Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 7th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Spain, 1985
Director: Jesus Franco
Writer: Jesus Franco
Cast: Carlos Aguilar, Christian Borck, Rafael Corés, Ana Espejo, Jesus Franco, José Miguel García, Helena Garret, José Llamas, Al Pereira, Óscar San Juan, Juan Soler, Julia Teran, Trino Trives, Howard Vernon
DVD released: 2007
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Castilian
DVD Release: Filmax
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (Spain)
Retail Price: $20.95
Synopsis: During a political event in Bangkok an assassin murders a British Ambassador. The British government sends in a secret service agent to Bangkok to find his assassin. After a series of investigations the secret service agent tracks down the assassin who killed the British Ambassador. Things become more complicated when it is discovered that the assassin is blind and suffers from a rare skin disease making it difficult to get any useful information out of him.
Sometimes Jess Franco’s overall legacy is unfairly dragged down by his numerous director for hire jobs that are impersonal and far removed from his personal style. If inspired Jess Franco has the capability to create films that are nearly flawless and stand the test of time. Viaje a Bangkok, ataúd incluido is a film that falls into the first category. It is a lifeless by the numbers affair that offers nothing we haven’t seen before and the visual look of the film is stagnating.
The only scene that faintly resembles Franco’s style is the night club scene with a stripper. The plot revolves around a secret service agent played by Howard Vernon who is sent by the British government to find the mastermind behind an assassination. Howard Vernon is the only saving grace of this film as he sports a handle bar mustache and wears leisure suits. The best scene in the film involves Howard Vernon’s character who drags a naked woman along with him to a crime scene and when she doesn’t want to listen to him he uses force. The rest of the cast are best forgotten.
Jess Franco has an all too brief cameo in the film. One thing that I wish was more fleshed out is why all the assassins are blind and why their leader is also blind? Also for blind men they move like a tiger stalking its prey.
Overall Viaje a Bangkok, ataúd incluido is a film that has virtually no redeeming qualities making it a tedious affair even by Franco standards.
Viaje a Bangkok, ataúd incluido is presented in a letterboxed widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. There are a few scenes where the image looks harsh like the image is slightly out of focus. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. Details look clear and black levels look strong throughout. There is very minimal print damage. Overall this interlaced transfer is more then watchable with only a few instances where the image looks like motion blurring.
One audio option has been included with this release a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Castilian. There some noise in the form of hissing and crackling that is present throughout most of the mix. Outside of this flaw the audio sounds evenly balanced and clear.
No subtitle options have been provided with this release. No extra content has been included with this release. Besides the main feature the only other content included with the static menu is a scene selection. Overall audio/video wise Viaje a Bangkok, ataúd incluido is the weakest of the three Filmax Franco releases that I have seen so far.