose name I did not catch), their young son Moo-sub, and their helper at the store Yao. Yao also happens to be a lesbian, and is having a relationship with Ma-Mia, who works at the ice plant despite being overly sensitive to the cold. Ma-Mia spends most of the film unconscious. Maew has a son named Shorty, and a dog named Popcorn.
Now we join our main characters, the two neighboring families who aren’t very fond of each other. One family runs a steamed bun bakery, which causes problems for the family next door that runs an ice plant. The steam from the ovens causes the ice to melt. In addition, every other neighbor has sold their homes to a rich investor who is trying to buy everyone out to develop the area. The families also have a Romeo/Juliet thing going on, with the daughter of the Bun family in love with the nephew of the Ice family.
In this world, alien space gel monsters actually crash land in their backyards. The gels’ first victim is the Maew family dog Popcorn, the gel jumping into his mouth and later leaving, resulting in a frozen solid Popcorn. He’s buried as the families await the property buyer coming over to make the latest offer to buy their homes.
That night, the gels then snag the guy buying up all the properties before he meets with the families, effectively turning him into a walking zombie filled with gel. He staggers over and tries to attack the couple Yao and Ma-Mia, who are out for a midnight makeout session, but they get away from him and call for help. The families see the cool gel emerge from the frozen husk of the property buyer, which then sheds its skin and starts leaping towards new victims. If you’ve never seen a slug leap and fly through the air at the speed of a bullet, now you have a chance!
The families run and hide in the kitchen of the bun home. Please note that at this point, Ma-Mia is unconscious from fainting and will spend the rest of the film KOed until the epilogue. But her sensitivity to cold is useful as a proximity detector of the cool gel, so they lug her around. As we like the family characters, we need some new people to be killed, thus some of the thug family members of the guy buying up all the properties show up, along with a few goons. I didn’t catch their names, but just assume they’re all named after various snacks. Cool Ranch Dorito, French Fry, whatever those fried cheese sticks are called… Because they’re all food for the cool gels.
The cool gels get bigger, and soon after some cannibalistic cool gel sex (hide the kids!) there is a pile of eggs in the house. The families realize that if they escape, the eggs will hatch and it is all over for Thailand and the world. So they must take action. Experimenting with one of the smaller cool gels reveals they can be frozen and smashed.
They lure it into a pool in the ice machine room and lower the temperature to freeze it. But the surviving property buyer goons set fire to the houses, and in the chaos the power gets unplugged to the ice machine. By now the cool gel has become a gigantic monster, and is no longer cool. Gel has gone mainstream. You know it’s over when grandma has gel.
The families figure out that the buns also kill the cool gels, but they don’t know which ingredient it is. So they throw all sorts of crap into the mouth of the giant cool gel until something works – the secret illegal ingredient borax! The worm dies and the world is saved…
Hey, this film still has a ways to go! So let’s tack on a sequence where some cops come by (one played by Koti Arambawy, who seems to be in almost every Thai comedy) and one almost eats a cool gel egg! They spray it with borax and everyone lives happily ever after.
For a low-budget comedy, you could do much worse than Cool Gel Attacks. The main problems were the lack of danger for the main characters and some of the Thai comedy not translating over well. It also was pretty short and feels like the ending sequences was thrown on to add some length action-wise, maybe some character development was trimmed in the editing room. But the gel attacks were pretty good, and the opening montage was funny. The characters are likeable enough (even the “gruff” fathers) that you want to see the succeed, despite knowing they will. Pretty much just some plain old fun, with only a few dirty parts thrown in.
Rated 8/10 (cop time, bad breath, egg mcmuffin, director, give you wings, out for a walk, the jury says…, guilty!)
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