onsdag 14 december 2011

Nuk Leng Pah Suk (นักเลงป่าสัก, 1975)

A village terrorized by bandits! A man arriving to set things straight once again - a classic tale and another fine action movie with Sombat Metanee kicking ass.

...It's not only about kicking ass of course, even if the movie starts off with the bandits causing trouble in town - including a nasty gang rape and the beating of the friendly hunky farmer. Cue Sombat and another guy who looks like he's a Mexican from the beginning, with a three-four day shadow and ready to protect himself from the first robber that shows up.

He soon befriends Sombat, who in his cowboy hat and with his trademark hair-lock, seem more than willing to protect the town from the evil Kanchit Kwanpracha (sporting a nice moustache) and the woman behind it all - an actress I haven't identified yet. Anyway, together Sombat and the Mexican starts helping the villagers and it leads to a climatic battle during a violent rain...

As usual I've been watching a movie without subtitles, which isn't because I'm trying to learn Thai (but I would love to) but because it's hard to find these oldies with English subtitles. The stories is often quite easy to follow, and this is no exception. There's a lot of talk in-between the action, but everything leads to a visual scene of carnage and it's easy to understand who's the baddie and who's not. The female lead is the beautiful and talented Aranya Namwong, who did a lot of movies together with Sombat. Billed as the new Petchara Chaowarat she carved herself an impressive career and can still be seen in modern movies.

In smaller parts we also see the great, legendary bald henchman Pipop Pupinyo and Sukon Koewliam, the veteran actor with a classic, stylish Hitler-moustache!

But like most movies starring Sombat from this period the action is the most important thing and Nuk Leng Pah Suk delivers on that part. We're not talking modern martial arts, or even inspired by the Hong Kong industry. This is good old fist-fighting, lots of shoot-outs and a few fun stunts here and there. The finale is especially impressive, when our heroes and the baddies meets up out on a field in heavy pouring rain with a ton of guns and protected only by cars and tractors. It's violent and raw, and with a huge body count. It also ends in a big flooding and we're treated to some primitive truck-miniatures drown in the wave of water!

Another fun scene is when Sombat and the Mexican dresses up like female prostitutes and infiltrates the lair to free their girlfriends and other women that are held prisoners there.

The soundtrack is dramatic, and the dance-friendly version of the theme from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly fits better than you can imagine. Another Morricone-track, from Once Upon a Time in the West also adds to the melodrama in the final scene.

Movies like this don't have complicated stories or advanced complex characters. It's all about the entertainment, the "buffness" of Sombat Metanee, the action and the beautiful ladies kicking butt. It might only attract nerds like me and the older Thai generation, but I'm happy a few of these movies still exists. Sombat made (he still works) over 600 productions in his career (he once claimed 2000 productions, but how knows?) and a lot of them comes alive because of his charisma.

A true movie star, a true legend.