Sunday, March 29, 2009

On Blu-ray only from Thailand: Paul Spurrier's P

The first local release of a movie on Blu-ray Disc is a strange case in many ways.

P is a Thai-language horror thriller by British director Paul Spurrier. The first Thai film by a Western director, it premiered in 2005 but mainly hit the festival circuit and had a handful of theatrical releases.

It still has never been shown or officially released in Thailand and is controversial for its frank depiction of the country's go-go bar scene and illegal sex industry.

P is the story of a young woman (Suangporn Jaturaphut) working in Bangkok's bar scene, but pushed too far, she turns to black-magic powers taught to her by her grandmother, and she becomes a demon.

The movie had been picked up for release in the U.S. and the U.K. by Tartan Video, but the company shut its doors, and P was among the many titles stuck in limbo.

So Spurrier has taken things into his own hands. Here's more about the Blu-ray release from the website:

Bored with constantly being asked where the film could be obtained, the director has now worked with a Thai company to produce the first-ever Thai-produced Blu-ray. (A small selection of other Thai titles are available on Blu-ray, but all have been released by Western distributors.)

Only a very limited number of discs will be released as a limited Collector's Edition, and it is only available for retail in Thailand.

We have a very limited number of discs available for sale as an import title, but since this version has not been released internationally, it will not be available at retail outlets.

Mastered direct from the 35mm film master, and encoded at high bit-rates, this release has been given a lot of care and attention. The director personally oversaw every aspect of the transfer, and was delighted that now fans of the film can get a version that is as close as possible to the experience of watching in a cinema.

The disc will also have an exclusive "Director’s Scrapbook" feature, which is a commentary track by the director and visual extras presented as a 114-minute version of the film itself, overlaid with outtakes, behind the scenes footage, deleted scenes, stills, storyboards and text info. There's also a music-only track, a hi-def version of trailer and a guide to the nightlife of Bangkok.

P has been released on DVD with English subtitles, on a Region 4 disc out of Australia.

But with all the extras and the personally supervised high-resolution transfer of the film, "this version makes it worth going out to buy a Blu-ray player", the website says.

And an HD TV. And a special sound system. And proper chairs to sit in to really get the full benefit.

Sigh. Looks like I still won't ever get to see P.

The trailer looks fantastic though. It's on YouTube and I've embedded it below.

Meanwhile, a sequel P2: The Unforgiven has been mentioned as being in production. Wonder if I'll ever get to see that?

Update: Another option for ordering this is HK Flix.



  1. P, along with Alone, was just recently released here in the Philippines with decent English subs. No extras though except for a trailer.

  2. ThorBee, is there a reliable mail-order DVD store in the RP that does international shipping?

  3. Wise Kwai, I researched and asked around but to no avail. The internet-based DVD stores here only ship Filipino movies internationally. :(

    Have you seen this?

    It's a region 4 copy though.

  4. Thanks ThorBee!

    I hadn't thought to look at HK Flix. They do stock a lot DVDs out of Australia, which works fine for me.

    Is region coding really a deterrent anymore?

    Still, I should probably order Spurrier's version anyway, even if I don't have a Blu-ray player, just to have a collector's item -- it being the first Thai-issued Blu-ray.


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