Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Fantasy > The Spirited Killer Trilogy (1994 – 1997/Mill Creek Entertainment DVD Set)

The Spirited Killer Trilogy (1994 – 1997/Mill Creek Entertainment DVD Set)


Picture: D     Sound: D     Extras: D     Features: D



Since Thai martial artist Tony Jaa has found international fame with Ong Bak and Ong Bak 2 (both reviewed elsewhere on this site), it only makes sense for a company like Mill Creek to dig up and release his old films here in the US.  To title this collection The Spirited Killer Trilogy is a bit misleading.  Jaa and a handful of other actors appear in each film, but aside from monotonously similar plots, there’s no connection between them.


The three films, titled Spirited Killer, Awakened Zombie Battles, and Ghost Wars, each follow the same basic formula.  A Japanese group and Chinese group tramp around the Thai countryside looking for artifacts or treasure.  While they’re there they fight with each other and the locals until they have to join forces to defeat various undead warriors.  That’s it.  The plot is non-existent, the fights are lame, and the acting is cartoonish in a meager attempt at humor.  There are even a few chase scenes lifted directly from the Scooby Doo playbook.


The picture quality in these films is atrocious.  The color is awful and a few shots in the first film, Spirited Killer, are tinted for no apparent reason.  All of the audio was inserted after shooting.  Even the Thai dialogue is dubbed in post with irritating high-pitched voices.  Apparently that’s funny in Thailand.  And much like other B-rate kung fu movies, the combat sound effects are the actual equivalent of the “Pow!” and “Whoosh!” bubbles in comic books.


These films do have some appeal in the realm of so-bad-it’s-good cinema, but even the most stalwart camp fan will likely tire of this collection somewhere around the middle of Awakened Zombie Battles.  Those looking for another Ong Bak will be disappointed.  Tony Jaa is not the main character in any of these films, and it may be difficult to even identify him.  There are a lot of great films coming out of Thailand these days, but The Spirited Killer Trilogy is not among them.



-   Matthew Carrick


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com