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You would expect heads to roll in a movie that begins with a kickboxing match featuring BLOODSPORT bad-ass Bolo Yeung, but in THE BOXER’S OMEN, the heads literally detach from bodies and float around before choking adversaries with dozens of bloody tendons. That’s par for the course in Chih-Hung Kuei’s gooey, psychedelic take on black magic and Buddhist mysticism, released through Shaw Brothers Studio in 1983.

This is as much a sheer cinematic spectacle as it is a narrative film, and Alejandro Jodorowsky fans will be right at home with its mix of visual insanity and epistemological and spiritual ruminations. Believe it or not, there is some loose semblance of a plot as well. After his brother is critically injured by a Thai boxer (the aforementioned Yeung), gangster and fighter Chan Hung (Phillip Ko) begins to have visions of weird symbols and a particularly strange monk. During a visit to a Thai monastery, Chan learns that he shares a connection with a powerful deceased abbot, and is the only one who can break a curse inflicted by a devious black magician. A series of surreal training vignettes and bizarre hexes give way to duels between monks and magicians that are as disgusting as they are fantastical.

THE BOXER’S OMEN (1983) Dir. Chih-Hung Kuei, 99 minutes
Saturday 9/27 (11:30PM)

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

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