Starring Phillip Ko Fei, Lam Hiu Yin, Wai Ga Man, Bolo Yeung-Tze, Wang Lung-Wei, Elvis Tsui Kam Kong, Cheung Chok Chow, Leung Hak Shun, David Lam Wai, Wan Seung Lam, Lai Yau Hing, Lam Chi Tai
Directed by Kuei Chi-Hung
Expectations: High, it’s a Kuei Chi-Hung black magic movie.
Regular visitors will be familiar with the extreme exploits of director Kuei Chi-Hung, the Shaw Brothers’ resident weirdo. Films such as The Killer Snakes and Virgins of the Seven Seas show his range, but for my money his witchcraft movies are the main event. The Boxer’s Omen is a slight sequel to his previous film Bewitched, and it should open with a serious warning to anyone that could possibly be pregnant and/or have a heart condition. Kuei pulls no punches during the nearly non-stop parade of filth that constitutes The Boxer’s Omen, so fans of Hong Kong witchcraft films ready your snake gallbladders and alligator carcasses and we’ll get down to business.
The Boxer’s Omen centers on a boxer from Hong Kong (Phillip Ko Fei) that gets mixed up with some Thai black magic when his brother is handily defeated by the Thai champion, wonderfully played by Bolo Yueng. The man vows to seek revenge and beat the Thai champion, but he didn’t count on the freaky shit they were willing to employ in order to take him out of the picture. In order to defeat them, he must seek the help of the monks that prevailed over the evil sorcerer of Bewitched. Only problem, the Abbot who kicked so much ass in that film is murdered a few minutes into this one by a cunning spell involving spiders and poison needles to the eyes. The boxer is tasked with not only revenging his brother’s defeat, but preserving the Abbot’s intent on achieving immortality, because despite his death his body was preserved and placed in an urn where he awaits the boxer to kill the offending wizard and break the poison spell. Off-the-wall, batshit-insane and wild fun, only begin to sum this film up and this is only a sampling of the first thirty minutes!
Another of my favorite scenes comes just before that, when the boxer is being trained and educated as a Buddhist monk. They place him inside of a large urn with characters written all over it. Other monks sit around the urn in a circle, each holding a rope that leads into the urn and is held by the boxer. Through the power of their chanting, red light flows from their hands and down the ropes into the urn. The words on the urn animate and swirl around the boxer. After a few moments the words flow onto the boxer himself, leaving the urn stone white. The urn cracks and explodes and the boxer within is empowered and glowing red. I don’t know about you, but for me this is a pretty badass way to get badass.