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Film / The Seventh Curse

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The Seventh Curse is a 1986 Hong Kong Horror Comedy Martial Arts Movie featuring Chow Yun-fat, Chin Siu-ho, Maggie Cheung and Sibelle Hu. The script is based on suspense novels written by local author Ni Kuang.

Yuen is a doctor living on borrowed time. You see, a year ago, he saved a girl from Human Sacrifice by a tribe in Thailand, but they placed seven Blood Curses in his body, which will kill him when they all burst. Taking the advice of Occult Detective Wisely, Yuen goes back to Thailand to take down the tribe and cure his curse. Unfortunately, he must use his martial arts skills to battle monsters hellbent on stopping him.

The film received seven sequels, 1987's The Legend of Wisely, 1990's A Tale from the East, 1991's Bury Me High (also co-starring Sibelle), 1992's The Cat, 1993's Young Wisely, 1994's Young Wisely 2 and 2002's The Wesley's Mysterious File.

This film contains examples of:

  • Action Prologue: Dr. Yuen planting a bomb for the police in a Hostage Situation, and having to fight his way out when that goes wrong.
  • Anti-Magic: Yuen spends much of the movie looking for a statue whose eyeballs contain orbs that cure curses when eaten.
  • Badass Bookworm: Dr. Yuen, a medical doctor who's perfectly willing to plant bombs in terrorists' hideouts and fight monsters to save the day.
  • Big Bad: Old Ancestor, the Human Sacrifice demanding demon god of the Worm Tribe.
  • BFG: Old Ancestor's ultimate undoing is a bazooka.
  • Blood Bath: The only way to cure the Black Curse is by bathing its victim in the blood of a bunch of black animals.
  • Blood Magic: The Blood Bath above, the Human Sacrifice practiced by the Worm Tribe, Wisely's blood ritual to capture the smaller demon, the seven curses put on Dr. Yuen... almost every magical element in the film involves blood in some way.
  • Booby Trap: The Worm Tribe's territory is lined with booby traps, which promptly massacre the tribesmen Yuen gathered to fight them. Luckily, Tsai-Hung is an expert on booby traps due to a fascination with The Vietnam War, and uses her knowledge to save the remaining survivors.
  • The Cameo: Derek Yee as a rocket-launcher wielding soldier and Kara Wai as a reporter.
  • Cannibal Tribe: The Worm Tribe have all the hallmarks of this except for the fact that they don't eat people. They're still an small, isolated theocracy where priest-kings sacrifice young people to a monstrous deity. However, as the film makes a point of the Worm Tribe not being indicative of the indigenous population of Thailand, this isn't as problematic as many other examples.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: Yuen's blood curses burst every time he has sex, so if he has sex seven times, he will die.
  • Carry a Big Stick: When Yuen realizes someone is in his house, he grabs a sort of statue-shaped club for self-defense. Fans of Hong Kong cinema might recognize it from Ten Tigers From Kwangtung.
  • Chased by Angry Natives: After Yuen rescues Su, they must flee the Worm Tribe armies who want their sacrifice back.
  • Enfant Terrible: Aquala has a demon baby monster who does his bidding.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: In the epilogue, we see Yuen and Wisely back in Hong Kong, chuckling over cigars at the wacky adventure they got into.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Old Ancestor, the demon god of the Worm Tribe, who basically only shows up to collect sacrifices and battle the heroes. He doesn't even speak, only roars.
  • Hate Plague: The Black Curse, which makes its victims try to kill anybody they see.
  • Human Sacrifice: The Worm Tribe engage in this to maintain and control their demons.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Tsai-Hung, one of Yuen's sidekicks in the film, is willing to impersonate a police officer, get in a car chase, and fight monsters and cultists to get an interesting scoop.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Yuen, Wisely, and the villages arm themselves to fight the Worm Tribe, in a homage to Ash from Evil Dead.
  • Occult Detective: Yuen and his mentor Wisely make careers out of investigating and battling the supernatural.
  • Our Demons Are Different: These are vicious creatures that eat human flesh and only speak in growls. They're blue, skeletal and have pure white eyes int heir base form, but have a super form that resembles a Xenomorph with bat wings.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: These are flying beasts that look like babies and are made of the blood of 100 children, which must be renewed every three years.
  • Predecessor Villain: Sorcerer Aquala is only one of a very long line of priest-kings who sacrificed people to Old Ancestor.
  • Race Against the Clock: Yuen has exactly seven days from the first curse bursting to find a cure before the seventh one kills him.
  • Redshirt Army: Yuen and Dragon organize a posse of locals to raid the Worm Tribe's temple, nearly all of whom are taken out by Booby Traps in a matter of seconds.
  • Sadist: Sorcerer Aquala, who serves a Human Sacrifice god for power, condemns women to death for not marrying him, curses outsiders to a slow death when they intervene, and tortures hundreds of children to death to power a vampire beast to serve him.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: They never say what the terrorists in the opening want.
  • Temple of Doom: Aquala's lair.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: Aquala sets the Thai underworld on Yuen and Dragon to stop them from curing the curse.
  • Two-Fisted Tales: The overall tone is very much inclined towards goofy pulp adventure.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: The final form of Old Ancestor borrows a great deal from Giger's alien.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Aquala has the children of villages kidnapped, hundreds at a time, then proceeds to have the blood crushed out of their bodies to empower his vampiric servant.