Cambodian Film Company Remakes Popular Thriller

“Poh Keng Kang,” or “The Giant Snake,” a popular cinematic thriller in the 1960s, has been remade by Cambodia Film Pro­ductions, which hopes to begin public screenings early next year.

The story is based on a Cam­bodian legend of a woman, ig­nored by her husband, who ends up impregnated by a giant snake and gives birth to many small sna­kes and a mysterious snake-boy.

The original 40-minute version was extremely popular during the heyday of Cambodian cinema, when fantastic and horrifying tales were the norm.

The new version, which in­cludes elaborate special effects, is a full hour longer than the original, the filmmakers said.

Fai Sam Ang, the director of the film production company, said the crew had a hard time finding enough snakes in Cam­bodia, so they had to buy some from Thailand.

“We bought some snakes from Tonle Sap, but when they arrived they died,” he said. “We also mixed in some water moccasins, in one part of the film. But they looked like [the correct] snakes.”

Fai Sam Ang is hoping to line up a cinema suitable for the expected two daily showings, but said a deal has not yet been worked out. He said the first performance will be a benefit for the Cambodian Red Cross.

The rights to the original film are owned by Phnom Penh TV3 manager Kham Poun Keo Mony, Fai Sam Ang said.

The production posed many difficult technical problems, given the fantastic nature of the plot line. One of the main characters, Neang Ly, is neglected by her husband and left shut up alone in her home for long periods.

She becomes romantically in­volved with a huge snake, consorting with him when her husband is out of town. Her husband finally learns of her betrayal and traps the snake, killing it.

He forces his wife to eat some of the snake, and then cuts into her pregnant stomach, releasing many baby snakes and the part-snake, part-human child who flees into the forest.

“comes romantically involved with a huge snake, consorting with him when her husband is out of town. Her husband finally learns of her betrayal and traps the snake, killing it.

He forces his wife to eat some of the snake, and then cuts into her pregnant stomach, releasing many baby snakes and the part-snake, part-human child who flees into the forest.

Director Ly Bun Yim, Cambodia’s master of the supernatural cinema in the 1960s, said he welcomes the remake and is curious to see how the filmmakers solve the technical problems.

He said time will tell if such a film can be a commercial success. “It depends on the audience,” he said, “and how they evaluate it after they see it.”

 

 

 

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