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  Wizard's Curse The SexorcistBuy this film here.
Year: 1992
Director: Yuen Cheung-Yan
Stars: Lam Ching Ying, Ellen Chan, Cheung Kwok-Keung, Tsui Man-Wah, Billy Chow, Wu Fung, Charlie Cho Cha-Lee, Mimi Chu Mai-Mai, Yuen Cheung-Yan, Yau Gin-Gwok, Cheung Gwok-Wa, Ng Kwok-Kin
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Sex, Martial Arts, Fantasy
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: On vacation in Thailand, which is to Hong Kong horror what Transylvania is to western genre fare: a land of occult lore and strange superstition, Taoist sorcerer Lam Ching Ying (er, Lam Ching Ying) helps local cops raid the black magic booby-trap-laden hideout of La Mit (Billy Chow) and Kim Sha (Tsui Man-Wah), a devil-worshiping criminal couple who practice Tantric sex kung fu! That's right, when exploding skulls fail to fell the police a quick supernatural shag conjures a deadly energy blast before the killers turn invisible. They kill cops left and right until foiled by Lam's giant paper prayers. "Bastard, go eat shit!" snarls La Mit. Whereupon Master Lam briefly abandons tradition and blasts the suckers dead with a .44 Magnum. That'll learn 'em.

Job done, Lam flies home with a gift of crocodile meat (good for curing asthma, apparently) unaware that elsewhere in a candy-coloured subterranean lair La Mit and Kim Sha's evil master (Yau Gin-Gwok) is preparing a resurrection spell. Aided by his leopardskin bikini-clad sidekicks he employs a potion brewed from "the semen of ninety-nine bastards" and "the menstrual blood of ninety-nine bitches" to bring La Mit and Kim Sha back fused together as the gender-morphing, so-called Terrific Vampire! Being evil he then feeds his hapless assistants to the hungry hermaphrodite as a tasty snack. Bwah-ha-hah! How evil is he? Unfortunately, the now satanically super-powerful duo decide they don't really need their master anymore. So they impale him with their glowing demon penis. Yes, really. Bwah-ha-hah! How evil are they?

Soon La Mit and Kim Sha head off to Hong Kong in search of revenge, of course, though also the next step in their mystical plan for world domination. They must find and kill a girl "born on a spiritual hour" whose saliva can eliminate evil. Yes, really. That girl turns out to be Lam's daughter (small world, isn't it?) lovely Siu Ting (Ellen Chan), a successful doctor, not that her dad appreciates this. Traditionalist Lam would rather Siu Ting spend less time studying for her medical exams and more time praying at her ancestors' altar. Now ask yourself, would you rather receive treatment from a qualified medical professional or someone who respects their dead relatives? Exactly. Even more troubling, Siu Ting dates fellow physician Dr. Julian Zhu (Charlie Cho Cha-Lee) whom Lam's Taoist sixth sense reveals is a secret sex fiend with a closet full of porn and inflatable dolls. All these problems go out the window when the evil hermaphrodite attacks driving Lam and Siu Ting to seek help from cocky cop Cheung Kwok-Keung (er, Cheung Kwok-Keung – seriously, is everyone playing themselves or are the writers too lazy to come up with character names?). Which proves a trifle embarrassing since Siu Ting earlier shared a 'meet cute' treating Cheung for a frankly suspect injury to his penis. Yes, really. Unfortunately, a leather-clad La Mit and Kim Sha pull a Terminator wiping out every cop in the precinct and capture Lam forcing Cheung and Siu Ting on the run in search of a sure way to defeat the indestructible monster.

Mr. Vampire (1985) finally made veteran kung fu character actor Lam Ching Ying a star but also typecast him as Hong Kong's answer to Peter Cushing. Here Lam brings his trademark Taoist ghost buster schtick to a fun kung fu horror comedy penned by legendary schlock mogul Wong Jing (no stranger to spooky shenanigans having acted in The Ghost Snatchers (1986) and Evil Cat (1987)) and directed by Yuen Cheung-Yan who went on to choreograph the action scenes in Charlie's Angels (2000)! Produced by Lo Wei, director of Fist of Fury (1972), Wizard's Curse is a full-throttle supernatural romp with action and outrageous imagery involving extreme gore and sexual horror reaching psychedelic intensity akin to tentacle porn anime. At the same time it is also a lighthearted comedy. Wong Jing's defiantly lowbrow stamp is all over the film but as a bawdy horror comedy it really works. The nutty plot revolves around a staple them in Hong Kong horror comedies, namely the clash between traditional values and the modern world with the focus largely on sexual morality. Master Lam not only disapproves of Siu Ting's Catholicism and devotion to medical studies (making him the only Chinese father in history not proud their kid is a doctor) but goes out of his way to preserve her virginity.

At first the message seems deeply reactionary. Lam's instincts about Julian prove correct as he uses Taoist spells to unmask him as a sexual predator who hides a camera in his toilet to spy on Siu Ting and employs an aphrodisiac to turn her into raging nympho until Lam magically shrinks his penis. However, as things play out Wong Jing subverts the hitherto anti-sex theme with a twist revealing the only way for Siu Ting to gain her monster-slaying superpowers is with a spectacular shag with a male virgin. Guess who that turns out to be? Whereas Lam wants to keep Siu Ting a proper young lady, his estranged wife (Mimi Chu Mai-Mai) does not think sex is evil but just a step on the road to maturity. So enthusiastic is mom she immediately rushes out to grab ingredients for a love potion in an amusing Benny Hill-style fast-motion montage while later a converted Lam hilariously tries to get the kids in the mood by playing a cassette tape of the Wong Fei Hung theme from Once Upon a Time in China (1991)!

Surprisingly, the one person unenthused about having sex with Siu Ting is hero cop Cheung, which is strange given Ellen Chan certainly steams up the screen. The sultry star came to specialize in sexy roles in supernatural fare with memorably sensual turns in Doctor Vampire (1990) and Eternal Evil of Asia (1995) where she famously performed oral sex on an invisible man. Wong Jing's script has some nice twists and is full of inventive occult lore (Siu Ting's ability to spit glowing energy balls is certainly novel) while Yeung Cheung-Yan stages outstanding effects sequences combining kung fu with cel animation and ingenious in-camera tricks familiar from his earlier martial arts fantasies Miracle Fighters (1982) and Taoism Drunkard (1984) which also involve squabbling married sorcerers.

The action builds to a delirious climax where the husband-and-wife team fight the hermaphrodite monster while in the bedroom next door Cheung struggles to achieve an orgasm (why does this guy find Ellen Chan so unattractive?) until Siu Ting straddles him in what one could interpret as a pro-feminist, woman-takes-charge-in-the-bedroom message were this not scripted by Wong Jing. Whereupon mind-blowing orgasms transform them both into kung fu superheroes in flowing white for a spectacular, slime spurting, limb-lopping final battle. However, the closing scene implies Cheung is no more enamoured with Siu Ting than he was before they had sex, leading to a typically tasteless final gag as her mom takes a huge pair of scissors to his manhood. Ouch! The moral seems to be if an attractive female doctor propositions you, you damn well better have sex. You never know, the fate of the world might be at stake. One last question: how exactly does crocodile meat cure asthma?

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

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