Dynamite Warrior

If you liked Ong Bak you should definitely check out the insane sub-genre that is Thai martial arts movies. They have a wonderfully absurd approach to plot and masses of tongue in cheek humour.

Dynamite Warrior (Region 1 dvd version) is a delightfully absurd action/supernatural/martial arts/revenge/comedy melange. His parents murdered when he was a child, the hero has grown up to be a rocket armed Robin Hood, stealing oxen from traders and giving them to poor villagers as part of a quest for revenge. Meanwhile evil, effete Lord Hwang is trying to introduce the steam driven tractor to Thailand and can only overcome its expense by hiring a bandit who only fights when he’s hungry to kill all the oxen traders and steal their cattle. No, this didn’t make any sense to me for the first twenty minutes either, but stick with it.

Enter Singh, a magically protected oxen trader with two lackeys who are possessed by monkey and tiger spirits. Convinced he has found his parents’ killer, the hero must consult the Black Wizard to find out how to strip Singh of his powers. Cue a plotline involving the menstrual blood of the Black Wizard’s “daughter” being the elixir needed to subdue Singh and the obvious conclusion that taking her virginity means the effects cannot be put right again. (All of which isn’t quite as creepy as it sounds, even though some lack of clear thinking means that within the film’s timeline she’s no older than 11.)

The effects are basic but fun- you can see the wires as the hero rides a rocket Silver Surfer style- but the film isn’t relying on them. The fights are fun, if not as inventive as some in the genre and, once you get your head round its absurdities, the plot is straight forward. In the end the hero saves the girl (and her virtue remains intact, hopefully for several years), kills the baddies and, no doubt, learns important lessons about the nature of revenge.

Note I was going to provide links here about the magical properties of virginity but, though the search has turned up some interesting stuff, I’ve been unable to find anything apart from a page about unicorns that had embedded music and thus shall remain unlinked.


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