James Bond ripoffs seem to exists in every culture’s movie repartee. Some countries churn out dozens of them, especially during the boom years of the 1960s and 1970s. So it is only fitting the comedians get in on the act. Spy spoof films also seem to show up in every country. Spy films are a genre ripe for spoofing, because they are usually freaking ridiculous on their lonesome. James Bond even approached self-parody with cheesy ridiculous entries like Moonraker. So it comes to no surprise that we have a Thai James Bond spoof. The surprise is the film has survived to the point of hitting VCD, which pretty much means we will have at least a low-res version of it forever. Hooray for low-grade film archiving.
Now, I originally got this film off the eThaicd website as a whim, looking for something to fill the order up enough. I didn’t expect this to be anything special, I didn’t even expect it to be a comedy. I was surprised when I opened the package and looked through my vcds, just to notice that the cover to this one included a tiny C-3PO and R2-D2 at the bottom of the film poster. I expected that I would scan in the VCD cover, make a joke about how I liked those droids and couldn’t wait to see them, then get all mad when they never showed up. But the movie punked me. Because…C-3PO and R2-D2 are in this movie! Seriously! Sure, generic Thai knockoffs, but it is them and that is who they are supposed to be! It is one of the most awesome movie discovery I have made. Of course, I included clips of the droids in action. Just stay put. I did some research on the cast, since the only thing written in English about James Band 007 is the order page on the eThaicd website.
James Band (Thep Tienchai) – A bike cabbie who takes over the mantle of James Bond when he is killed in his taxi. Thep Tienchai gained fame in the 1970s using his bad looks and missing teeth in his comedy act, but he has since passed on. He can also be seen in the films Pher Jorm Pern, Tah Tien, and Yod Manood Computer (where snot flows from his nose.)
The Villain (Lor Tok) – The Villain of the piece (I never caught his name) is evil and wants to destroy the world. He has robot goons, and lots of henchmen. Lor Tok was born Sawong Supsamruay, and eventually became one of the greatest comedic actors in Thai cinema. His film debut was in 1933 in Wan Chakayan. Among his over 1000 films roles he starred in the comedy horror Dracula Tok, which had a cartoon series based on it after his 2002 death. He established his own production company in 1969 called Tok Boom Parpayon.
Contact (???) – The contact James Bond was supposed to meet and James Band now meets instead. She may be named Pani Ka. Incredibly thin. Not afraid to tromp around in a bikini.
Thai Moneypenny (???) – James Bond means lots of hot chicks, so of course one of them will work for the secret agency that James Bond works for. Thus we dub her Thai Moneypenny because we didn’t catch her real name. The actress seems very prolific, I have spotted her on several posters.
Thai M (???) – The Thai M heads the secret agency that the James Bond of Thailand works for. His agency is so powerful that some random rickshaw guy saves the day.
James Bond (???) – Thailand has their own James Bond, except he isn’t very good at dodging assassin’s bullets and ends up becoming 00Dead. Luckily, James Band takes over!
A2B (???) – The C-3Po droid of our evil Villain. Gold skin, evil laugh, short temper, he is every bit the C-3PO we all know and love.
A2A (???) – The R2-D2 droid of our evil Villain. I believe his name is A2A, but I am not sure so don’t yell at me for my less than fluent Thai. A2A likes to peep, and argues with A2B about everything. Their battles can get violent. A2A is made out of a bunch of vents, filters, and gauges.
1993 (probably really 1990)
Jonathan Isgar as Catman
Bruce Fontaine as ???
Kenneth Goodman as ???
Mark King as ???
Kenneth Woods as ??? Directed by Godfrey Ho
There is no boxer in this film. There is Catman! Catman! The savior of Thailand who helped defeat the evil Father Cheever and his gang of jugglers and headbangers while a completely different movie happened in the background is back, while once again a completely different movie happens in the background! This is the second Godfrey Ho Catman movie, after the abysmal Catman in Lethal Track, one would think you can’t sink any lower. One would be wrong, as Godfrey Ho not only takes us to the depths of Hell, he goes deep inside to Hell’s Hell. From confusing characters to seizure-inspired editing to 1/3 of the movie being shot at night on a moonless night with characters wearing black, Catman in Boxers Blow is a marvel of bad filmmaking. A spectacle that shines as a beacon of muck, inspiring films to ramp up the levels of loathsome, greasy, unlikable characters and situations just to compete in the world of trash. Godfrey Ho and Joseph Lai have truly outdone themselves with this entry.
The Movie B of Boxers Blow is a Thai action/heist movie, but is very confusing. For 80% of the time I was watching it I had little to no idea what was going on. They have a massive, massive amount of characters that are introduced with no name or explanation and disappear for 30 minutes at a time, few of which are distinct enough to even remember. Even making a chart like I will do of the characters is confusing, as many are left out in the cold due to their vagueness. The fates of some of these characters is unknown, thanks to the poor filmmaking of the Thai film and the even poorer editing of the Godfrey Ho parts. The resulting mess is less of a hodgepodge and more of a junkpile, with a few recognizable pieces of trash, but the majority has spoiled and rotted away so much you can’t stand to look at it.
Jonathan Isgar as Catman
Johnanna Brownstein as ???
Kenneth Goodman as ???
Danny Lau as ???
Tas Lehoczky as ???
Blue Moroney as ??? Directed by Godfrey Ho
From the fiery depths of Hell comes this abomination that curses the cinematic lands. The horror that men dare not speak its name can only be conceptualized as Catman! Astonishingly, this is the more coherent of the two Catman films, which are part of the rogue’s gallery of monstrosities heaped upon the good people of the Earth by one Godfrey Ho and on Joseph Lai, two ringleaders in terror extravagance. When they aren’t producing hundred of films with “ninja” in the title in some way, they are creating many extra films of the “martial arts” genre, in that they purchase films from overseas and intersplice a few minutes of original footage and a complete overdub, thus coming up with a comprehensive plot. In theory. In practice, it’s a confusing mess, and Catman in Lethal Track is no exception. Most of the film watching time is spent trying to figure out just what in the heck is going on at the moment. The rest is waiting for Catman’s sorry behind to arrive to save the day. Godfrey Ho monstrosities that have reached TarsTarkas.NET before include Robo Vampire and Undefeatable, and we can be assured he will hit our shores again like a Luftwaffe bombardment, striking out of nowhere to make us go running for the bomb shelter.
Catman is quite simply the lamest hero to ever grace the silver screen. Not that I think these films ever were exhibited on a silver screen anywhere, or even a copper screen, or a rust screen. Catman is lamer than Rat Pfink and Boo-boo, lamer than Batman and Robin Batman and Robin, lamer than Pumaman, and even lamer than a first grader’s Halloween costume. Catman’s cat-powers include super-strength, the power to change TV channels, the power to control electronics, the power to use his bullet-proof bracelets without getting his wrists broken, and the power to teleport out of chains while causing a grenade to explode a few feet in front of him. Basically, everything your average house cat can do. Catman’s symbol is borrowed from the Eveready batteries 9 Lives’s symbol in style. Catman’s costume was patched together in a few minutes with whatever the director had left over after making 900 ninja costumes for his other films. There wasn’t enough material for a mask, so Catman wears special Catman Glasses (or Cat Glasses) that hide his identity about as effective as Clark Kent’s glasses. Come to think of it, the people in this universe are much smarter in one respect; they know who Catman is without his mask on. Probably because Catman runs around fighting crime without his mask on, like an idiot. Good thing he lives in Thailand, where his family probably is no where near. They’re never brought up, nor is any other character development for Catman. We learn more about his lame partner Gus than we do about Catman, real name Sam. No relation to the comic character who was probably lame as well (but not as lame) based on his comic covers alone. We might as well jump right in, so bear with us when things seem confusing, as Catman is a victim of the “Copfuse-a-cat” company, rendering both films nonsensical… Continue reading →