BLACK MAGIC Directed By Ho Meng-Hua, Starring Lo Lieh (1975).
I've been sitting on this one for so long that I feel like a big stupid elephant roosting on an egg about to hatch that may possibly devour me "Q The Winged Serpent" style. Why I've prolonged this review for so long I have no idea, but I do remember being thoroughly impressed by the awesome crocodile attack in "Revenge of the Zombies" (or the sequel to "Black Magic") and I kept waiting for that one to return to Youtube so I could string them together, sort of how you'd reattach two ornery conjoined twins, but that never happened. Maybe I just totally forgot about the "Black Magic" series--I mean there's a metaphorical stack of flicks I have yet to watch and overanalyze like "Ruby" (a film I don't want to endure again, it's like getting your teeth pulled by Piper Laurie with zero novocaine). Don't worry Janit Baldwin fanatics, that one will be suffered through again by me ludovico style.
I rented both "Black Magic" films long ago on Netflix DVDs and enjoyed the first one less than the 2nd. After realizing however that I could either choose this or Fulci's abysmal "2072: New Gladiators", I decided to go for moo shu pork instead of Joisey infused deep dish gorgonzola. The Fulci "Rollerball" ripoff was acquired by Troma, which somehow makes it classier).
I'm shocked to admit it but it's been a few months since I've seen or reviewed anything from Hong Kong, "Devil's Woman" was actually the last one, I always know what I'm in for when I sit thru a SB flick, pure entertainment.
A wizard named Shan Jianmi (played by Ku Feng, who wore KISS makeup in "A Bat Without Wings") is in a hut awaiting the call to put a death spell on a cheating husband. Jianmi gets the mumbo jumbo rolling by flaying a juicy piece of stomach fat and a severed corpse head, which dissolves over the credits. The Shaw Brothers selection of horror is just astoundingly fun and warped. To me it's light years above the chop socky kung-Wu Tang Clan bullshit. It's hilarious how a prologue says "Believe it or not, this story is fictional", did anyone think it was a documentary? A couple targeted by the jilted woman, dies while a voodoo doll is pierced with enough needles to slaughter both of them. Voodoo dolls always remind me of the end of Creepshow " Ready for another shot?"
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Ho Meng- Hua (who years later also directed the grisly "The Rape After") is in the director chair, so you know we're in for some crazy fucked up shit! To defend positive magic from destroying the pissed off warlock, he slits his tongue with a knife and bleeds over yellow paper scrolls, while paving his walls with them to keep the powers of good magic at bay. It doesn't really go so well for the poor prick and he dies. We cross cut into a busy construction site, where they play this jaunty driving safety video style music (remember keep those hands at 10 and 2).
A dude named Xu Nuo at the construction site has a pretty boss sports car (man, how can he afford that shit?) Mrs. Zhou (or Luo played by Tanny Tien Ni) seems like bad news and has the hots for this guy, but he won't budge. She is on the prowl and seems a little psychotic, so it's understandable that he refuses her advances.
|Go Away Chinese Freddy Krueger|
Lo Lieh, star of a bazillion SB flicks shows up in a state of frustration as Mrs. Zhou smashes his window in with a giant rock. The stock music is unusually fuzzed out and spacey--good stuff.
Lieh's character ventures down into the Wanloa Forrest to fix his merry pissed off widow problem, by using unsavory supernatural forces he aims to keep his lifestyle and that bitch off his back. All of these HK films involving magic follow the same kind of pattern of revenge and retribution, it almost always turns out like a bad acid trip stuffed with sorrow, vomiting and maggots. I like how we're introduced to a new wizard by the act of him milking a sexy naked girl's titty and shoving rice into her snatch. The Wiz claims he was in the process of forming a love spell, a likely story.
|this titty milk will go great with my Hong Kong Freakies|
The sorcerer who has the same name as the dead wizard, warns Lo that if he doesn't provide all the ingredients and payment of a skull sized piece of gold that he won't like the consequences.The pacing is steady but could be more exciting, which is why I prefer the sequel.
Liang Jiajie (Lo Lieh) roofies this hot chick Cosby style by drugging her drink, but when she wakes up the spell wears off and she even threatens to sic her dog on him. Sorcerers in the "Magic" series can never be trusted and are serial backstabbers. They basically take their customers wickedness and harness it against each of the partner, so that no one wins. They are also notorious pervs and for a love spell, he gives this woman a pill that produces breast milk, even though she's not pregnant and forces her to burn a corpses face off. It sort of works out for her though because she ends up marrying the poor sap (played by Ti Lung). The funniest part is when the wizard, who lusts after Mrs. Zhou and has her smell some flowers that make her hallucinate and him look attractive. His grey hair is replaced by a Beatle wig and a unibrow! Another hilarious scene shows a good mystic, who looks sort of like an Asian Wilford Brimley battling the evil one with a flute that makes his enemy's eyeballs bleed. Like most SB flicks this one is highly entertaining, the pace is a little erratic and spaced out but not as dull as some critics have complained about. Check it out and be on the look out for a review of part 2!
|Alright fine you caught us, I'm in love with the dog from Dog Lay Afternoon, SO WHAT?|
|I'll fight you with my puppet twin!|
AVAILABLE TO RENT ON NETFLIX DVD.