Filmed on location in the streets of Paris and inspired by the 1930s classic "The Mask of Fu Manchu," this cliffhanger yarn from director Jean Rollin departs from his usual vampire-themed tales. Adventure, crime and mystery combine with comic book dialogue and some sadistic sex for good measure. Playfully perverse, pistol-packing fun with Yoko and the alluring Francoise Blanchard (The Living Dead Girl)!
I''ll say one thing about this movie, it has some of the most overacted death scenes ever on film. I mean you got guys getting shot that go down like there at a ballet recital. Not that it was a bad thing, but you get to know when to just drop and don''t move. I have no complaints about the whorehouse in Thailand though. What man doesn''t want to see shapely, exotic sexy women dancing naked or rubbing their naked body all over yours as a massage. The death by "train trample" was a great idea, but I be damned if I let anyone tie me to a track, you''re going to have to shoot me in the struggle. Too bad the bad guys got away from it (only to get capped). The female mob leader sure was a freak. The part where she decides to sit naked and enjoy her won close circuit S&M, was probably as the best part of her movie. I bet it sure sucks to get shot whole you are getting some. The end was good when the dog bites the guy, and you see that dog sitting by his dead body just chillin.
Quite an unusual movie for director Rollin: no vampires at all. Instead he presents a crime thriller that reminds me of Joe D''Amato''s flicks with Laura Gemser. Partly this is owed to the setting at Bangkok (the movie was shot in France, though) where secret agent Rick disappears. Various secret services now try and obtain the MacGuffin (a chemical weapon) which Rick kept. He was last seen with Eva, a dancer from a nightclub, who might have received valuable information from Rick. Eva is chased all the way from Bangkok to Paris, captured, tortured, always on the run. Who shall find what became of Rick''s secret?
This is a surprisingly speedy film, except for the lengthy and sometimes unnecessary dance scenes in the nightclub. Rollin fans who are used to his slowly unveiling style of "La rose de fer" and his love of the bizarre in "Le frisson des vampires", for example, are apparently not fond of "Les trottoirs de Bangkok", but everyone who likes sleazy low budget thrillers can give it a try. The director called it a "crazy cartoon" and named "The Mask of Fu Manchu" (1932) an important influence on this film (quoted from the book "Virgins + Vampires"). So don''t take it too seriously. Yoko, an actress so obscure that even her last name is unknown, plays Eva which was her only main role in a feature film, but she is a great choice for this part of a vulnerable, hunted, innocent girl in trouble who can trust no-one.