Krai Thong (1980)

There was once a magical underwater cave located deep where crocodiles were born under a floating magic ball that made the bottom of the ocean, or at least this cave, glow like it was day and not far under the ocean. Here, Chalawan ruled, turning every crocodile into human forms that needed no sustenance. Yet the leader was no Buddhist like his ancestors. He wanted to taste human flesh.

This is really the story of Krai Thong, who must kill Chalawan to win the heart — and some of the cash — of the millionaire Tapaokaew’s daughter. That said, the villain is also killing all sorts of villagers, with his two wives — who can also turn into alligators — helping him in all the human eating fun. Our hero is going to have to make a spear from seven different metals if he wants to put away this weregator for good.

This same story has been told many times, starting with 1958’s Krai Thong. There have been six versions, with the last one made in 2017.

This one was made by Sompote Sands. Way back in 1972, he made another version of this called Chalawan. Sompote is a man that knows monsters, as he pretty much took Japanese kaiju movies to Thailand, making The 6 Ultra Brothers vs. the Monster ArmyHanuman and the Five Riders (a bootleg Kamen Rider) and Jumborg Ace & Giant. He also must love reptiles because he also made Crocodile, a children’s movie named Magic Lizard and this film and a sequel in 1985.

This movie has the cheapest — and yet most awesome — sets you’ve ever seen, as well as a bad guy so amazing that he doesn’t just transform into a man-eating alligator, he also has a laser ring that mesmerizes women into marrying him.

Also known as Legend of the Crocodile, this is a movie filled with padding, stock footage of crocodiles, slow motion strip fights between reptile/human hybrid brides of an evil king, people being bit in half, so much blood in the water and — at least in my copy — hardcoded English subtitles and the worst VHS quality ever.

In short, I loved it.

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