... aka: Cannibal Curse
... aka: Curse
At a hilltop mansion, a wealthy, cruel, paranoid, wheelchair-bound and apparently mentally ill old geezer (Ching Tien) chastises and abuses his much-younger hottie wife, Ma (Maria Jo aka Maria Yuen). He accuses her of "flirting" with other men, yells at her for bringing him ginseng soup that's too hot (I'm sure he'd probably also have an issue with it being too cold) and then starts groping her, beating her up, pulling her hair and threatening to kill her. Seems like a healthy enough relationship! But, hey, I guess that's what you sometimes get when you marry someone old enough to be your grandfather just for their money! Watching all of this sordid action play out from the window is the gardener, Luk (Hsin-Nan Hung), who gets so pissed off he dumps a bucket of water over his head. Seeing how he's younger and handsome, it goes without saying that he and Ma are already very well acquainted with one another and the two have been carrying on a secret affair. Despite not having any money, they plot to run away together but her husband's evil brother (Phillip Ko) overhears them and, later, attempts to rape Ma. When that doesn't work out for him, he simply runs over Luk with his car and kills him.
Ma takes Luk's corpse to the friendly neighborhood sorceress (Lap Ban Chan), who recites a spell so that the two lovers can be reunited as husband and white in the afterlife. Ma then promptly slashes her own wrists and falls over dead on top of Luk. She travels to a kind of limbo called "Mandala" where she refuses to cross the bridge into the next world. Instead she insists on being reincarnated. The sorceress grants her wish, but first warns there may be consequences. Ma doesn't care.
In modern day Hong Kong, Ma has been reincarnated into the now-twenty-year-old Maria Chan (Yuen again). Even though lots of men are interested in dating her, Maria's sad, withdrawn, antisocial and lonely because she still yearns for her lover from the previous life and wants to continue their romance. The only problem is that even though a psychic has told her the her reincarnated former lover, now called Robert Lam (and also played by Hung), is living in Hong Kong, she's thus far been unable to find him. Maria lives with her cousin Bo (Susan Brandy), who takes her to a birthday party and then shows T&A in an awkward sex scene with some rando who shows up at their apartment. Not that that has much to do with the plot, but they wedge it in here anyway.
Maria then gets word from her psychic friend that Robert is now in Manila on a prolonged business trip. He however does not inform her that he's already married to Amy (Eliza Yue) and the two have a young daughter. Nonetheless, Maria promptly heads to the Philippines and has no issue finding him. She introduces herself but he claims he doesn't know her, acts like he doesn't want to get to know her and walks away. Heartbroken, Maria is reduced to seeking the aid of a topless Filipino witch called Goddess (Maria Isabel Lopez, star of Silip / Daughters of Eve), who slips a drug into Robert's tea and seduces him before transforming into Maria mid-sex. Robert then rescues a drowning woman in the ocean and gives her mouth-to-mouth, only to have that woman also transform into Maria. Hey, if he didn't have Maria on the mind before, he sure as hell does now! Yet somehow Robert is able to continue to reject her advances.
Maria goes home and pouts, while Bo, who's feeling the sting of jealousy since all of her lovers seem to be using her just to get closer to Maria, goes to an old, long-haired and mole-faced black magician named Ramau (Feng Hung). The sex-obsessed Ramau loves sucking on toes and lives in a crumbling home in the jungle with bats, owls, snakes and a bunch of dwarf henchmen who wear bone necklaces and caveman loincloths (!!) In case you were wondering how to take care of such a diverse group's dietary needs, kidnapped girls are stripped, chained, chopped up with machetes and then cooked in a cauldron.
Not nearly as horrified as she should be at such a display, Bo remains determined to get her hands on a love "medicine" to use on a guy she's interested in who only has eyes for Maria. When she reveals to Ramau that she lost her virginity a long time ago and is willing to have sex with him in exchange for the love potion, he tells her he'd be glad to help! She's forced to pray to a Snake God and then she's thrown on the ground, has her clothes ripped off and is raped as a white censor dot bush blocker dances around the screen. Bo then returns home, slips the guy she likes the powder and next thing she knows he's no longer interested in her cousin and is all about her.
Since that worked out so well, Bo then takes Maria to see Ramau. However, since she's still a virgin (virgin blood is toxic to him), he has to strike up another deal with her. She can have some of the love powder but must return after she loses her virginity and let the sorcerer have a go at her. After using the powder and giving up her virginity to Robert, Maria then has second thoughts about fulfilling her end of the bargain, so they decide to hide out in her home until they can safely flee to America. After her husband is reported missing, Amy flies down to Manila to see what became of him. She enlists the aid of a good wizard to do battle with Ramau, but he's killed, and then Ramau curses Robert and makes him grow snake scales on his stomach. Amy and the wizard's virginal daughter then decide to infiltrate Ramau's lair themselves.
There's also a snake nightmare, lots of ineptly incorporated stock footage of natural disasters and an amazingly disgusting and bloody finale where the black magician's stomach cracks open and snakes start pouring out as he spits up worms, frogs, snakes and mice! I don't know if Hung deserves props or ridicule for putting all those things in his mouth, but he does get some credit for overacting with astonishing and entertaining vigor! However, most of the rest of the movie is just an excuse to show off breasts, breasts and even more breasts. And the film would show off a lot more than that if not for that pesky dancing dot. Most of the actresses on display are very attractive, so this at least has that much going for it. However, the softcore sex is far from titillating due to it being too tame and the fact most of the ladies seem uncomfortable doing these scenes.
Nearly the entire score was swiped from Psycho II, which is one of the most overused stolen scores in all of 80s Asian horror. There have been only a few home video releases for this one. I'd actually say just ONE legit release and that's the English-subtitled 1988 VHS from Ocean Shores. Later, there was an awful, unsanctioned DVD release from some rip-off company called Videoasia, under their "Tales of Voodoo" banner. They not only had the audacity to steal the Ocean Shores print (that company's logo is even still on it!) but they also released the movie with a screwed up soundtrack that simultaneously plays the Mandarin and Cantonese audio tracks!