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Original Title:
Yuan Zhen - Xia yu Wei Si-Li

Hong Kong 1986

Adventure, Horror, Action, Comedy

Ngai Kai Lam

Chin Siu-hou
Dick Wei
Maggie Cheung
Chow Yun-Fat
Sibelle Hu
Ken Boyle
Yuen Chor

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The Seventh Curse

Story: Dr. Yuan (Chin Siu-hou) is plagued by an old curse that bursts his blood vessels. The curse was layed upon him 1 year ago, when in Thailand he saved the native Bachu, who was supposed to be sacrificed to a demon by the evil Worm Tribe. Thereafter, the tribe's leader cursed him. Bachu could help Dr. Yuan at that time, but now the curse has been reactivated and Yuan hasn't much time left until the curse kills him.
Yuan seeks the help of his old teacher and friend Mr. Wei (Chow Yun-Fat), who tells him that he has to go back to Thailand to find a cure. Yuan is supported by Wei's cousin Tsai-Hung (Maggie Cheung) and Thailander Huh Lung (Dick Wei).
Together they not only want to find a cure, but also want to put an end to the evil doings of the Worm Tribe. Thereby, besides the tribe itself, they also have to face black magic and frightening demons...

Review: Take a little bit of "Indiana Jones", give it a B-horror-movie flair, weave an absolutely ridiculous story around it and refine it with some Kung Fu scenes - tada, there you go: "The Seventh Curse".
If you don't mind that the movie doesn't take itself all too serious most of the time, you will be able to have some fun. Despite (or more likely because) some laughable effects, ludicrous characters and a story, that at some point isn't really "conclusive" anymore, the movie is quite amusing.

We are told the story of Dr. Yuan by use of lots of flashbacks. It's not rare to see a flashback within a flashback here. Nonetheless, for the audience it's always clear where and in which time we just are. However, that's not very important to know anyway, as although easy to summarize, the story often drifts into other realms and genres leaving the viewer with questions like: what, how and why is this happening? The movie just doesn't look like it's one whole but you rather have the feeling that one randomly did put one scene after another.
So it's essential that you put aside any kind of logic, if you wanna be entertained. Because that's exactly what "The Seventh Curse" is about: off-wall entertainment, free of logic and boundaries. Here, several genres get mixed together, so that in the end you don't know wether you've lost your sanity or the movie's director did. However, somehow this whole thing works unexpectedly good. In a strange kind of way, though.

Apart from some very nice to watch fighting scenes, which are all solidly choreographed, but don't stand out with anything special, there are also some breakneck stunts. Besides, the splatter scenes that are all very brutal and gory, are done with bad special effects, thus imbued with its own charm and strangely can be fun to watch just because of that. When at the end the demon looks like a mixture of the "Alien" and the demon from "Conan - The Destroyer" than this is at the same time terrifying and funny.
Notwithstanding, for some the macabre fun will end, when for example little children get mashed by a gigantic squeezer. But if you take that too serious it's your own fault, anyway. In fact, this brutal B-Horror-Movie style makes the "The Seventh Curse" so much fun to watch in the first place.
Additionally, the movie provides some nice sets and in its wackiness it offers some scenes that will stay in your head for a little while the one way or another.

In a movie like this, you shouldn't expect too much of the actors, naturally. Chin Siu-hou does a solid job as Dr. Yuan and fights his way through the movie alongside Dick Wei quite convincingly. Maggie Cheung shows that she had to walk a long way until getting the acting integrity she has nowadays, yet she at least manages to be really annoying, which was (hopefully) how she was supposed to be in her role.
Sibelle Hu is oftentimes naked doing nearly nothing else than to look good, which will at least please the men.
In his sort of long cameo appearance Chow Yun-Fat as Mr. Wei/Wisely can be fun, too, as he is always on the spot when it gets dangerous, helping out mostly in radical ways.

"The Seventh Curse" is brutal-gory nonsense with a crazy story, wacky ideas, funny special effects and it even provides some nice fights for Kung Fu fans. As the movie doesn't take itself too serious the fun bar is raised even more and one can't do else than to somehow like this exceptional movie.
Those with enough courage and will to watch this rubbish, will in fact be entertained quite well.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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