|Directed by||Kam Chanty|
|Produced by||Kam Chanty|
|Written by||Kam Chanty|
|Distributed by||FCI production Cambodia|
|Release date(s)||August 24, 2004|
|Running time||120 minutes|
Nieng Arp (Khmer:អាប), with an international title of Lady Vampire and also known as Vampire and Bodyless, is a 2004 Cambodian horror film. The film is centered upon Khmer folklore beliefs about Arp or Ap, a mythical popular ghost which is found in Southeast Asia. The film is directed by Kam Chanthy, a khmer-born director who was trained in Thailand. The film has attracted huge attention from khmer audiences and led a new wave of interest in the local film industry, becoming a hit thriller in its release year.
In the middle of a long night, a young woman and her boyfriend are confronted by a group of gangsters on their way home. The girl is then violently raped and her lover is killed under the brutal action of the cruel gangsters. During her loss of consciousness, she later is possessed by an old witch because the saliva of a witch's head accidentally fell on her mouth, immediately making her part of the next generation of Ap ghosts. After becoming an Ap, she takes vengeance on the gang that raped her.
A group of students come to her house, discovering her true identity by unlocking several secrets in the basement under her lonely villa. One by one the students are killed by Ap. However, all of the female students are spared. One male survivor does escape and manages to find a new way to be rid of the evil spirit of Ap and thus save his lover, who happens to be the Ap's daughter, from becoming the next Ap.
The Khmer film industry is small and new Khmer films often meet a muted response in the mainstream media. One website which did review the film, The Fright, described the film in their article Leaks, Penanggalans and Aps, Oh My! positively, stating that it is very much in the throat-ripping tradition of Mystics in Bali and Demonic Beauty, and the film is all the better for it. The review strongly praised the camera work and lighting. They criticized the low quality of special effects, however, as not able to match expectations when it comes to special effects in modern film production.
On December 5, the website Rankopedia listed Cambodia 20th out of 25 in countries that have produced the scariest modern horror movies, with Nieng Arp listed as the scariest film produced in Cambodia and followed by The Forest, Villa Horror, The Snake King's Child and Secret Well.
This film is considered to be the first successful Khmer horror films in recent years, having grossed over $100,000 solely from the six movie theatres in Phnom Penh. According to some reports, tickets were sold out during the opening weekend, accompanied by thousands of late viewers creating traffic jams on the streets. It set a local box office record by running for almost three months.
In the DVD version, the film consists of two discs with no special features or scene selection. English subtitles were included on a DVD release for foreign audiences.
Special effects are primarily not computer generated. In one scene, a doll's head filled with pig intestines was used to make the Ap's head. Whilst not realistic, the film's sound effects resulted in many viewers screaming nonetheless.
In the Khmer ghost legends Ap was a complete person who was able to remove its head at night to fly across the rice fields in search of sustenance, usually blood. Stomach, heart and intestines trail from her neck.
This nocturnal female ghost with a floating head is part of popular Southeast Asian mythology, namely the folklore of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand. In Laos this ghost is called Pi-Kasu while in Thailand it is known as Krasue and in Malaysia Penanggalan.
- "Leaks, Penanggalans and Krasues, Oh My!:". Fright. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
- "Country that currently creates the scariest Horror movies.". Rankopedia. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
- "Arb-vampire:". khmer.org. Retrieved 2008-11-13.