Curse of the Zombi (1989, or maybe 1991)

Genre: Asian Horror

Yes, that is how they’ve spelt zombie in this movie – no “e”.

This Hong Kong horror movie is set in Thailand where a visiting HK archaeologist (Lau Siu-Gwan) goes on a dig with his sister Ching Ching (Chang Siu-Yin) and her boyfriend Peter.

They drive out to a small village where the archaeologist meets the pretty Anne and her father, who is the village headman. Incidentally, the headman is also an archaeologist and he knows of a nearby site of buried ancient artefacts.

Meanwhile, the local waistcoat wearing bully known as Master Tiger and his two dumb accomplices has his sights set on Anne, but she's not interested in him and rejects his advances. In anger, he declares that if he can’t have her, then no one will and goes to seek help from his father, who just happens to be the local sorcerer. They both get to work on creating a spell to exact revenge.

As part of the ritual, Master Tiger's father asks him to dig up a coffin and to open the lid. Then the sorcerer proceeds to eat a live gheko lizard, after which he opens his mouth and from out which shoots two large blue glowing sperm like shapes which shoot into the coffin and brings the dead body back to life.

Meanwhile, the archaeologist and his group are out in a cave digging for artefacts when they are terrorized by Master Tiger’s dumb accomplices who have dressed themselves as ghosts.

On returning to the village the group discover two of the locals have been murdered, so the village headman goes to visit a sorceress to find out who was responsible.

After going into a possessed trance, she informs him that it was the evil sorcerer behind it. On hearing the news, the villagers capture the evil sorcerer and burn him to death, but not before he has taught Master Tiger his black magic. The movie then becomes a battle between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ magic as the group, with the help of the sorceress, battle Master Tiger and his zombie.

Master Tiger is able to use ‘worm blood magic’ in which the actor stuffs his mouth full of live wiggling large white maggots and proceeds to chew them up. In response, the sorceress is able to summon a number of imps to counter his magic.

When most of the inhabitants of the village are killed, there is a final showdown between the group, with the help of the sorceress and Master Tiger.

The end credits included out-take bloopers.

This is an average Hong Kong horror, but still contains the elements I enjoy such as weird magic rituals, laser beams shooting out of eyes and battling imps, as well as a chase flying through the air in the jungle. But as story goes, it’s nothing special if you’ve seen these types of movies before.

Lau Siu-Gwan, who plays the archeologist, is a prolific actor, producer and director and has performed in a number of HK horrors and Shaw Brothers’ martial arts movies, notably Corpse Mania (1981), Hex after Hex (1982), Secret Service of the Imperial Court (1984) and Disciples of the 36th Chamber (1985).

Chang Siu-Yin, who plays the cute Ching Ching can also be seen in the weird Taoist magic film Witchcraft Vs Curse (1991) and one of my favorite HK sexy ghost movies, Erotic Ghost Story II (1991).

This seems to be the director Lee Ho’s only film.

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