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Necromancer (จอมขมังเวทย์)

Necromancer image
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 @ 6:30 PM
Center for Korean Studies Building, UHM
Thailand (2005, 118 mins)
Thai w/English subtitles

Director: Piyapan Choopetch
Screenplay: Piyapan Choopetch, Kittikorn Liasirikun
Cast: Chatchai Plengpanich, Akara Amarttayakul

An armed man runs through the back alleys of Bangkok, gun in hand and the police close behind. The pursuit twists and turns through dead ends, alleys and garages, until finally the criminal is pinned and turns to fire. The police are ready, though, and quicker on the draw, but what’s this? Their bullets have no effect. The criminal is protected, not by a bulletproof vest or some other technology, but by a magical talisman. Welcome to the world of NECROMANCER, a world where criminals are manipulating the forces of Thai black magic to aid their cause.

Itti (Chatchai Plengpanich), the titular Necromancer, is the villain of the piece, a heartless criminal and powerful magician captured years before and locked away in solitary confinement for fear of his powers. But you can’t contain magic within mere walls, and eventually he finds a way to escape, and Santi (Akara Amarttayakul), the idealistic officer from the opening chase, is set on his trail. Itti’s powers are clearly beyond those of the petty criminals the police are used to dealing with, however, and it soon becomes clear to the young hotshot cop that he has only one option to bring this man down: he must become a necromancer himself and use the black arts against his prey. The film enters a dark, amoral world where the pursuit of power becomes prized above all other ends. This is a game of survival in which only the strongest survive …

The Thai occult world is entirely foreign to Western understanding, and is based around a series of talismans and tattoos made from ancient Pali incantations. These mystical symbols can be woven into cloth or written on paper, but those looking for real power will inevitably make them as permanent and personal as humanly possible by tattooing them directly into their skin. Virtually anything can be accomplished by someone who knows how to manipulate these symbols: invulnerability, mind control, curses, invisibility… the options are endless. And, since the power can be wielded by whoever has possession of the talisman, the truly ruthless will make a point of killing their enemies so that they can harvest their powers. Winner: Best Special Effects, 2005 Asia-Pacific Film Festival. Not for the squeamish! Bwaaahahahahaha.

-Todd Brown,


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Distributor: RS Film

Reminder…dress warmly, the auditorium is heavily air-conditioned.