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Curse of Evil ("Che jau")

  • Hong Kong
  • 1982
  • 90 mins
  • 35mm
  • Cantonese
  • English / Chinese (subtitles)
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The Shi family is cursed again, this time by flesh-eating frogs, creatures that resembles the one from DONNIE DARKO but with a tail and other nasties. Years ago, 13 members of the Shi family were ruthlessly executed by bandits, their bodies dumped into a well. That disturbed the Dragon King, triggering a series of horrifying events. On the eve of the fiftieth birthday of Grandma Shi (Wang Lai, ISLAND OF FIRE), the sole male heir and his wife die unexpectedly at the celebration. His two daughters are raised by their wheelchair-bound grandmother and cousins. Things stay fairly calm until the two girls reach adulthood. One of them, Yu Mei (Lily Li, of Jackie Chan’s YOUNG MASTER), slated to receive a generous family inheritance, gets raped and partially devoured by a creature! The family curse is renewed! Family members and servants get killed, eaten by frog creatures or find themselves in other ghoulish circumstances. But the butler keeps surviving the attacks…

This beast of a film has been hidden in vaults for 30 years. Now it’s ready to curse audiences again in its original, fully uncut version in gory 35mm Shaw Scope, as a special tribute to recently deceased film pioneer Sir Run Run Shaw. Controversial Shaw Brothers director Kuei Chih-Hung was one of the most prolific Hong Kong filmakers, recently the subject of a long deserved retrospective at the 37th Hong Kong Film Festival. Kuei managed to jump from one genre to another with ease but always retained his stylish nature and strong social subtext. He was notorious for his horror films, like the sensational KILLER SNAKES and creepy HEX, but he was best known in the West for his horror opus BOXER’S OMEN, which pushed the boundaries of gruesome outrageousness. CURSE OF EVIL is a malevolent brew of atmospheric horror, family intrigue, eroticism, detective story and most impressively, a gross-out tour de force that will eat away at the threshold of what you’ve already seen in horror films.

— King-Wei Chu

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