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Taking its cue from the still-fresh Teen Horror Parody genre ala “Scary Movie”, the Thai film “Body Jumper” has a lot of good moments in it, but it also has a bad habit of drawing out scenes that, once the laughs are gone, still refuses to end. It’s here that I apologize for not knowing all that much about “Body Jumper”, since my knowledge of contemporary Thai cinema is limited at best, and I’m forced to reference IMDB.com and other online sources in terms of credits and background on the movie. (There’s not much out there, if you were wondering.)
“Body Jumper” opens up with villagers in the Thai countryside capturing and imprisoning the Pob, a demon that has a taste for human kidney and can possess human hosts. Flash forward 70 years later, with a group of college students arriving in the same village to do some charity work like, er, helping the people learn to exercise (I think). After the students accidentally unleash the Pob and one of their own is possessed, the demon begins luring horny male students into its web with the express purpose of going to town on their liver.
Since “Body Jumper” is a Teen Horror Parody, whatever “story” there is exists only to string together the film’s sight gags. In this case, we get a demon that takes over a hot college student and begins seducing men left and right. By the time the film is halfway through, the college campus is littered with chalk outlines of dead bodies and more dead horny males are piling up elsewhere. Of course this being a silly film without relevance to the real world, the only person who suspects that a Pob is a work is Com, who of course can’t convince anyone else to go along until they all see the Pob at work in person, at which point the movie takes on a “Ghostbusters” vibe, complete with fake looking guns that fire plasma thingamajigs.
Although “Body Jumper” is a Thai production and stars almost all Thai actors, the film is as far removed from a “Thai movie” as you can get. For one, it has its sensibilities and lowbrow humor in the film parodies from the States, and the film is more modern and “hip” than I’ve come to expect from the Thai industry. The actors are all newcomers, at least according to IMDB.com, and although I couldn’t tell you who is whom, I will go out on a limb and say that actress Angie Grant is Fah, the feisty lead heroine, and Danai Samutkochorn is Com, the dull lead hero. Of course I could be wrong, but I doubt it.
“Body Jumper” has plenty of funny gags to keep audiences happy. And although it does tend to go overboard every now and then with bits that are meant to only work for a couple of seconds, but are extended into minutes anyway, the film is so out of control and lacking in any seriousness that it’s hard to really fault it for being completely superficial, since that was probably the point to begin with. Despite the fact that I’m almost certain the English subtitles are sometimes wrong, this doesn’t detract from the movie’s comedy, since most of it is of the physical slapstick variety and you don’t need a translator to understand that.
If you like “Scary Movie”, then “Body Jumper” is a good addition to the genre. Heck, the filmmakers even throw in a character running around stealing bra and panties in a Ghostface Killer mask ala “Scream”. And later in the film, the mute hitman from “Bangkok Dangerous” even makes an appearance. Look out for that, it’s quite a pleasant surprise.
Haeman Chatemee (director)
CAST: Danai Samutkochorn
Angie Grant (II)
Chaicharn Nimpulsawasdi …. Wu