Computer Superman aka Yod Manut Computer
Thailand 1977
Directed by Santa Pestonji.


THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, Thai-style. And no, I don't mean he is a katoey. But, he does have a horn growing out of his butt. How to explain? I think I'd better start over from the beginning.

One night, the air is filled with electricity, and lightning hits four huts where four different women are ready to give birth. With each lightning bolt, "pop!" a baby emerges. But these are no ordinary babies. The fathers go to complain to the village guru, but he seems far from helpful. The boys grow up to be village outcasts: one has great big giant ears, another has huge hands, a third is constantly shooting mucous from his nose in huge, glue-like quantities, and the fourth (Yodchai Megsuan), as mentioned above, has a hard rhino's horn growing out of his butt.

They go fishing one day and show their skill. The big hands help to row, and grab many fish to pile in the boat. When horn-butt accidentally punctures the bottom of the boat, snot is quickly generated and slapped in the hole to plug it up. And not only can those giant ears hear, they can help propel the boat after the sail is ruined.

Still, they are distracted by a couple bikini babes and lose their catch, at which point their fathers kick them out of the village. They go their seperate ways. Unfortunately shortly afterwards, while the villagers are enjoying a hodown, bandits appear and imprison the girls and make slaves of the men.

Meanwhile, a girl who seems to sort of like horn-butt decides to take matters into her own hands by chopping the damn thing off. She does, and he bleeds to death. However, a mad scientist living in a bunker nearby finds his body and turns him into "Super Computer Man!" After that, he swiftly re-assembles his friends, and together return to their village to fight off the bandits.

THE COMPUTER SUPERMAN is a deeply weird film that combines the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN (complete with super-running and other borrowed effects) with a kind of take on the Chinese TEN BROTHERS (about children born each with a special power). But abruptly, in the middle of the last shootout with the bandits, all the boys lose their special powers (except for the dead computer guy, who had his horn cut off before anyway). They become "normal." There doesn't seem to be any reason for this at all. Still, the weird "super" beings, combined with some fun incidental music and a good hodown tune in the middle, are points in the movie's favor. Not in the movie's favor is the comedy, which is extremely broad and quite headache inducing. Especially painful is the mad scientist who turns horn-butt into a robot. He and his assistants are constantly sped up as if they are on the Benny Hill show. This type of humor has dated badly, whether you speak Thai or not. Language is unfortunately not a barrier to bad comedy.

[Available on VCD only, no subtitles. At www.thainetcity.com, among others.]

Rating: Not Recommended (Not Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on March 10, 2006.


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