Tears of the Black Tiger (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner09/10/2001

Colourful, violent and extremely bizarre Thai western that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Words cannot adequately describe just how weird a film Tears of the Black Tiger is.

It’s a deliriously bizarre Thai western that's like a cross between a proper 'B' western, a Bollywood epic (it uses weird pinks and blues and washed out colours, as well as Songs At Bizarre Moments) and a Sam Peckinpah movie (lots of lovingly photographed graphic, bloody violence).

The plot is very much the stuff of ‘B’ westerns. A fabled gunslinger (the Black Tiger – Chartchai Ngamsan) pines for his childhood sweetheart (Stella Malucchi), and she is engaged to be married to his archenemy.

The dialogue, in this respect, is as cheesy as you’d expect, with hearty full-throated Evil Laughter to match. Fortunately, it seems as if the deliberately fromage-laden aspects are intentional, as the film has a lot of humour, but it’s the sort of film where you’re never quite sure.

The opening of the film sets the tone, when the Black Tiger shoots a villain he can see in a mirror, by ricocheting the bullet off several different objects. Just as your jaw drops open with amazement, the film kindly asks if you’d like to see that bit again. It’s that kind of movie.

Any one of the film’s strange elements, (the washed-out colour scheme, the graphic violence, the weird songs) would normally be enough to make this stand out.

But the fact that this film combines all three and even throws in a gun slinging midget for good measure marks it out as a film not to be missed.

You won’t have seen anything like it, and it’s doubtful you ever will again. Recommended.

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Tears of the Black Tiger (18)
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Content updated: 21/09/2018 12:29

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