Saturday, July 09, 2011

Vamp or Not? Sars Wars

When this one floated across my awareness, via a cruise through some e-bay listings, it caught my eye as the creatures within were listed as vampire-zombies. Indeed I received some correspondence the day I sat down to watch the film, from a blog reader named James, which talked about zompires.

This to me seems as good a description as any for some of the vampire zombie crossover films that are appearing. To recap, in 1954 Richard Matheson gave us I am Legend a book that detailed a vampire apocalypse. This was a direct inspiration for Romero when he made Night of the Living Dead, which of course is the granddaddy of zombie flicks (despite not mentioning the word zombie). Thus the zombie flick was born out of the vampire genre and became a genre in its own right. There have been films and books, quite a few recently, that seem to merge aspects of what has become the zombie (and in that I am including the infected type films) genre and the vampire genre. There are more or less traits from one genre or the other and – from a vampire point of view – they deserve investigating…

Not that Sars Wars is a horror movie, not by a long shot. This Thai movie, dating to 2004 and directed by Taweewat Wantha, is a comedy that includes a lot of sexual farce, body humour and some breaking of the fourth wall. It begins with a spokeswoman on the news declaring Thailand virus free, especially of Sars 4, which is devastating Africa. Images of Africa follow, with many dead and then a mosquito flies from the mouth of a zombifying corpse and manages to find its way across the world to Thailand.

Supakorn Kitsuwon as Khun Krabii
Liu (Phintusuda Tunphairao) is a schoolgirl who is picked up by limousine as her father is clearly a rich man. The driver and bodyguard are distracted, as they drive along, by a woman in a bikini and then crash into a man in a teddy bear suit. This is an elaborate plot to have them crash – the woman being a male, middle-aged crime boss in a rubber mask (which seems to be able to alter body shape!) who likes to wear women’s clothing and who is kidnapping the girl for ransom. Her father turns to Master Thep (Suthep Po-ngam) for help who, after being relentlessly tickled, agrees to help and sends his student Khun Krabii (Supakorn Kitsuwon) after the girl.

Andrew Biggs
Meanwhile Andrew Biggs (as himself) is bitten by the mosquito, becomes covered in pustules and then turns into a zombie. He bites one man and then wanders round a high rise biting one woman and eating a cat (whose tail zombifies). What remains of the cat is eaten by a snake that becomes a giant zombie cat/snake hybrid! In the high rise is a night club and the kidnappers' hide-out and, eventually, the place is sealed off by the government – ready to destroy it if the vaccines of Dr Diana (Lena Christensen) don’t work.

So far, so zombie… it is in the look that these really cross over into vampire territory, the infected develop fangs which either become rows of sharp teeth or the standard two side fangs. The only other non-zombie or infected trait was the fact that, having been bitten by a cgi infected baby, Khun Krabii becomes infected and yet manages to fight the infection enough to warn Liu away from himself. He then eats a variety of household cleaning products and manages to cure himself!

lightsaber rip off
Lightsabers, transvestites, animated sections and general weird madness abound but is it vamp? For the sake of some fangs I don’t think so; in the main these act like zombies. There are a couple of neck bites but a whole lot of skull bites (aiming for the brains supposedly). They are, I would venture, a variant of the zompire but not so much that this deserves to be deemed a vampire film. Not Vamp.

The imdb page is here.


Clark49 said...

sounds a lot of fun..............I want to see it :)

Taliesin_ttlg said...

it is very silly but also quite good fun in a completely off-the-wall sort of way

Clark49 said...

off-the-wall.................just the sort of humour that appeals to me