Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Black Magic With Buddha

Black Magic With Buddha (Nao Mo, Black Magic With Butchery) Directed By Lei Loh, starring Kuan Tai Chen (1983)
Two men wander through the Thai jungles looking for treasure and end up disturbing a mummies tomb. Lei Loh, a Shaw Brothers veteran actor, who also directed this one, paid his dues in the situations these low rent versions of the famed studio are faced with.
   While going through customs in an airport, Ben (Kuan, recently in last year's Kung Fu mainstream flick "The Man With The Golden Fists") sneaks in the brain, removed from the mummies skull, thinking it will bring him good fortune. There's some nice cartoon lightning that shoots out of the old wizards fingertips, but he soon disappears from the rest of the story only to be replaced by another one.
And I want some eyebrow trimmers and the power to smite my enemies
   The audio has fuzz guitar stings, loud dripping and unnecessary clickity clacking, it's all very familiar and strange. I've culturally learned so much about the "mysterious" Orient, ever since I started this blog.
    Later, Ben meets up with some ladies who drive him to receive his father-in-law's permission to marry his daughter, while disco that sounds like the Cannibal Ferox music plays. The mummy brain has magical powers and slithers around, while no one is looking, it even breathes loudly! (sort of like the meatballs in Brain Damage). Ben hits a grimy strip joint and gets wasted after fighting with his sister over a shared inheritance she wants to keep for herself. The brain goes haywire and attacks Ben's sister (the film gets very dark during this scene, it's hard to tell what's happening). They steal music from Alien ("Parker's Death" by Jerry Goldsmith is lifted for this segment).
   The music licensing fees start racking up as immediately, after they play "Don't Let Go", the disco track from Creepshow and one from Phantasm. Ben prays to the brain for it to grant wishes or enough money to marry his girlfriend Annie.
"I'll just push my brain button when I want to talk to you"
Eventually it happens, but you know what they say, if your wedding is based on wishes granted by a mummies brain, trouble will follow you to the end of your days! The brain kills a variety of cute animals (monkeys, dogs, etc) and even appears in a bathtub and brings some friends along!

Are these bath bombs supposed to devour my skin?
   Ben commands the brain (which sleeps in a box) to kill enemies that get in his way by praying to it. The cranium has a mind of its own and sometimes sleeps in the fridge, it also could wake the dead with its loud breathing (how does it manage to quietly sneak up on people)? The brain sits in a box and hops up and down frantically (like Thing from the Addams Family) and can only be stopped by holy water, (Buddhist? sounds more like Catholic to me)!
   The brain eventually talks with a disembodied voice and Ben tries to bury it, you'd think a pulsating, talking medula oblongata wouldn't be that difficult to kill! We finally get to some Hindu hijinks and a golden Buddha with lazer beams green eyes. It almost seems like they took the opportunity to film an authentic religious ceremony that was going on coincidentally.
   The Buddha showcased in Black Magic With is Brahma, a four faced deity. This is not typically an evil God, so they must have liked the four faces and used it for dramatic effect.
   Ben is a total clod and remains alone when faced with the evils of the slithering cerebral cortex. He manages to hurl the slimy wad of Costco sized, used bubblegum into a fire pit, although that mostly pisses it off and it possesses him. He almost runs over a wizard (played by director Lei Loh) and doesn't recruit him for help like he should. Ben is in serious denial, when his wife becomes possessed with green eyes, he leaves to hit the bar and then on a boat trip.
Fuck this shit, I'm going sailing!
     He goes to find a medicine man in the middle of a sacrificial ritual involving a naked child, who was possessed by an evil force, it turns out to be the same sorcerer that Ben almost clipped on the street with his car. This is when we finally reach that chewy center of delicious black magic. The mummy mind invades Ben's stomach and the wizard gets him to regurgitate it out. The finally is the most warped dime store paper mache spiritual battle this side of a elementary school temple. Just picture if the "Super Best Friends" from South Park were in janky cosplay regalia. The end result has Ben morphing into an Asian "Pizza The Hut" (or Grig from The Last Starfighter covered in marinara). His head pops off and he's reincarnated as a creature on a rampage (not very Zen)!
"I'm so ronrey"
    The film quality is like a scratchy record in the same stock as Lewd Lizard or Calamity Of Snakes and its strange enough to merit at least a couple of viewings (if only everything could get that vibrant Shaw Brothers glossy finish, my eyes wouldn't have to strain). The copy I saw had subs that were cut off at the end and as far as I know, there's no DVD version of the film. Someone rescue this gem from the bowels of the VHS graveyard already!

Will exorcise for food

The love child of C3PO and General Klytus


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