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Sars Wars: Bangkok Zombie Crisis
"Tongue in cheek" doesn't even begin to describe Sars Wars: Bangkok Zombie Crisis, a certifiably insane multi-genre-ational concoction cooked up by some of the loopiest Thais you ever will see. Inspired and beholden to flicks like The Matrix, Star Wars, Dead Alive, and just about any solid zombie movie you can think of -- combined with broad slapstick silliness, tons of splattery gore, and just enough self-referential silliness to get you through the dry stretches.
Sars Wars is a stupid, loud, and convoluted mess of a genre salad -- but that's not to say there's not some fun to be had.
The plot couldn't be simpler: An apartment building has been overrun by zombies created by the Sars #4 virus, and Thailand's only hope for rescue lies with a horny old coot of a martial arts master, his socially retarded apprentice, and two mega-sexy babes who prove to be a lot more than just eye candy. (Well, maybe not a lot more.)
Cacophonous, frantic, and desperately itchin' to be adored, this action/comedy/horror pastiche has energy to spare and a laundry list of genre-style menu items that it can't wait to jam down your throat: Weirdly sexy animated sequences, broad pratfalls accompanied by cartoony sound effects, teeming waves of (fast and angry) zombies, a tiny dash of romance, a freaky-looking zombie mega-snake, a half-dozen memorably loopy characters, and enough over-the-top action sequences to keep the kids grinnin'.
As a movie movie, this thing barely passes muster, but as a barely-connected collection of hilariously gory or admirably weird set pieces, Sars Wars: Bangkok Zombie Crisis delivers the goods. Some flicks ask you to turn off your brain; this one requires you to turn it off, stick it in a box, and leave it in your neighbor's garage for 90 minutes. Frantic, fun, forgettable stuff.
Plus this Thep Po Ngam guy (the old horny fighting master) made me laugh like eight times.
Video: The anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) transfer is passable, at best. Let's just say the movie's got more problems with shadows and grain than it does with zombies and brains.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Thai, with optional English subtitles. I used the subtitles, but I don't think you really need 'em to get what's going on here.
Extras: In addition to a 6.5-minute behind-the-scenes featurette (cast/crew interviews, subtitled), we also get nine deleted scenes, two music videos, two Sars Wars trailers and some previews for Burst City, Electric Dragon 80000V, and a Discotek Promo Reel.
Prior to seeing Sars Wars for myself, I'd heard it called everything from "inspired" to "insipid." My opinion lies somewhere in the middle; the good stuff is colorfully silly and/or disgusting, while the bad stuff is worthy of several involuntary eye-rolls. If you're into this sort of insane asylum import, then consider Sars Wars a solid rental. Those expecting a straight-faced action or horror flick, well, you'd be best off looking elsewhere.