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A young woman from the sticks wreaks bloody mayhem while working in a Bangkok girlie bar in "P," a Thai horror that loses focus in its second half. Good-looking production values, mix of titillation and gore, and the added curiosity of being the first Thai pic helmed by a foreigner make this suitable for specialist ancillary.

With:
With: Suangporn Jaturaphut, Opal, Pisamai Pakdeevijit, Manthana Wannarod, Narisara Sairatanee, Amy Siriya, Chartchai Kongsiri, Supatra Roongsawang.

A young woman from the sticks wreaks bloody mayhem while working in a Bangkok girlie bar in “P,” an above-average slice of Thai horror that loses focus in its second half. Good-looking production values, mix of titillation and gore, and the added curiosity of being the first Thai pic helmed by a foreigner (former Brit child actor Paul Spurrier) make this suitable for specialist ancillary. Pic has not been released in Thailand yet.

A Khmer raised in upcountry Thailand by her sorceress grandmother (Pisamai Pakdeevijit), Aaw (newcomer Suangporn Jaturaphut) accepts an invitation to go to the big city to earn some coin pole-dancing and servicing clients in a tiny bar frequented by Westerners. Soon quietly ambitious Aaw, who rooms with lesbian fellow dancer Pookie (Opal), unleashes her inner fury on her enemies. (M.O. basically involves her evil spirit entering victims’ bodies and eating its way out.) Realizing her “powers” are out of control, Aaw handcuffs herself in the bathroom and gets Pookie to monitor her “possession.” Effects are OK, but there’s little cumulative tension as no psychological underpinnings are given for Aaw’s behavior. Title reps Thai word for “ghost” (phi).

P

Thailand - U.K.

Production: A Puvisate Prod. (Thailand)/Creative Films Siam (U.K.) production. (International sales: Creative Films Siam, London.) Produced by Narongsak Vorraraichakun, Panupong Dangdej. Executive producers, Barry Stephens, Amanda Baker, Peter Green, Paul Spurrier. Directed, written by Paul Spurrier.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Rich Moore; editor, Spurrier; music, Spurrier, Nick Elphinstone; music arranger, Jack C. Arnold. Reviewed at Puchon Fantastic Film Festival, South Korea, July 20, 2005. (Also in New York Asian, Edinburgh film festivals.) Thai dialogue. Running time: 109 MIN.

With: With: Suangporn Jaturaphut, Opal, Pisamai Pakdeevijit, Manthana Wannarod, Narisara Sairatanee, Amy Siriya, Chartchai Kongsiri, Supatra Roongsawang.

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