James Band 007 (Review)

James Band 007

Directed by ???

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.

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