Friday, January 2, 2009

On DVD in Hong Kong: SARS Wars

One of my favorite movies -- SARS Wars -- has recently been released on DVD in Hong Kong. While the Thai DVD that came out around 2004 or 2005 had English subtitles, and there was a U.S. release awhile back as well, the all-region Hong Kong disc is a welcome addition.

The last great movie produced by Uncle at Film Bangkok before the studio unceremoniously closed shop, SARS Wars is a zombie movie as can only be made in Thailand, pulling out all the stops with outrageously goofy comedy, great action, a giant snake and lots of blood (and, oh yeah, attractive women).

Supakorn Kitsuwan stars as the hero, Krabi, who must rescue a wealthy Catholic schoolgirl (Phintusuda Tunphairao ) from kidnappers led by a cross-dressing Somlek Sakdikul. But the apartment building where the gang is hiding out is home to a vicious strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome, which turns its victims into bloodythirsty, teeth-gnashing zombies. Thep Po-ngam co-stars as Krabi's mentor, Master Thep, with Lena Christensen as the pleather-clad health official Dr. Diana.

The movie is directed by Taweewat Wantha, who in 2007 directed another piece of wackiness, The Sperm. I wonder what he's working on?

In the the U.S. the movie has been alternately titled Bangkok Zombie Crisis, while in Hong Kong it's being called Unlikely Hero.

Peter Nellhaus at Coffee Coffee and More Coffee recently caught an English-subtitled trailer for SARS Wars, saying it "may be best trailer ever, next to Orson Welles introducing something called Citizen Kane." I looked for the clip on YouTube, but all I found was the Thai trailer and a music video. They are still a lot of fun.

The Hong Kong DVD of SARS Wars is at YesAsia.

(Via 24 Frames per Second)


  1. As Zombie films go, this one is a definite hoot... I loved the whole link to the SARS crisis and the fun cartoony nature of the film.

    I saw the US release, and I'm hoping "The Sperm" gets a similar DVD treatment here.

  2. The Sperm is on Chinese/English-subtitled VCD out of Singapore. I got mine from MovieXclusive and will treasure it always.

  3. That subtitled preview I saw of Sars War was an extra with the US DVD of Sukeban Boy.

    I might have to get that VCD of The Sperm, but I don't understand why it's not on DVD as well.

  4. VCDs appeal to a certain segment of the market, and The Sperm is one of those kinds of movies that the distributor felt appealed to that segment.

    That was a few years ago though, when a whole series of Thai films were released on English/Chinese subtitled VCD in Singapore. Now with DVD prices so cheap - indeed, I'm not even sure if they sell machines that only play VCDs - I don't guess I understand why VCDs are still being released at all. Yet they remain popular.

  5. I was given to understand the VCD craze in asia grew out of a peculiar fact that while not a lot of DVD players were being sold to the lower income populations there, many of those did have console game systems that also play VCD formatted discs in most instances. Don't know how true that assessment is, but it sorta made sense.

    Thanks for the head's up on "The Sperm", but unfortunately MovieXclusive doesn't seem to have any VCD's in stock anymore..... D'oh!!!


Please, no questions or comments about where to download movies or subtitle files.

Please read the FAQ about Thai films on DVD before asking about where to find a Thai movie on DVD with English subtitles.

Make your comments pertinent to the post you are commenting on. For off-topic comments, general observations or news tips, consider sending an e-mail to me at wisekwai [ a t ] g m a i l [d o t ] c o m.

All comments are moderated. Spam comments will be deleted.