Reviewed by: Brian Thibodeau
Summary: One of the all-time great Hong Kong horrors!
Heeding the outcry for a followup after the success of last years wild dark arts exploitationer BLACK MAGIC, director Ho Meng-hua, writer Ni Kuang and their mischievous horror elves not only come up with a more intricate story that repurposes most of the earlier films leading players, they crank the freak-show dial way, WAY up.
Reviewer Score: 9
More gore! More nudity! More zombies! More lesions, skin ulcers and blood worms! More lactation! A miscarriage! Wait a minute...ewwww! The opening credits havent even rolled before a topless native girl is devoured by a fairly convincing crocodile, after which a frizzy-haired old wizard (Yeung Chi-hing) guts the beast to retreive a cherished bangle for her grieving family. Things get decidedly more outlandish from there as skeptical Hong Kong docs Ti Lung and Lam Wai-tiu take wives Tanny Tien Ni and Lily Li on vacation to what a title card informs us is A Tropical City, where they run into all sorts of gooey Southeast Asian mysticism at the hands of suave sorcerer Lo Lieh.
From his basement lair, Lo whips female pubic hairs and breast milk into powerful zombie potions, controls his creations via giant metal spikes pounded into their heads (the removal of which expedites the decomposition process in Hammer-style dissolve-o-vision), and doesnt take kindly to city folk sniffin around the rotting corpses of his victims. Not only does he turn Li into an walking husk after luring her from the group, he casts a love spell on both Tis wife (Tien) and his colleague (Lam).
Shaken free of Los remote-controlled adultery by a rightfully perplexed Ti, Lams subsequent race to rescue his own wife from Los clutches ends rather poorly for both of them, leaving Ti to seek out the services of wily old wizard Yeung, who helps him break Tiens spell by extracting live worms from the oozing sores on her back. After he loses a subsequent battle of the hex dolls with an agitated Lo, Yeung bequeaths his own eyeballs to the young hero, whos not a little nauseated that he has to eat them to gain the arcane powers needed to take on Lo and his battalion of druid-robed zombies.
The increased budget is not only evident in the quality and abundance of the movies visceral special effects, including some fairly effective process work during the fiery finale, but also in soft, atmospheric lensing by Cho Wai-kei and an eerie, detail-rich production design by Chan Ging-sam that works as hard as the actors to play up the popular Hong Kong perception of Southeast Asian countries as literally crawling with all manner of evil and exotic threats. Definitely one of the all time great Hong Kong horror pictures, with a few bits of Yuen Cheung-yans martial arts play thrown in for good measuredig that kooky fight atop the gondola lift and a flavorful music score by Frankie Chan Fan-kei.
Reviewed by: battlemonkey
An evil wizard uses voodoo to create zombies and keep himselfyoung. One man discovers the treachery and decides to put an end to it all. No kung fu despite Ti Lung and Lo Lieh being in it. This is a really ugly movie--Lo Lieh is really ugly, everyone wears ugly shirts and bell bottoms and those stupid sunglasses that start out dark and gradually get lighter. But Still, it has some decent gore, and Lo Lieh puts spikes in people's head.