Friday, November 6, 2009

Jiang tou (1975)

...aka: Black Magic
...aka: Gong tau
...aka: Hex

Directed by:
Meng Hua Ho

Handsome engineer Xu Nuo (Ti Lung) is busy at work on a new high rise construction job when he sparks the interest of young, pampered and obscenely wealthy widow Luo Yin (Tanny aka Tien Ni). Luo isn't the type of girl to take no for an answer and finds herself frustrated that she's unable to seduce Xu away from his kindly school teacher fiancee Quying (Lily Li). Luo also has an unwanted admirer of her own in Jiajie Lang (Lo Lieh), a small-time hood interested in both her beauty and her money. If things couldn't get messy enough, Jiajie decides to get a little help in winning over Luo by going to a backwoods black magician named Shan Jianmi (Ku Feng) who, for a high price, can cast life, death and love spells. After acquiring some of Luo's hair (which must be pulled out by the root) and her footprint cast in mud, a love spell is cast but it only temporarily works because Jiajie can't afford to pay for it. As a result, Jiajie has a death curse placed upon him. Luo, realizing the spells actually work, decides to have Shan place one on Xu for her, getting him to run away with her right after his marriage. She also can't resist putting a death curse on Xu's wife to get her out of the way. An equally powerful rival magician named Master Furong (Ku Wen Chung) is eventually called in to do battle with Shan.

It's fun, entertaining, colorful and manages to work in all kinds of assorted icky stuff. There are maggots, worms and snakes galore, plus gore, tongue-slicing, puking, burning decapitated heads, torn-out livers, bodies time-lapsing into dusty skeletons and a finale set atop the construction site featuring all manner of cheesy laser effects. And did I mention female spells require fresh breast milk that we actually get to see being squeezed out? Yep, that too. It's a Shaw Brothers Production; an atypical one at that, with soap opera dramatic and horror instead of martial arts. An unrelated "sequel" GOU HUN JIANG TOU (aka BLACK MAGIC II and originally released in the U.S. as REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES) followed from the same director and featured most of the same cast.

Image Entertainment put out a "Shaw Brothers Special Edition" DVD in 2006; which is a top quality print.


1 comment:

Altaf Khan said...


how to break black magic

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