Review: The Seventh Curse
Bob Chipman | Lynn, MA United States | 07/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This grandly entertaining Hong Kong adventure flick is based, I'm told, on a popular book (or series of books) which, if the movies are any indication, are a HK-style combination of Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones. Wealthy, globetrotting, doctor/adventurer/womanizer Yuan Chen is suffering "blood curses" apparently earned during a veeeerrrryyy unfortunate incident in the jungles of Thailand. Under advice of his freind Wei Wesley, (the great Chow Yun Fat as the "Holmes" character complete with pipe!,) an expert on magic (and seemingly everything else) he returns there to help a jungle-warrior (who looks like Turok the Dinosaur Hunter) battle the "worm tribe" wizard who started the whole mess. For good measure, a booby-trap prone Lois Lane-wannabe reporter tags along. Aside from the expected jungle action and kung-fu battles, theres also violent sacrifices, much-appreciated female nudity, a superstrong skeletal-zombie that becomes an "Alien"-like monster, major machine-gun/bow and arrow fights, strange rituals and a creepy wormlike "ghost" made from the blood of 100 sacrificed children! In true HK fashion, it's mix of graphic-violence with "Saturday Serial" storylines will be a turn-off to some veiwers, but fans of horror/adventure flicks and the "Evil Dead" series especially will find a welcome addition to their library in this film."
Chow Yun Fat visits Thailand to fight monsters and gore
Brian Camp | Bronx, NY | 06/04/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"THE SEVENTH CURSE (1986) is a supernatural thriller from Hong Kong about a doctor seeking to undo a blood curse that is due to kill him unless he returns to Thailand to confront the wizard who cursed him. The film offers lots of sorcery, monsters and imaginative gore effects. There are kung fu fights and shootouts as the hero and his large, diverse party battle dozens of blade-wielding Thais. There are subterranean caves in which the sorcerer and his pack of gruesome monsters dwell. The pace never flags in the film?s compact 76 minutes, although the story is never involving enough to make this a true HK classic.....In CURSE, Chow plays a character who is dubbed ?Wesley? in the subtitles, but is more commonly known as Wisely, a young expert on the occult who also appears in THE LEGEND OF WISELY and BURY ME HIGH, played by different actors in each. Chow only has a supporting role here as he is called on at various times to help out his friend, the kung fu-fighting doctor played by Chin Siu Ho who may be better known to kung fu fans for his roles in the Jet Li films TAI CHI MASTER and FIST OF LEGEND. The great Maggie Cheung is on hand in an early role, offering a Hong Kong variation on the 1930s-style scoop-hungry lady reporter who barges into dangerous situations right and left. Kung fu vet Dick Wei, the Nepalese sorcerer in WITCH FROM NEPAL, plays a Thai warrior here who allies with the good doctor in Thailand. The chief problem here is that the monsters are treated simply as special effects?impressive to say the least, given Hong Kong?s lower budgets?but the heroes never really act as if they?re in much danger. Only Maggie gets to scream a lot. Still, Hong Kong fans will never forget the sight of two of HK?s greatest stars, Chow Yun-Fat and Maggie Cheung, battling a flying ALIEN-type monster in the film?s splatterfest finale."
Extreme HK Gore and Gratuitous Chow Yun Fat
D A Beckham | Misery, Missouri | 01/26/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a disturbing film, with baby crushing, gut munching, worm spewing, and very little Chow Yun Fat. This is one in a series of films about Dr. Wei, sort of a Sherlock Holmes/Indiana Jones character who sets off on adventures around the world. This time, he discovers that on a past adventure, when he was the lone survivor of native ambush, he was cursed. Now to cure the curse, he returns to the scene of his crime and battles a gut munching alien fetus demon, the sorcerer/leader of a band of natives, and the skeletal remains of their long dead evil king. Chow Yun Fat appears every 15 minutes or so, explains what's happened so far, then disappears again. As with many HK films, it all ends abruptly and a happy ending is nowhere to be found. Still in all, the Effects are fine (except for the rubber fetus demon and the puppet nature of the dead king). Maggie Cheung appears in an early role. Don't buy this for Chow Yun Fat. Buy this for the same reason you would anything Joe Bob Briggs would recommend, Blood, Breasts & Beasts."
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 06/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Seventh Curse" is an utterly insane film. No other phrase so adequately describes the experience of watching this low budget Asian picture. I read a plot summary some time ago about the movie, thought it sounded interesting, and decided to give it a shot. Well, the summary totally failed to convey the depths of weirdness plumbed by the film. I thought I would be watching a straight horror movie, and that is true to some extent-"The Seventh Curse" does contain many elements of horror. But it also delves into action, science fiction, fantasy, and just about any other offbeat theme you've ever seen in a film. I'm hardly an expert on Asian cinema. What I know about these films can easily be summarized on a sheet of paper. I've seen several of the Hong Kong category III movies, such as "Doctor Lamb" and "The Untold Story," and I even own a copy of "The Story of Ricky" even though I haven't watched more than ten minutes of it. I've even seen several films from Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike. With the exception of "Ichi the Killer" and "The Untold Story," "The Seventh Curse" may well rank as one of the most disturbing Asian films I have seen. Don't get me wrong, though, since that's a good thing. You want something to dig under your skin and stay there for a few days. "The Seventh Curse" does that quite nicely.I start with a caveat: don't pay attention to this film's DVD cover. The picture of two men in formal wear grinning from ear to ear is a scene from the movie, but it's about the only sane thing in the entire production. The other chap in the photo is the real star of the film. He plays Dr. Yuan, a sort of troubleshooter extraordinaire who finds himself caught up in one wacky situation after another, the first being an intense hostage situation. The police call in Yuan to help when one of the hostages suffers a heart attack, but they also talk the good doctor into taking a bomb into the building. A messy shoot 'em up follows, with Yuan walking away relatively unscathed. He heads home for a night of relaxation that quickly turns into an epic martial arts battle with a guy who shows up to tell the doctor that he's in some danger. It turns out that about a year before Yuan went into the wilds of Thailand with the aim of doing some medical research. He rescued a local girl, Betsy (!), from a bunch of black magic worshippers called the worm tribe. Yuan barely escaped after the horrible encounter he had with Aquala, the fearsome sorcerer leader of the tribe. He also escaped with a curse that causes painful eruptions on his body, one every seven days until the last one punctures his heart. The curse finally starts to do its deadly work, so Yuan's friend Wesley (Chow Yun-Fat), a pipe smoking genius in all things strange, instructs the physician to go back to Thailand in search of some holy objects that will cure his ailment. The doctor knows he's got to go, so he takes along an uppity reporter named Tsai-Hung (Maggie Cheung), a ton of firearms, and the guy who fought him in the apartment. The madness begins in earnest here as we find out tons of weird things about the worm tribe. The sorcerer Aquala acts as an intermediary between the tribe and "Old Ancestor," a noxious skeleton that comes alive whenever the tribe conducts a sacrifice. This creature is wild, a bony monster that morphs into a weird reptilian beastie that rips people apart. Moreover, the tribe uses a special device to turn children into these weird flying babies with tails. These creatures act as Aquala's bodyguards, ravaging their way through anyone who dares to oppose the leader of the tribe in the most heinous ways possible. Yuan not only has to deal with all of these potential problems; he also has to deal with hundreds of irate tribesmen, Tsai-Hung's penchant for getting into trouble, and a bunch of kung fu monks guarding a giant Buddha statue.You haven't lived until you've seen "The Seventh Curse." I thought I had seen plenty of offbeat movies in my time, but this film made me rethink my conceptions of strange pretty fast. We're talking over the top non-stop action and gore here. "Old Ancestor" alone is worth the price of the film. And that conclusion! Have we seen such a wildly chaotic series of scenes in anything made in the last few years? I think not. Heck, have we seen an entire movie this wildly chaotic made in the last few years? Again, I think not. There's a sort of Indiana Jones feel to several situations in the movie, such as the rolling Buddha head, but the things you see in this picture would never appear in Indiana Jones's worst dreams. About the only drawback to the movie is the short screen time allotted to Chow Yun-Fat, whose character only appears to puff on his pipe, offer a few tips, and fade back into the shadows. Still, you probably won't miss him much since so many other things of interest are going on. That slight problem won't influence my overall impression of the film at all.The DVD version looked good for such a 1980's low budget film. Extras, if I recall correctly, were limited to a few trailers for other Asian films. That's acceptable since the movie provides more than enough entertainment. I hate to rely on such a tired cliché, but "The Seventh Curse" is definitely one of those films that require you to run, not walk, to the nearest DVD outlet so you can procure a copy. Get it and watch it regularly."