by Steve Fenton
US video ad-line: “A Blockbuster of Bone-Chilling Horror!”
A decidedly grotty Thai/Chinese coproduction from 1980, this is yet another in the spate of films ripping-off the Shaw Bros.’ over-the-top BLACK MAGIC duo. Four beautiful princesses of the “Mao” [sic?] tribe rule a superstitious mountain village near the Northwest Chinese border. Using extract from venomous snakes, these high-maintenance princesses (drama queens, more like!) possess the power to cast magical spells on any male foolish enough to spurn them romantically. Plentiful puff adders, cobras and centipedes slither and scuttle ominously about throughout. The “Ick!” Factor is decidedly high: A man who raises the witch-bitches’ spiteful ire develops a bloated, “pregnant” belly, and when his pasty white stomach is slit open a writhing mass of centipedes and redworms splork out. A Shaolin monk coughs up blood, while another lucky fella vomits assorted species of Annelida (them’s worms). Zombie-like afflicted spell victims become covered with scabs and cankers and writhe in agony…and so would you. A forlorn cow is axed to death and skinned in queasy detail, and a dog is roasted on a spit at a celebratory barbecue. Mmmm-mmm…pass the HP sauce!
|Kobayashi I challenge you to a Salamander eating contest!|
The American distributor of this sordid affair laughably tried to pass it off as a “real,” mondo-style documentary along the lines of SHOCKING ASIA, even going so far as a bullshit explanation for the lousy dubbing (“For your better understanding, the producers of this picture have endeavored to replace the native language with English wording”!). Obviously non-authentic, SUCCUBARE does however contain more than its fair share of yucky mondo madness amid much unintentional humor and spastic kung fu. Within the first three seconds, a guy geeks a live, squirming serpent. Later, he chomps on a fat, squishy toad. Later still he bites the head off a white mouse. This mungy-toothed “character” serves absolutely no purpose other than to provide intermittent gross-out value, his scenes interspersed at regular intervals throughout the narrative (such as it is). Thus, only cheap thrill-seeking geekfreaks need apply. Just don’t plan on eating beforehand, during or immediately afterward. You have been warned!
|Mao herpes/ Campbell kids disease aint pretty!|
Back in the ’80s, SUCCUBARE used to be available on VHS tape in N. America from the VCR company, duped in crummy LP mode, as I recall. Although copies of this flick are exceedingly hard to come by these days, there is a fully widescreen trailer for it on Volume 3 of the GRINDHOUSE TRAILER CLASSICS series, so by all means grab a copy and check it out.