The Spirited Killer Trilogy (1994 – 1997/Mill Creek Entertainment DVD Set)
D Sound: D Extras: D Features: D
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.
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
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.
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