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Issue #133a HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES November 11th, 2002

The Seventh Curse
(1986; Golden Harvest/Paragon Films)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Cantonese: Yuen Chun-hup yue wai si lee
Mandarin: Yuan Zhenxia yu wei si li
English: Yuen Chun-hup and Wai Si-lee or Yuan Zhenxia and Wei Sili

If you are the type of person who enjoys HK cinema for its excesses, do not miss this incredible horror/action/gore/softcore hybrid, which is one of the wildest and most action-packed exploitation films from any territory. After aiding in the rescue of hostages held by a terrorist group (led by Johnny Wang Lung-wei), the dashing Dr. Yuan (Chin Siu-ho) heads to Thailand to find a cure for a blood spell cast upon him one year earlier. Through flashbacks, we see how Yuan encountered Betsy (Tsui Sau-lai), a voluptuous girl from the neighboring "Worm Tribe," and intruded upon one of that clan's sacred rituals. Betsy was about to be sacrificed to "The Old Ancestor," a hyperactive, flesh-eating skeleton, which transforms into a monstrous bat creature upon ingesting human tissue. As punishment, local sorcerer Aquala (Elvis Tsui Kam-kong) poisoned Yuan, causing veins in his body to randomly burst. In spite of this condition, Yuan escaped and was saved by Betsy, who feeds him a chunk of breast tissue containing her personal "charm." This decidedly offbeat remedy has worked up until now but, twelve months later, the curse has begun manifesting itself again and Yuan will die when it finally reaches his heart. Aided by heroic tribesman Heh Lung (Dick Wei) and doggedly pursued by spoiled girl reporter Tsai-hung (Maggie Cheung Man-yuk, looped by someone else), Yuan strikes out to find a way to end his affliction. He also vows to save the local village's children, whom the sorcerer has kidnapped, using their blood to nourish "Little Ghost," (a vicious handpuppet thingie resembling a bug-eyed sperm cell), which likes to tear out its victims' spinal chords. Radioing for assistance from his esteemed colleague, witchcraft expert Dr. Wei (Chow Yun-fat), Yuan sets out to see whether black magic is a match for some good old fashioned heavy artillery.

In classic HK tradition, THE SEVENTH CURSE packs in more exploitable elements than ten comparable western movies: gunplay, kung fu battles, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK-style adventure set-pieces, jungle warfare, torrents of blood, black magic spells, and enough grue and maggots to garner any gorehound's approval (as the sorcerer puts it, "The worms are highly prolific"). Add some clumsy subtitles ("Take my advice or I'll spank you without pants") and appearances by half of the stars on the Golden Harvest lot (including Sibelle Hu Hui-chung, Wong Jing (who also co-wrote the screenplay), Chor Yuen, Yasuaki Kurota, Kara Hui Ying-hung, Derek Yee Tung-sing, and Nina Li Chi), and you have got a pretty amazing 81 minutes. Chin and Chow's characters are derived from a very popular series of science fiction novels by the prolific and talented writer, Ngai Hong, who appears briefly as himself, introducing the story in Mandarin during a sync sound prologue. Director Simon Nam Nai-choi went on to helm EROTIC GHOST STORY and the even more excessive STORY OF RICKY.

Cover art courtesy Universe.

Chin Siu-Ho (left) and Chow Yun-fat. Image courtesy Universe.

Maggie Cheung Man-yuk. Image courtesy Universe.
Universe #5105 (Hong Kong label)

Dolby Digital 5.1

Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks (both post-synched)

Optional Subtitles in English, Chinese (Traditional or Simplified), Japanese, Indonesian, Korean, and French

8 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With Clips

Letterboxed (1.86:1)

Coded for ALL Regions

NTSC Format

78 Minutes (at 25 frames-per-second)

Contains brutal violence, graphic horror, and brief nudity

DVD menu courtesy Universe.

Great Britain: 18 [Passed With Cuts totalling 17 seconds]
Hong Kong: II
Singapore: PG [Passed With Cuts]

Smearing is evident at times but colors are rich and the image is generally detailed. The revamped 5.1 mix is fairly good, with decent stereo FX, but does not have sufficient bass to properly compliment all of the gunplay and explosions. Also, a textless print was used for the transfer and it lacks the Chinese characters for the actors' names (which originally accompanied each performer's first appearance on-screen). Supplements consist of Star Files on Chow Yun-fat and Maggie Cheung, a trailer, and additional trailers for TRIADS: THE INSIDE STORY, EIGHTH HAPPINESS, FLAMING BROTHERS, and WITCH FROM NEPAL.

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