I know you shouldn't be jealous of friends, but dang! A couple of my friends from Twitchare in Berlin right about now, preparing to watch Prachya Pinkaew'sChocolate at the European Film Market, and I'm jealous. (Cue: raised fist and railing at the heavens.) I'm also jealous of all the good people in Thailand, where the movie opens today. Why so jealous? First, Pinkaew directed Ong Bakand The Protector, both of which were rocket-fueled flicks filled with jaw-dropping action. And second, have you seen the trailer?

The trailer hit last month and features "Jeeja" as an autistic girl who kicks butt like there's no tomorrow. She was discovered four years ago by Pinkaew while he was helping to cast another movie (Born to Fight), according to Bangkok newspaper The Nation. She didn't get a part in that film, but Pinkaew was so impressed he invited her to begin working with his friend and fellow filmmaker Panna Rittikrai. She's been training in martial arts ever since.

Thai film expert Wise Kwai says the first 30 minutes develops the heroine's character, followed by "90 minutes of non-stop, innovative and dangerous action, as new female martial arts star Yanin 'Jeeja' Wismitanant single-handedly lays waste to dozens of men with just her feet, knees, shins and fists." Given the current inhospitable climate for nearly all foreign-language genre films in the US, I don't expect Chocolate to get a wide theatrical release, but it would be sweet if some kind distributor gave it exposure on the specialty festival circuit and selected theatrical playdates -- like Magnolia Pictures did with Rittikrai's Dynamite Warrior-- before releasing it on DVD.

[ Via Grady Hendrix at Kaiju Shakedown. ]