torsdag 12 januari 2012

Jorrakay (1980)

Forget that awful abomination released on DVD called Crocodile, it's a terrible, re-cut and dubbed version of one of Sompote Sands best movies, Jorrakay. And I promise the original Thai version is superior, even without subtitles, compared with the Dick Randall-version. I've seem them both and I will probably never watch the other version ever again. Like that cut this is also about a doctor (Nard Poowanai) who wants to take revenge on the huge crocodile who killed his wife and daughter and his descent into crocodile-killing obsession.

The biggest difference is of course that Jorrakay seem a lot more serious without that wacky, silly English dubbing. The pacing is slower, but the Thai DVD also has a lot better quality and makes it more enjoyable the visual way than the US release. Much more focus is on the doctor and his sorrow and trouble surviving without his dear family, and it's odd how good this work without subtitles. The famous village-attack is here in complete for, which means only one attack (the US version has the attack divided into two scenes, which makes same actors and extras appear twice). I'm also pretty sure it's gorier, because I don't remember all the arms and legs sinking to the bottom of the river.

Even if the quality is mediocre, it's like f**king Criterion compared to the VCI version. With this comes a better look a miniatures and special effects, which always has been director/producer Sompote Sands speciality. They look better than before and a couple of the sequences involving a big-size animatronic crocodile looks damn impressive. I also love the jumping croc attacking the boat in the end, in a funnier and more over-the-top version of the ending in Jaws.

I'm not sure if Sompote directed or just produced Jorrakay, but it's clearly - in this form - his best movie. The pacing is slow, but good, and the acting is most of the time very good. I love how he adds an action scene at the exact point where the movie could be boring, saving both his and our skin. Nard Poowanai, who plays the lead, is a good hero and has both depth and talent to handle a serious character in a quite silly movie.

Beware also, animal friends, this movie has a quite nasty crocodile-killing scene which could have been done with special effects and not actually cutting the head of a real croc. Bad Sompote, but I'll forgive you because your awesome resume of cheap Kaiju knock-offs you produced before making this movie.

Jorrakay is out on good Thai DVD, without subtitles. It's some kinda widescreen and looked OK on my widescreen 40 inch TV. The story is easy to understand and it has enough crocodile-attacks and ultra-red fake blood to entertain the most hardened creature feature fan.