Get Your Reps In: Hong Kong Stars Battle a Demon Worm-Baby in “The Seventh Curse”

What to see at Portland’s repertory theaters.

The Seventh Curse (1986)

Hong Kong director Lam Ngai Kai is best known for the transcendent viscera of Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991), but as a runner-up for splatter, The Seventh Curse doesn’t disappoint.

Between the martial arts set pieces and the shootouts, it’s all toothy demons, practical maggot effects, and a hero, Dr. Yuen (Chin Siu-ho), whose leg basically explodes once a day due to worsening blood magic. To cure it, he must venture into the Thai jungle and face a sorcerer, with help from some recognizable friends.

Chow Yun-fat (back when he had just entered John Woo’s orbit) plays Dr. Yuen’s best bud Mr. Wisely, a pipe-smoking witchcraft expert who’s also handy with heavy artillery. And Maggie Cheung (In the Mood for Love, Irma Vep) doggedly trails this supernatural quest as a plucky reporter.

Despite being a standalone film, The Seventh Curse has the fitful urgency of a franchise’s fifth entry—a feeling that probably owes to author Ni Kuang’s hundreds of serialized adventures centering Dr. Yuen and Wisely. It’s no problem. If Chow Yun-fat somewhat clunkily explains how to stop a leaping demon worm-baby, that’s justifiable once the demon worm-baby starts leaping.

Is all that madness enough to break the blood curse? Luckily, there’s no known cure for midnight movie energy. Cinemagic, March 10 (tickets from snowed-out Feb. 22 show will be honored).


Academy: The Matrix (1999), Lady Bird (2017), Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), The Hitch-Hiker (1953), March 10-16. Cinema 21: Sunset Boulevard (1950), March 11. Clinton: Daisies (1966), March 9. Daguerréotypes (1975), March 13. Hollywood: Children of Men (2006), March 10. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), March 11-12. Heat (1995), March 11. Friday (1995), March 11. But I’m a Cheerleader (1999), March 13.

Willamette Week's journalism is funded, in part, by our readers. Your help supports local, independent journalism that informs, educates, and engages our community. Become a WW supporter.