TWO FROM THAILAND! Reviewed by Steve Kirkham

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Available from 4Digital Media

Here’s a duo of films emanating from Thailand — first up is The Beast Below (**/14th March DVD and Digital USA only. Also known as Leio), a sub par monster flick. Pichaya Nitipaisalkul stars as Kao, a down on his luck pop star, who learns his grandpa, who brought him up, has passed away — so he returns to his home village after many years of being away.

Once there he sees an opportunity to improve his situation, when his childhood friend Fon (Dhanantorn Neerasingh), who is now a famous influencer, announces a competition to drill for ground water to help the village, which is suffering from a drought — with a big cash prize for the first team to find the precious aqua.

As luck and plot lines would have it, Kai’s grandpa has left his old rusting truck and drilling rig — and so Kao gets a team together and attempts to be first to find a source of H2O, before his competition beats him to it … with none of them realising that below ground is a monstrous beastie just waiting to chomp on them.

The film is well enough shot, but the dubbing is absolutely awful, the CGI is entry level and the storyline hokey — add to this the clichéd music and the puerile attempts at humour and you have an outing that is less Tremors and more The Giant Gila Monster.

Better, but only just, is Night of the Killer Bears (also known as The World of Killing People — ***/DVD and Digital 18th April in the US and Digital only in the UK on the 24th April).Thankfully this one is subtitled not dubbed!

This opens with a young girl closing up a coffee shop, when she is attacked by a nutter who earlier in the day had been flirting with her. But the bloody opener, with two beheadings, does a switcheroo which I won’t spoil…

The opening titles then fill us in that there is a killer on the loose who has a penchant for wearing a huge teddy bear head to disguise themselves — and sadly not, as the key art being used for the film infers, an actual killer teddy bear going round slicing people up. Now that would have been different!

We are then introduced to five friends who haven’t seen each other for a while, who have decided to go on a break together at a remote resort, in order to re-connect. However, tensions soon begin to rise as secrets bubble to the surface.

Before long (well actually it takes ages to reach this point, as the film is rather sluggish after that gory pre-credits scene), one of them goes missing and it becomes clear that a killer is amongst them. Is it the teddy bear slasher? Is the perpetrator one of them?

Billed as a comedy horror, I think it is tagged this way as it devolves into a farrago of farcical killings and such nonsense that it is frankly laughable. There are few good kills along the way, but that is little compensation for an overlong, slow moving, mess of a movie which makes little sense and thinks it is cleverer than it actually is.

Steve Kirkham