Crazy cult classic that lives up to its mad-as-a-bag-of-frogs rep, ‘The Seventh Curse’ is some delicious Hong Kong Category III madness. Based on the Wisely novels by Ni Kuang, ‘The Seventh Curse’ sees Wisely’s partner in adventure Dr Yuen (Chin Siu-Ho) take centre stage as he travels back to Thailand to undo a deadly blood curse bestowed on him a year previously. On one of his many Indiana Jones type adventures Dr Yuen had saved the life of a local beauty (Sibelle Hu) who’d been marked for sacrifice by an evil sorcerer (Elvis Tsui), who thus cursed the adventurer for scuppering his evil plans. The curse comes to collect, and Yuen sets off to free himself and thwart the sorcerer once and for all, with a plucky reporter (Maggie Cheung) in tow and the occasional assistance from his friend Wisely (Chow Yun-Fat).
So, much Indiana Jones style adventure ensues only ramped up with Category III nudity, gore and ample amounts of kung fu action. Produced by the legendary Golden Harvest (along with Wong Jing) and helmed by ‘Riki-Oh: The Story Of Ricky’s Lam Nai-Choi, ‘The Seventh Curse’ is just as much a fun, OTT, gory ride as that revered cult classic. Lam orchestrates everything with such slick and energetic verve that one barely has time to catch breath between scenes of limb-shredding violence, gratuitous nudity, and fierce martial arts action. The film rollicks along on its absurd premise spewing out scenes of exploitation goodness one after the other. There are evil ghost child puppets, kung fu kicking corpses, monster-on-monster action and in one particularly audacious moment, child sacrifice. Yikes! All ludicrously over-the-top, with a cheeky wink in its eye and heaps of great old school gooey gory practical effects.
The action is staged well with lead Chin Siu-Ho (‘Fist of Legend’, ‘Tai Chi Master’) making for an affable hero who gets to cut loose in the film’s many action scenes. Chow Yun-Fat has not much more than a glorified cameo (though gets a memorable scene with a bazooka!) and poor Maggie Cheung doesn’t fair too well here, having seemingly gone to the ‘Temple of Doom’ school of sidekicks but is still cute and charming despite being lumbered with some questionable traits. Elvis Tsui (‘City on Fire’) is great as the evil sorcerer and really the genius creativity, shocking gore, and full-on martial arts mayhem is what keeps ‘The Seventh Curse’ so entertaining and rocketing along.