The Torrid Zone

The Torrid Zone is a 90 minute tropical neo-noir crime film.

Set in South-East Asia in the mid 2000s, it is inspired by classic crime and gangster films from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The not giving a fuck that consumes Isamu Okita in Street Mobster…the feeling of change as Michael Corleone shoots Virgil Sollazzo in The Godfather……the tropical heat all over Scarface……and the style of Ley Lines…

Emotional and stylish, and rooted firmly in character, The Torrid Zone is a tip of the hat to the Japanese gangster films of Kinji Fukasaku and the visually jarring nature of Seijun Suzuki. All produced and directed with British indie sensibilities and an immigrant work ethic — a marriage of neo-noir criminal drama and peppered lightly with entertaining surrealism.


Charlie Zayn, a classic latch key kid born in multiracial north London grows up with his neglectful mother and his racist aunty . With no education or money, he gets into trouble and starts working for his older cousin Vic. A local gang demand they work together but Charlie refuses and ends up stabbing one of the rival gang members causing him to go on the run.

Charlie flees to south-east Asia where he moves in with his estranged grand uncle, Preecha Zayn who uses his home as a base for his criminal activities. Preecha is elderly and affectionate and for the first time Charlie feels at home. He also meets his eccentric aunty Dian and a few of the younger crime family associates, Rizko and Getzly who have freshly robbed a safe house for $150,000 and the youngest of them Baya who is close to Charlie’s age. 

Baya quickly becomes friends with Charlie and takes him to the local market where Charlie begins to understand the workings of the family. He also starts to understand the family are under pressure by the police and the local government to take a deal which will turn them into a real crime syndicate. 

Later that night whilst Charlie is rummaging through the fridge for a beer, he meets his volatile and psychotic uncle Dimas who wants to take over from the patriarch Preecha. Charlie watches as Preecha then holds court with the entire family and gives a resolute no to the deal. Working even closer with the police and dealing drugs is not what he ever wanted for the family. 

The following day, over a long lunch, the family meet and as Preecha goes out for a cigarette he is gunned down and killed.  Believing the shooting was facilitated by Rizko and organized by head of the local police Suswanto, Rizko is quickly killed by Getzly and Charlie hatches a plan to exact revenge and kill Suswanto.

Baya insists before this happens Charlie needs to see the local shaman who infuses Charlie with some juju magic.  Charlie’s western ways, doesn’t believe in shamanism and magic, but it causes him to have vivid flashbacks and he comes out of the experience fresh and reborn. He alongside his uncle Dimas and their enforcer Getzly spring a trap on Suswanto killing him in his office allowing Dimas to take the reigns as head of the family and move forward with the deal in the way he wants.

On hearing the rival gang member Charlie stabbed back in the UK survived, Charlie is thrust into turmoil. Should he stay? Should he go. He decides enough is enough. He can’t carry on in Asia and wants to now go back and face the responsibilities and possibly have an opportunity to start life anew.

His uncle Dimas refuses this and has him locked away where Charlie has to break out. He is now chased by Getzly, but the two of them are caught by local cannibals who are hell bent on eating the two of them. Charlie once more shows his prowess, escapes and kills both of them, but it is too late for Getzly who dies a grizzly death at the hands of the two local cannibals.

Charlie now knows it’s time to face off with his uncle Dimas. He jumps on his motorbike and cruises up to the tea plantations where Dimas is now based. He sees his aunty Dian, Suswanto’s old assistant Adit and Dimas all there together watching the local buffalo festival. 

He confronts his remaining family and he finds out they have been spiking his drink the entire time. He shoots Dimas and Dian and Adit pull their guns out on him. We have a Mexican stand off where Dian chooses to shoot Adit leaving Dimas to die at Charlie’s hands. 

Dian then turns to shoot at Charlie, she does, but she doesn’t kill Charlie. She spares his life and he decides it’s time to go home.

Tone And Style

The visual style is energetic and creative with a heavy dose of nihilistic cool and entertainment over logic sensibilities. The soundtrack will be original, which we imagine to be cinematic, eerie, modern but will have that classic South-East Asia psychedelia over certain scenes to reinforce a nostalgic and classical vibe.

Crime, Surrealism and Magic

South-East Asia is a deeply superstitious region of the world with deep animist roots. The surrealism we will inject is rooted in this acceptance that something else exists – whether it be black magic or white magic. We want to bring these elements into reality.

Surrealism and magic is an otherworldly intrusion in The Torrid Zone and provides a backbone – it’s always there influencing decisions and ideas and often is a reason to why things happen. It also allows us to contextualize ‘the West’ and ‘the East’ and gives us a framework for our characters to live and grow within.

Some Of The Crew

Director / Suridh Das-Hassan –

Director Of Photography / Jeremy Mackie –

Line Producer / Post-Production Supervisor / Ryo Sanada –

Editor / Graphics / Art Director – Tim Grabham –