Reviews

Devil Curse Country (1988)

If there’s one thing movies have taught us about love, it is this: You can’t make someone love you, no matter how many potions you give or how many spells you cast or how many demons you summon. It just can’t be done. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying.

Wai is pregnant. Her husband Chan Che is heading to Thailand with his fellow police officers, but Wai’s uncle warns him about an evil spell. Not to bore you with insufferable details, but the spell involves an aborted baby in a jar and a severed head that flies around wailing demonic incantations. I mean it’s just regular run-of-the-mill evil spell stuff, right? 

Chan Che goes to Thailand anyway, evil spell be damned. There he saves the lovely Chuma by running down some thugs with his explosive martial arts. Lead pipes fly, car windshields get broken, and bodies get slammed in glorious slow motion. Chuma develops a mad crush on him. Maybe it’s his deadly kicks. Maybe it’s his cool, laid back attitude. Maybe it’s his aviator sunglasses, which get a ton of mileage. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s his flattop haircut. 

Chuma works with her father, who, like all fathers, happens to be a wizard. He talks to snakes and mice and chastises a frog for being petulant. Frogs gonna frog, am I right? Suddenly in his workshop filled with urns and smoking skulls, an idol comes to life and glows. Cue the green lights and the stage fog. The idol channels the spirit of a 100-year-old god, who promises Chuma that Chan Che will fall in love with her.

Poor Chan Che. Something is happening to him. He blows a case and gets suspended, hallucinates that his arm is rotting, gets possessed by a demon, and gnaws on a live chicken. Is this love that he’s feeling? Or is it just regular run-of-the-mill evil spell stuff? 

Soon there are spells, which beget counter-spells, which beget even more spells, which beget even more counter-spells. Eyes glow. Pendants spin. Masked bodies poof in and out. And Chan Che’s hand turns into a plushie paw with itty bitty claws. It’s very cute, not unlike a pair of deadly fuzzy slippers. After a surprising dark twist, Chan Che hits the bottle, and in an unsurprising twist, more spells are cast. And this is why he has a mannequin in his bedroom. Now good and evil must fight over Chan Che’s human body and soul. Who will win? The answer is you.

Devil Curse Country is one part soap opera and one hundred parts people casting spells. It’s a classic game of good vs. evil, only evil is the form of a jealous one night stand. There are neon lights, hot pink smoke, levitating swords, vampire teeth, a literal wizard battle, and one possessed maiden flying through the air in a sheer blouse. This is a Hong Kong category III romp that delivers throughout its entire runtime, but the final fifteen minutes is particularly inspirational and captivating. There are endless black flips, animated lasers, and graceful fight scenes choreographed on wires. While Devil Curse Country isn’t nearly as insane as some of its brood (Devil Fetus, The Cat, Centipede Horror, among others), it’s still just as entertaining. For those of you who love the soundtrack to Halloween, then you’ll love this soundtrack, since it’s basically the same. And for those of you who love Garfield clocks, you too will love this movie. This means everyone will love this movie.

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