Legend Of The White Snake (Review)

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.

Van Far (Petchara Chaowarat) – The elder daughter of the family that adopts Poon Rue and the good, heroic woman who must fight her now evil sister for the man she loves. Her name is close enough to the Vulcan Pon Farr that it deserves to be mentioned.
Poon Rue (???) – A baby adopted by a family that was secretly possessed by an evil White Snake Witch who waits 20 years until she gets around to going all White Snake Witch crazy, which results in deaths, dancing, seduction, and people wandering around dark caves. The last thing is what is truly frightening, because watching people wander around dark caves is boring enough that it could kill you.
Kroo Prakit (Mitr Chaibancha) – The Handsome Investigator who comes to town to investigate why everyone is dropping dead. Becomes romantically involved with Van Far, but Poon Rue gets all jealous and tries to steal him away. Is Kroo short for Kangaroo? Well, it is now!
Old Investigator (???) – The older partner of Kroo Prakit doesn’t rate a name or a love interest, but he does rate a lot of screen time for a guy who doesn’t do much by himself.
Comic Relief Guy (???) – He’s funny! Maybe. Okay, not really. He sucks. Maybe he’s funny if you are Thai and thirty years older than I am. Maybe. Comic Relief Guy is the guide, I think.
Cemetery Guy (???) – Cemetery Guy is an undertaker, but not a pro wrestler. Cemetery Guy and Comic Relief Guy are like R2D2 and C3PO, just bumbling around while the heroes and villains do their thing. And I think a lightsaber shoots out of Cemetery Guy’s butt at one point…
Old Snake Lady (???) – The white snake sorceress’s true appearance. Imagine waking up next to that! The Cryptkeeper should be so lucky!

The weirdest part of the film is the opening, because it is some sort of narrated explanation of the film that follows it. Almost as if someone was ashamed of the film and its witchcraft story and poor farmers, and decided to try to paint them in a slightly better light in the beginning. As there are subtitles, the ones here are particularly poor. About the farmers, we are told “Their mean source of earning are rearing fakin animals” OMG so sick! There narrator also tells us this story is based on Chaing Saen narrator in 2453. Whatever that means. I am inclined not to trust this guy very much because he says the name of the movie is White Snake Sorceress, which is completely wrong. Finally, the narrator shuts up, and we never hear him again so good riddance.

A snake selling family gets more than they bargained for when they hire some men to capture a huge white snake. White snakes are known to have magical powers, but soon Mer Kok the business owner and his pregnant wife prepare to return to Bangkok, only Mer Kok is killed by a falling tree while looking for a doctor and his wife collapses on the floor at home. Seconds later, the baby is lying besides her, despite the mom still being unconscious and fully dressed. Hmmmm… Mom then wakes up and tries to leave the house with the baby, only to have the house catch on fire and the white snake morph into a crazy old lady who begins to cackle at them. By the time help arrives, the mom is dead and the baby gets adopted by one of the rescuers, who has a daughter of his own.

It is now years later and orphan Poon Rue is all grown up, as is her elder sister Van Far. The adoptive mom and dad discuss why there are so many people dying in their village, it is up to 11 dead. By now the government has noticed that people keep dropping dead and send two guys and their wacky assistant to investigate. We got Handsome Investigator and Old Investigator, joined by Comic Relief. The Investigators even see the white snake on the way to town, but further investigation reveals only another dead body. In town, they decide they will eventually dig up some graves, but not right now because doing stuff too fast would mean they can’t pad out the movie another two hours.

Also in town, Van Far manages to dump water on Handsome Investigator, who is soon putting the moves on her. He scores a visit later after Poon Rue walks over, and the sisters pour more water on him, which must be part of some ritual thing. I have no idea. Soon Poon Rue is alone, so Brutus Guy comes over to complain about handsome men from outside of the village taking all the hot chicks, and Poon Rue tells him not to worry because she will be with him.

The two investigators and Comic Relief go to the cemetery at night, meeting the weird Cemetery Guy. They came to open the graves of the dead to investigate, but when they open the newest death, the coffin is empty! The next coffin is empty except for a snake! And the next! And the next! And the next! Then a cloaked figure appears, the Handsome Investigator fires at it, but nothing doing. It is the old white snake sorceress lady, who just laughs at them and turns back into a snake.

The investigators go to talk to the Master of Chaing Saen, an old dude with a short Santa beard. He gives the investigators some sort of rodent he makes appear out of thin air, and then declares the White Snake Sorceress will not return. Right. Poon Rue can turn a snake into a sword, and then puts the moves on Brutus Guy. She tells him she will be with him forever if he does her a favor, which turns out to be attacking the rodent with a sword. This ends up with him and his crew getting into a fight with the investigators and their crew, and the rodent is squashed during the fight.

The White Snake Sorceress attacks the daughter of the host the Investigators are staying with, and she is brought to Master of Chain Saen. He tells them “snakes will suck your blood until you die” because Master of Chain Saen is worthless and needs to go back to medical school. That night, Poon Rue prays and turns into the Old Lady White Snake Sorceress. She hypnotizes Van Far and sends her to harass the sick daughter at the Master’s place. This gets her caught, and soon Van Far is ties to a tree while a bonfire is being built at her feet.

Her parents fail to save her, and there is a fight at the burning between Brutus Guy and the Investigators. Soon, the Investigators, Comic Relief, and Cemetery Guy are all tied to trees as well! Then a monk shows up to talk some sense into these idiots and Van Far is let go. She is given a magic necklace to put around Poon Rue’s neck, which should reveal her White Snake Sorceress form. Van Far fails to put the necklace on Poon Rue.

Van Far and Handsome Investigator make a date to meet by the lake, but Van Far doesn’t show later, instead Poon Rue does! She morphs into a one-legged swimsuit, and soon there are other girls nearby also in one-legged swimsuits and the trio dance and writhe around. Poon Rue then strips off her clothes and jumps in the stream, inviting Handsome Investigator in. He leans close for the kiss, but then Van Far runs up and puts the magic necklace on Poon Rue. It does nothing and Poon Rue yells at her. Total burn on that random monk for his useless necklace! Then the other two snake girls chase Van Far, but are pushed over and revert back to snakes. Poon Rue demands to know why Handsome Investigator isn’t in love with her. He wanders off, and then Brutus Guy arrives to bathe with Poon Rue. He wants to get Poon’s poon, if you know what I mean. One thing leads to another and soon he is being strangled by Poon Rue in snake form.

An antique dealer arrives in town with some necklaces that may help. Are we just going to put random necklaces on Poon Rue until one of them works? Because I bet there are a lot of necklaces in Thailand and that would make this movie even more boring than it is already. Poon Rue is still seducing Handsome Investigator with chicken dinner as the one-pantsleg dancers dance round for our instrumental musical number. A jazzy, synthy instrumental version of Somewhere Out There!

The Old Investigator, Comic Relief, Cemetery Guy, Van Far, Adopted Mom, and the Father of the sick girl go to the lair of Poon Rue and are outside. Comic Relief and the Cemetery Guy run into one of Poon Rue’s snakegirls outside acting all innocent. She jumps into snake sorceress mode when on the Comic Relief’s back. They manage to ge away but look like idiots in doing so, as usual.

Call out to Kroo Prakit, but when they see him he just wanders off. Sister meets sister, but Van Far has some sort of leaf that scares Poon Rue, and also cures Kroo Prakit of his hypnosis and the heroes run away while Poon Rue threatens to kill Van Far if they meet again. They spend the night in the jungle for some reason, which I learn later is because they are looking for the entrance to White Snake Sorceress Cave. But by staying the night they can be screwed with by the snake sorceresses. Kamdam is made to think his wife is there. But she isn’t and that is the limit of what the white snake sorceresses do.

Poon Rue appears, declares Van Far must die, then leaves, and the film pads out some more with them walking and walking. Finally find the cave entrance, but Kroo Prakit goes in, and ends up captured and with Poon Rue again. The rest enter the cave and appear to be further back somehow. It’s magic! They wander around in the cave and suddenly snakes everywhere, everyone is scared despite the face they should have expected snakes in White Snake Sorceress Cave. They find Kroo Prakit, who is hypnotized to not recognize them once again. What do you call deja vu mixed with amnesia? Bad writing!

Poon Rue pops in again, then turns into an Old White Snake Sorceress and tries to strangle Kroo Prakit until Van Far pushes her off and she disappears. Van Far then cures Kroo Prakit once again with a leaf, while the rest of the group does nothing. Then there are bats and earthquake! A rock falls on Kamdam’s hand, then he is strangled by a White Snake Sorceress who looks like a burn victim covered in lichens. The skull head white snake sorceress is also running around.

Van Far attacked by Poon Rue as Old Sorceress, who is immune to the necklaces and is strangling Van Far. Van Far finds a necklace that was dropped earlier and not put around her sister’s neck, so does so to this one. Poon Rue screams, turns to the Poon Rue form, turns to Old Sorceress form, turns into a snake, turns into snakeskin, turns into dust, and finally into nothing. The evil lair begins to self destruct like they always do. Everyone is happy, even the mom who had to see one of her daughters kill the other one. That’s….weird….

So that’s it. W00t, I guess. Time to pack this vcd away on the bottom of the pile, never to be seen again…

Rated 2/10 (Meemp!, I am sure you are excited to know that this character dies)

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6 thoughts on “Legend Of The White Snake (Review)

    • I think I got this on a blind buy from ethaicd.com but I was unable to find it when I looked through there. You are not missing much and can probably find a dozen better films just from browsing through their movie selection

    • The last time I ordered shipping was almost as much as the seven films I bought, but it looks like it is free now. It didn’t take long to arrive considering it came from overseas, though I think I did have to go sign for it at the post office.

  1. then thats good news, I can’t wait to actaully own some vitage Thai Cinema,been looking forward to the Insee Daeng films and maybe even some Kaiju if i can find some

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