Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 27th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: Thailand, 1994
Director: Panna Rittikrai
Cast: Panna Rittikrai, Tony Jaa
DVD released: September 19th, 2006
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: BCI Eclipse
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
A voodoo doctor is selling a potion that is supposed to give the drinker immortality. Instead it is a poison that kills its victims instantly. Three friends try to escape to tell the rest of the village when they see what the voodoo doctor is doing. Only one a boy named Piak escapes and with the help of the townspeople they track down the voodoo doctor and kill him. Five years later evil has once again found its way to the same village as now another madman prowls the woods just outside of town killing anyone who comes in contact with him.
Spirited Killer was directed by Panna Rittikrai who directed more then fifty low budget action films before making it big with his 2003 film Ong Bak. Spirted killer also features Panna Rittikrai in a rare villain role. The film is short of plot and excels when it comes to its actions set pieces. In a film that is filled with wall to wall action the best scene is without a doubt when Panna Rittikrai and Tony Jaa square off.
The films English dubbed audio track is delirious as it adds plenty of unintentional comic relief. All the characters in the film are stereotypical and one dimensional. Despite being billed as the two leads Panna Rittikrai and Tony Jaa are only in the film during a handful of fight scenes. Ultimately Spirited Killer is a average action film with exceptional action sequences.
Spirited Killer is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. Colors fluctuate in between very good and average in quality. Details fare slightly better with the overall clarity in the most scenes anywhere from good to very good in sharpness. There is some noticeable print damage and edge enhancement through out.
This release comes with two audio options the films native Thai language and an English dubbed audio mix. Both languages are presented in a Dolby Digital stereo. Quality wise the Thai mix fares better of the two as the English audio mix sound more hollow and both audio mixes have some noticeable instances of hiss and other minor sound defects. Removable English subtitles have been included.
All the extras for this release are include don a second DVD and they include a twelve minute segment titled “Master of Action: Panna Rittikrai” that is hosted by David Asavanond. This extra is mostly comprised of clips from several of Panna Rittikrai’s movies and a few minor comments by David Asavanond. The next segment titled “Thailand Dangerous” like the previous segment is mostly made of up movie clips and it is also hosted by” David Asavanond. Up next is a eighteen minute segment titled “Tony Takes Manhattan!” in which Tony Jaa after the screenings of one of his films shows off his skills while being interviewed. Other extras include a segment thirteen minute titled “”Tony Jaa: Thailand’s Favorite Son”. This segment is Tony Jaa at some sort of festival and it looks like he is the guest of honor. The next segment which runs thirty two minutes in length is titled “Muai Thai Boran”. It is nothing more then fighting demonstrations. Rounding out the extras is a five minute segment titled “America’s Stunt Men in Thailand: On the set with Tony Jaa”. During this segment David Asavanond interviews a couple American stuntmen.
Spirited Killer is an action packed adventure and BCI Eclipse’s DVD release is more then affordable, recommended.