Countdown

COUNTDOWN เคาท์ดาวน์ (Thailand, 2012)
North American Premiere
90 minutes, format TK, in Thai with English subtitles
Directed by: Nattawat Poonpiriya
Starring: Pachara Chirathivat, Patarasaya Krueasuwansiri, Jarinporn Junkiet, David Asavanond

A throwback to the take-no-prisoners exploitation movies of the 70’s, COUNTDOWN kicks off on New Year’s Eve when three Thai hipsters living in New York City decide they want to get high. What they get instead is bloody justice in this tight, taut, slickly edited movie with a taste for psychological torture, performance fireworks, and high tension.

Jack, Bee, and Pam share an apartment and they’re the kind of aimless, shallow rich kids who you want to see get their comeuppance. Sponging off their parents, blowing money on extravagant junk, and dishonest to themselves and each other, their highest aspiration is to get insanely high on New Year’s Eve. But their downstairs dealer has cleaned up his act and is heading back to Thailand. Fortunately, they find a torn up business card from their dealer’s dealer, Jesus (David Asavanond), and soon he arrives with some high-grade mary jane in tow.

Jesus is one of those dealers who likes an audience and soon he’s woven a spell of non-stop banter, ridiculous stories, and street cool, but his hyperactive patter is getting tiresome. Jack tries to pay him off and kick him out and that’s when…well, we don’t want to give the game away but didn’t your mama ever tell you not to piss off Jesus? Soon the apartment is a hell trap of bloody terror, dark confessions, cowardly betrayal, as well as some nasty business with a nail gun. The film’s distributor is Thailand’s GTH (the three Thai leads are all GTH regulars) so don’t worry: while they had to paste on a less nihilistic ending at the last minute, it’s shot so facetiously that it feels downright schizophrenic when it comes on the screen 60 seconds before the credits roll.

Shot, edited, and scored with a lot of ambition, this movie belongs to David Asavanond as Jesus, an actor who takes no prisoners and totally dominates the screen in his scorched earth performance as the mercurial, menacing drug dealer/homicidal maniac/Angel of Death in this tight, taut thriller that pushes you to the wall and then nails you there.

Wednesday July 3, 10:20PM Walter Reade Theater Buy Tickets