This Thai horror thriller
presents a trio of supernatural stories told by Jieb (Pimsiree Pimsee),
Pan (Dawan Singhawee), and Gunya (Kanyanut Sriboonrueng) over drinks
in a local pub. To add to the fun, the three young women make themselves
the central character in each tale.
First up is Pisuth Praesaengaim's
"Legend of the Drum," which is set predominantly in 1917.
Promising young dancer Paga (Pimsee, in a second role) shows great
compassion towards Gnod, a horribly disfigured villager. The reclusive
man is secretly in love with the unsuspecting girl and regularly presents
her with lovely, hand-crafted gifts. Paga's father wishes that she
be courted by a new man in the troupe and, when the two eventually
become engaged, Gnod reacts badly. He and Paga disappear soon afterwards,
with the other villagers believing that he has murdered the girl and
hidden her body. In the present day, a drum used by Paga's troupe
turns up unexpectedly in an antiques shipment and Jieb finds her life
disturbed by visions and other ghostly occurrences which suggest that
Paga has returned from the beyond.
Praesaengaim also directed "Black
Magic Woman" (called "Corpse Oil" in the disc's filmography
section), in which sexually frustrated Pan happily accepts her next
door neighbor's gift of an aphrodisiac called "Ply Essence."
When the liquid is applied, the wearer simply has to touch the person
she desires and they will become hopelessly infatuated. What Pan does
not realize is that the mixture's prime ingredient is siphoned from
the newly dead and has horrible side effects for her instant lovers.
The final story, "Revenge,"
is from Oxide Pang Shun, who co-directed THE EYE and BANGKOK DANGEROUS
(reviewed in issues #130 and #140) with his brother, Danny Pang Fat.
When Gunya is found hanged to death, police lieutenant Nop (Pete Thongjeur)
is convinced that it was not suicide but murder. Although the coroner
backs him up on this, Nop's boss insists that the case is closed.
Nop continues the investigation anyway and is threatened with death
by the woman's abusive husband. Clues surface in the form of blood
samples and a barely legible note to further confirm Nop's theory
but he may be mistaken about one vital component of the incident.
This is a leisurely but moderately
engrossing effort that proudly showcases the increasing technical
sophistication of Thai cinema. The first two stories are drawn out
and somewhat muddled by extensive use of flashbacks and flashforwards,
which tend to distance the viewer from the characters (the wrap-up
for the framing story may also leave some viewers scratching their
heads). In contrast, "Revenge" progresses in a linear fashion
that works perfectly well for its police procedural plotline and emerges
as the clear winner, offering an especially sharp closing twist. That
said, even this story would have benefitted from the removal of five
or so minutes. While there are occasional splashes of gore, overt
shocks are not on offer. In fact, the film is at its most potent when
dramatizing the real-life horror of a coat hanger abortion.