Every man in the village loves a young lady called Nak. Young men Mak, Tit Man and the local subdistrict headman's son are part of the suitors but Nak loves Mak. Tit Man tries to forget his discomfiture with another lady called Lamchoon but to no avail so he leaves the village. During a temple festival (งานวัด), where Nak was making merit (ทำบุญ), the local subdistrict headman's son (ลูกกำนันเศรษฐี) fights over Nak with Mak. It turns to be a general fight. Mak promises to marry Nak. On the following day a wedding procession takes place. Similar to movie "The old scar" (แผลเก่า), this 1959 version highlights the rural life with fishing in rice fields and buffaloes. The main actor is the strong and muscular สุรสิทธิ์ สัตยวงษ์. When Nak is pregnant (แผลท้อง), Mak is so happy. But he does receive a letter as he has been selected by lottery to be a soldier in Bangkok. Pa is staying with Nak. The local subdistrict headman's son tries his chance again while Mak is away but Tit Man, going back from Bangkok, helps Nak to chase him. In Bangkok, a woman Chomanak tries to seduce Mak but he is faithful to Nak. Nak dies while giving birth. In this "Mae Nak" 1959 version, the part when Nak is still human is much longer (49 mn) than other "Mae Nak" movies focusing on the ghostly part. During funerals, strong wind and dog howlings happen. People are afraid of ghosts. A local master (อาจารย์) called Thong wishes to make magic filters (ยาเสน่ห์) with Nak's corpse oil (น้ำมันพราย) as it has strong power but he gets strangled while trying to get oil by putting a candle under Nak's chin. Nak is back home waiting for Mak. Nak is now a Phi Tai Hong Klom (ผีตายโหงทองกลม), powerful spirit as it is includes the spirit of unborn baby. The local subdistrict headman's son tries his chance again but this time he loses life. Lor Tok plays a dishonest sorcerer master again asking his acolytes to wear fake ghosts clothes but of course real Mae Nak ghost is coming and all flee. Mak is back home. While preparing food for Mak, a lemon falls on below floor. Mak sees Nak's arm streching out to get the lemon. His child has a demon face. The food is only made of salted fish (ปลาร้า). As he just drank alcohol, he believes his vision is altered. During night time, Nak takes appereance of an ugly ghost again. Mak flees to Tit Man's house. Tit Man confirms that Nak is now a ghost (วิญญาณแรง). Nak is unhappy with Mak's friends as she sees them as a hindrance to her love. A new master helps to neutralize Nak. She refuses to die and birth again (วิญญาณเกิดใหม่) because she loves Mak so much. Love is not possible between ghost and human. In this Mae Nak version, the master succeeds to neutralize Mae Nak and have her spirit emprisonned in an earthen jar closed by a sacred cloth. In other versions, only a Buddhist monk can stop Mae Nak as masters are always useless charlatans. Mae Nak Prakanong (1959) starred sexy actress Preeya Rungruang, while the more recent Nang Nak (1999) featured the actress Intira Jaroenpura, thus shifting the image of female ghosts to a more realistic and humanistic one. It is a typical 1960s movie with dog howling, sorcerer (หมอผี) used, rural background. The picture is decolored and as it is a former 16mm movie, it features a dubbed soundtrack.
The movie is the second opus of "Mae Nak" (แม่นาค) shot in the same year 1978. Life has finally regained after the first opus and Mak, former Mae Nak's husband, has new interest with one young lady. An old fisherman uncovers the pot made of clay, in which the Buddhist monk kept Mae Nak spirit. It was lying on the bottom of the river. As the fisherman opens it, the spirit is freed to roam again. Mae Nak is looking for her husband and remove roofs from village homes to check inside. Same as many 1970 Thai horror movies, Fx effects are poor. Such movie includes typical repetitive jokes about unaware villagers talking to ghosts and then fleeing when they discover they are talking to real ghosts, or a joke when many men can hide in a water jar and then flee when a ghost is entering also, or comical psychics (หมอผี) unable to chase away ghosts whatever they are Thai, Indian or Chinese. Finally only a Buddhist monk novice can stop Mae Nak. Once again Nak and Mak promise to love each other in next life (ถ้าชาติหน้ามีจริงให้เราไปเกิดใช้ชีวิตรวมกันอีก). Mae Nak movies are famous as more than 15 remakes have been done and Mae Nak story is part of Thai culture but this remake doesn't bring any added value despite the presence of Sombat Methanee.
แม่นาคอาละวาด is another movie based on Mae Nak story. อาละวาด means "act violently". While her husband Mak is away, Nak is going to deliver her baby. As the movie happens on countryside, it is still the old way to deliver babies. Nak dies during childbed. Mak is in Bangkok. During the funeral ceremony, a black cat jumps on the coffin. It is a bad traditional omen. The coffin breaks and Nak opens her eyes. All villagers flee. Later on, Master Dap has arguments with Sin, son of the subdistrict headman. Master (อาจารย์) Waen is mandated by Sin to get corpse oil (น้ำมันพราย) to make magic filter (ยาเสน่ห์) to use as a weapon (อาวุธ) to fight Master Dap. The master tries to get corpse oil from Nak but she cuts his head. Mak is going back home. Nak is waiting for him. She makes delicious food for him. The food is in fact rotten (อาหารผี) with worms but Mak cannot see it. Mak realizes that Nak is a ghost as at night time her appearance changes to a putrified body. He flees from home and takes refuge at Master Dap's home but Nak is chasing after him. Nak still loves Mak and was waiting for his return since her death. Lek and her father Bukan visit Pa Khanong district. Mak previously stayed in Bukan's house. Lek is fond of Mak. She is in competition with Soi, another village lady and previous friend of Nak. A new master tries to neutralize Nak and puts her in a pot closed with a cloth covered with sacred words. The pot is thrown in the river. Meanwhile Mak marries with Lek. A couple of fishermen catch the pot and free the spirit. Nak takes revenge over Sin and the master. Mak and Nak still love each other but cannot stay together (คนละโลก). Only next life, a new love could be possible. Mak is not happy with Lek hindrance. Finally Lek is too afraid and flees to Bangkok (Bad Bangkokian people syndrome leaving the countryside people). Nak entrusts Mak with Soi. Nak leaves on her own decision. Compared to other movies, no monk or sorcerer (หมอผี) forces her to quit the earthly world. This film is a remake of previous movie แม่นาคอาละวาด shot in 1973. It is a mix of horror and comedy. Same as many Thai horror movies from 1980s-1990s decades, it includes the classic chases when people run away from ghosts and the traditional funny characters (ตัวตลก) such as the big friend.
The movie starts in year 2411 / 1868. Lady Nak is married to Mak. Her husband Mak is away as a soldier in Bangkok. Nak dies when giving birth. The movie first part is shot in sepia color. Mak is back from Bangkok. A citrus falls on the ground while Nak is preparing food for her husband. As she extends her arm to get the citrus, Mak knows his wife is now a ghost and decides to flee from home. Villagers go to Buddhist temple to request help from the abbot. Nak's spirit is captured by the abbot, put in an earthen pot and thrown in the river. Later on a fishermen couple catches the pot in their net. By breaking the pot, they release Nak spirit. In parallel, following a sword fight, lady Champee takes refuge in Nak's house. Champee's brothers want to marry her to a rich man and not to Tui, Mak's friend. Tui is played by Mum Jokmok, famous Thai comic since the 2000s, who is starring in this movie before he becomes famous for his jokes and comic skills. Robbers kidnap Bunta, daughter of a rich merchant. As Mak is interfering, Nak protects Mak and helps him to defeat the robbers. Master Te's (อาจารย์) help is requested as news about Nak spirit is spreading fast. Nak puts him in an earthen pot as a revenge of her previous burden. Nak follows the robbers and makes them kill each other. Their leader becomes crazy. Bunta goes back to her home and invites Mak to visit her. A love story starts between Mak and Bunta. Nak comes to face Mak and Bunta. She comes to get back her husband so threathens to kill Bunta as she is now between her and Mak. Nak still remembers her love promise but not Mak. As Nak is dead, Mak believes the love promise is void. Phi Nak kinadps Bunta's father to force her to leave Mak. A Buddhist novice comes to the village and stops Nak. She finally listens to the Buddhist novice and leaves the human world. This is another typical Thai horror movies from the 1990s with the classic chase between ghosts and humans in accelerated motion with the Halloween horror movie music. In 1989 actor Ekapan Banleurit and actress Trirak Rakkarndee already played together in TV serie แม่นาคพระโขนง.
Last century, during the reign of King Mongkut (1851-1868), a woman called "NAK" was married to a man called "TID MAK". They moved into a house in Bangkok's Phra Khanong district. After a while her husband was called off to war. Alas she was already pregnant. While her husband was away, she died with the baby still inside her body. So as Thai people believe, a woman who died with her baby creates a powerful spirit called "PHI TAI HONG THONG KLOM" (ผีตายโหงทองกลม). She became a ghost. As she still loved her husband deeply, she took a form of human being and waited for "Tid Mak" to return. Her husband didn't know anything about his wife's death. So when he came back home, his wife was waiting for him. Many persons did warn him that his wife was dead and that he was living with a ghost but he did not believe them. One day when "MAE NAK" was preparing the dinner and her husband bathing himself in the bathroom, a lemon fell from her hand. As the house was a Thai traditional house, it was built on piles and so the lemon fell on the ground 2 meters lower than the house's floor. So the ghost "MAE NAK" made her arm longer in order to get it. But her husband saw that, he understood that his wife was now a ghost. He managed to flee from the house and took refuge inside a Buddhist temple. "MAE NAK" terrorised the local population as an expression of her anger with them for helping her husband. Thanks to a monk, the spirit was imprisoned in an earthen pot and thrown in the river. It is one of the the biggest success in Thai cinema (it grossed more than 150 million baht in Thailand). It is the story of "MAE NAK PHRA KHANONG" (แม่นาคพระโขนง). The spirit "MAE NAK" (แม่นาก) is not a dreadful spirit. She kills only to keep her husband. The love of "MAE NAK" towards her husband is beyond death. Many scenes are shot at night time with no additional lighting so making an eerie atmosphere. This movie has won awards for the best director, best art director, and best sound at Asia-Pacific Film Festival in 1999. Since the beginning of the Thai movie industry in 1923, the story of "MAE NAK" has been made and remade 15 times over. It is a modern remaking of a traditional tale, which evokes nostalgia (traditional house, buffaloes in field, quiet river...). The Culture Ministry registers 25 Thai classic films each year at the National Film Heritage Registry. This movie is part of the 25 films heritage list announced on 04 October 2014, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day.
Nak and mak are a young couple that love each other deeply. Their trueness of their love wakes up the ghost Mae Nak. Mae Nak has been buried only and never had any proper funeral ceremony. Through terrific apparitions, she needs their help to rest in peace. Anybody who try to hinder their love is killed (the greedy estate agent who sold them the old house, the burglars). Mak, following a circulation accident, falls in a deep coma. Nak needs Mae Nak help to cure him. But Nak needs to find Mae Nak's body first to make proper Buddhist ceremony so that she can rest in peace. She also needs to give her back an old brooch made of her bones. Nak has to finish her task before an exorcism (ไล่ผี) is done on Mak. This is a modern and refreshing version based on Mae Nak ghost story that has inspired more than 15 Thai movies. The two main actors are coming from the Thai soap opera TV series. The director is English and the photography direction is really good.
Thai movie แม่นาค 3D was released in year 2012. Veteran actor comic Doo Dook Kradon is playing relief character. During a temple fair (งานวัด), Mak is participating to a Thai boxing match. His opponent is Pleung, son of the subdistrict headman (พ่อกำนัน) (Rith Luecha). Pleung loses to Mak as Mak has the support of young lady Nak (Bongkoj Kongmalai). Mak and Nak wedding happens in the subdistrict headman's house making Pleung very upset (ให้นาคเป็นเมีย). Pleung uses a magician (หมอผี) to make a love philtre (น้ำมันพราย). The philtre touches Ploy instead of Nak. Ploy kills herself in Pleung's bedroom. Pleung wishes to use teacher (อาจารย์) Kong, who requires a foetus from a pregnant dead woman in order to create a child spirit (กุมารทอง). Unfortunately Nak, pregnant, dies while Mak is away. She is upset with Kong hurting her dead baby (นาคมา). Finally Phi Mak is back after being soldier (ไปรับราชการ) one year in Bangkok. He is not aware that Nak died already. Nobody dares to tell him the truth. He finds his house in bad shape. Finally Nak comes at nighttime but strangely her body is cold and has a strong smell. The famous scene when catching a lemon is impressive in 3D. Veteran actor Choomporn Theppitak is playing a monk. Kong promises to get rid of Nak but he finally dies. Nak takes revenge (ผีนาคอาละวาด) over those, who hurt her baby. Pleung’s life is spared but he becomes crazy. During her body cremation, Nak looks for Mak. Mak asks her to stop her killings and to accept her death. Mak plans to ordain permanently as a monk (บวชไม่ศึกตลอดชีวิต). Nak finally leaves for heaven (พบกันทุกชาติ). Mak wishes a good departure (อนุโมทนาสาธุ).
While Phi Mak (Mario Maurer) is fighting as a soldier, his wife Nak dies during advanced pregnancy. Phi Mak is back with his four friends to Phra Khanong area. Mak doesn't know his wife is dead, neither his friends. People in the market refuses to sell to Mak anything. His friends understand the villagers are afraid of Nak, who is now a ghost. One of the friends, Chin, sees Nak extending her arm to catch a lemon fallen from the kitchen located on the first floor of the house. Mak's friends are trying to find stratagems to inform him without raising attention from Nak. Villagers who warned Mak are found dead. Upset by his friends behavior towards Nak, Mak is chasing them away. Friends want Mak to be aware. The four friends get confused and believe Mak is the ghost (ผี) and Nak is still an human. Finally realising their mistake, they end up in a Thai Buddhist temple but the monk is unable to protect them. Finally love is stronger (รักพี่มากมากๆ รักนากหนัก). Nak did nothing wrong as she just wants to stay with Mak but everybody tries to break their love. Nak and Mak stay together despite death showing that their love is stronger (รักไม่ธรรมดา). Thai movie Phi Mak (พี่มาก..พระโขนง) is a mix of light scary sequences, romance and comedy. It got the highest revenue in Thai movies history with more than 800M bath so making it the most ever popular Thai movie. It was even released in other Asian countries such as Hong Kong or Macau. Despite having been released for 15 times already, this new 2013 version features modern jokes, Mak as central character instead of Nak, Nak not being an evil spirit and a different ending. It is done as a movie for the whole family. The ending is more surprising and more romantic than the previous versions. Normally ghosts and humans cannot stay together so a monk always convinced Nak to rebirth in another life. Past reconstitution includes black teeth for actors.
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