Intercontinental were the quintessential late 70's exploitation film distributors. Their bread and butter lay in cheap Spaghetti Westerns, Kung-Fu movies and sex items like Tokyo Emanuelle, The Sexorcist and the much banned Seven Women For Satan. Released early 1977, The Magic Curse is the most out of control movie to bear the Intercontinental mark. In classic Wardour Street fashion it was sold mainly on the sex angle, the poster illustrating the film's shower and nude bathing sequences and the X certificate on display. What then was an audience to make of this mad mix of horror, jungle adventure and Kung-Fu film with mysticism and a sound-track shamelessly borrowed from Hammer movies thrown in for good measure!!! Jason Pai Piau stars as Man-Ying a ten pin bowling playing playboy, whose rich Uncle has crashed his plane in the Borneo Jungle, quick to come to his relatives aid Man-Ying heads out on the next plane trip to Borneo. A few steps into the green inferno and Man-Ying and his less than enthusiastic guides find themselves in a leper colony! Only these `lepers' look more like a bunch of hungover rockabilly singers and practice cannibalism! Confused? it appears that Abdullah the high priest of the jungle's snake tribe cult has a habit of using his black magic on anyone who gets in his way, which goes a long way to explaining why most of the jungle population are gut sucking blue-faced lepers. This Abdullah's a real card all right, cackling like a true lunatic behind his giant white beard and levitating skulls to impress his pals `high priest you're great'. After asking one too many questions Man-Ying is beaten, shot with an arrow and left for dead, only to be saved by a bunch of passing Amazon Women! These Amazons look quite a sight, wearing plastic horns and minimal leopard skins, they turn out to be the other faction of Abdullah's snake tribe, the cult being sexually segregated. In fact the only time the two sides in this battle of the sexes seem to get along is when they are messily sacrificing nubile virgins to the Snake God. But whereas Abdullah and his thugs use their black magic to raise hell, the female Amazons lead by Fleoha (the wonderfully named Pinky De Leon) prefer calmer hobbies like frolicking naked in a pool. One look at his moustached mug and Fleoha soon falls head over heels for Man-Ying's rugged charms, however the sexually frustrated Abdullah tries to put a stop to the romance threatening to stick pins into an effigy of Man-Ying unless he gets out of town. As a parting gesture Fleona bites our adventurer on his lip, no she's not just being kinky she's placed the titular curse on him, whose rules dictate that if Man-Ying has sex with anyone else but her they will die `and very horribly too'. Suddenly we're abruptly back to civilisation and the film transforms into a Sex and Kung-Fu movie right in front of your eyes!!! Far from heeding her warnings of celibacy Man-Ying hits the chic disco's of Hong Kong like some demented bunny, no woman is safe. Then again what gal worth her weight in blue eye-shadow could resist Man-Ying's fashion sense which suggests that he stopped by Carnaby Street between plane rides from Hong Kong and Borneo. His understandably confused one night stands end up on the receiving end of The Magic Curse, that entails snakes terrorising them until they suffer coronaries. Its not all bad luck though, when Man- Ying gets into a fight with a tough street gang to their disbelief he turns green and his snake friends attack them! With all these girl's tickers giving out the police are soon on Man-Ying's case. What do they do, lock him up, arrest him or have him committed for his rantings about Borneons who worship reptiles? No they happily accompany him around the globe to follow up on his theories. The Magic Curse is wildly out there defying any attempt to pigeon-hole it down to one genre- you can just imagine an Intercontinental frontman scratching his balding head over what to do this thing before giving up and sending it on its way to the fluff market. Directors of nominal Kung-Fu movies, Tommy Loo-Chun and To Man Po agreeably push the right buttons for a rollicking little exploitation number, with cheap sex tagged on as an 'afterthought' to ensure a foreign sale. Every trick in the hat is pulled out for our entertainment, be it disappearing acts, earthquakes and flaming rocks- little however will prepare you for Magic Curse's most outragous scene- an Amazon girl Sophia rejects Abdullah's lecherous advances in favour of a passing hunk. Soon Sophia and her boyfriend get down to water bound l'amour, but Sophia is not feeling herself due to Abdullah's ol' black magic that transforms her into a green faced ghoul with very large teeth... and bites her boyfriends privates off!!! Magic Curse's off-kilter narrative, dedication to shock value scenes and not forgetting those rubber snakes being thrown in the direction of slumming Hong Kong actresses- must have satisfied fleapit cinema audiences looking for something different back then, years later its still endlessly fun viewing. `Long live the Snake tribe' indeed.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?