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TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER - 3 Slimes
Not Rated
Copyright 2000 Film Bangkok
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 11 March 2008

Capsule Review:    

I first heard of this movie by way of a trailer and immediately thought, "I have GOT to see this." I mean, how can you go wrong with a violent cowboy shoot 'em up made in Thailand? Well, in some respects, the movie fell short of my expectations. It is not all crazy western gunslinger action; the film's primary story is an almost overwhelming romantic tragedy. That does not cut it for me (not a word from all you "Lonesome Dove" fans out there). However, mixed with Rumpoey's despair over her lost love, there is a bit of insane gunfighting.

A group of bandits named the Tigers is the bane of law and order where the film takes place. The Tigers do as they please, including shooting people, much to the frustration of Captain Kumjorn. He sets out to destroy the bandit horde. Unfortunately, the Tigers have two secret weapons. One is a cache of M72 rocket launchers. The other is the Black Tiger, a gunfighter with no equal. The police are defeated in a furious battle that includes machineguns, grenades, submachine guns, and the aforementioned rocket launchers. The bandit's leader orders the Black Tiger to execute the captured police captain. Instead of killing the young officer, the Black Tiger lets him go, and there is a reason why (but I am not going to tell you).

The Black Tiger is a man named Dum. Years ago, he fell in love with Rumpoey, daughter of the local governor. Unfortunately, Dum made a mistake while trying to protect Rumpoey's honor from three bullies. Boys should avoid making mistakes that embarrass their fathers. Almost drowning somebody's daughter is one of those things. The bloody caning administered to Dum as punishment made him wary of women. Rumpoey, on the other hand, became hopelessly smitten with her guardian angel.

Years later, Dum came to Rumpoey's defense again when the same three bullies tried to assault her. His trouncing of the men ensured he was kicked out of college. Dum's travails (avoiding Rumpoey would have been a good idea, she seems to bring Dum bad luck) eventually resulted in his becoming a member of the Tigers.

The final battle between the government and the bandits is fought at the Governor's mansion. It is everything you ever wanted in a crazy Thai western shoot 'em up. There are bandits with submachine guns, a policeman hit by a rocket (yikes), and even a final face off between Dum and the second best gunfighter in the Tigers.

Something I failed to mention is that the musical score often seems terribly out of place and rather amusing. A composer trying to create Thai music with a southwest flavor is not a stress-free composer, nor a sane one.


Things I Learned From This Movie:  

Green Dot "Spare the incredibly painful public caning, spoil the child."
Green Dot The M72 LAW anti-tank launcher was the most powerful weapon available in the Old West.
Green Dot Some women purposely pick out clothes that clash with everything.
Green Dot If your hat has a hole in it, you need a new hat.

Stuff To Watch For:  

Green Dot 3 mins - Now, if this was a 1970's eco-horror movie, hundreds of frogs would be staring at her from the lily pads.
Green Dot 14 mins - Roy Rogers would have loved that sunset.
Green Dot 87 mins - It's too bad you don't play the tuba; you could have avoided the painful shoulder wound.
Green Dot 99 mins - No! Not the midget! I think that I am going to cry.

Buy It Now Online:  

Buy it from Amazon.com   (United States)

Buy it from Movies Unlimited   (United States)


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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1]
Re: Tears of the Black Tiger
Reply #1. Posted on March 12, 2008, 11:08:33 AM by Flangepart
Oh, man...this looks like it needs to be on a double bill with SUPER INFRAMAN. I just see those two together. Give me a pizza, a case of killians, some eager riffers, and I'm good.
Re: Tears of the Black Tiger
Reply #2. Posted on March 16, 2008, 07:52:42 AM by RCMerchant
I REALLY NEED TO SEE THIS!!!! Ima fan of the old Hoppalong Cassady shorts....and done exploitation style....wiyh Asian stars??? Yup...this is a must see,for me!!!!  Thumbup
Re: Tears of the Black Tiger
Reply #3. Posted on March 20, 2008, 11:52:33 AM by Tuan Jim
As much as I appreciate Magnolia for finally giving TotBT an uncut domestic release (years late), the video quality on their DVD is pretty pitiful compared to the UK import (edited).

That said I love this film and am still trying to get a copy of the original Thai DVD.
Re: Tears of the Black Tiger
Reply #4. Posted on July 23, 2008, 08:08:49 PM by Rev. Powell
Who doesn't want to see a Thai spaghetti western (pad thai western?), especially when it plays out on some wacky random sets they found abandoned in the junk heap behind the art department of the Bangkok community college?  Andrew's right, it's not all it could have been, mainly thanks to pacing problems as it switches back and forth between the shootouts and the romantic subplot.

I think the music wasn't just imitation Morricone: I swear the composer lifted a melody straight from Once Upon a Time in the West.

This movie is dubbed in the style of a Shaw Bros. movie, so the characters have odd pauses in their speech while their lips are still moving.  The dubbing adds to the campiness and is an exception to the rule that foreign movies should be subtitled.

You'll want to see it because it contains: Midget bandits.  Cowboys with bazookas.  Blood drinking rituals.  Some minor kung fu.  Bullet in the teeth. 

LESSON LEARNED: Thai men can't grow decent moustaches, and are filled with thick red jelly.
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