torsdag 24 maj 2012

Cat With the Diamond Eyes (เพชรตาแมว, 1972)

During my latest trip to Thailand I bought a bunch of bootlegs from at lady at the Khlong Thom market in Bangkok. This place is also called the flashlight market because you need (or needed, I don't know how it is now) flashlights during the night to be able to see something - must be a dream place for pickpockets! This lady specializes in OOP Thai movies or stuff that's never been released official. But it's still bootlegs of questionable quality of course! Cat With the Diamond Eyes is one of the movies I bought, mostly because the cover - you can see it above - and a guy like me who have no knowledge in the Thai language often buys movies if the covers looks interesting. It starts good...

...with a jungle expedition chasing a big, black cat! And when I say big black cat that's what I mean. No panther or something, this is big ol' normal cat but big as a human and play buy someone wearing a cat-suit. They trace the cat into a deep cave - filled with cats! Small ones! Cute ones! The hunter wrestles with the big cat and cuts out it's eye -  a diamond! Many years later, a colleague to the hunter is in a wheelchair and he has the eye. But his greedy lawyer (that's just my imagination, because he looks like a sleazy lawyer!) wants the diamond and tries to steal it time after time - but the cat, of course a supernatural being, also wants it back and starts to terrorize those who wants his eye!

Oh, did I mention it also have three song-numbers? I have seen very few Thai genre movies who has singing in them, but this one actually starts with an absurd number when the whole expedition sings together and the black cat is screaming of anger somewhere in the jungle.

I know this sound like fun! But it's a long movie, 2,5 hours and most of it is just actors walking around in a suburban villa talking with each other. The start is awesome and weird and fun, but it never really takes off from there. Sure, every time the cat arrives or the sleazy lawyer tries to kill someone it gets more interesting, but it's way too talky! What makes that part better is the good actors with Phairoj Jaising as the male lead and Naiyana Shewanan (unbelievable beautiful) as the female counterpart. There's a couple of veteran actors around also, but I can't identify them. Maybe in a few years when I've become better in recognizing faces.

I wish I could write a meatier review but there's not so much to write about and I can't take screenshots for the moment. I guess you need to be quite into Thai cinema to really appreciate this, or maybe it's hard even for Thai's. Me, for one, would appreciate some more horror to consider it a movie I could recommend.