Centipede Horror – original title: Wu gong zhou – is a 1982 Hong Kong horror feature film directed by Keith Li (Vampire Kids) from a screenplay written by actress Suet Ming Chan (Red Spell Spells Red), who also has a leading role.
The movie stars Hussein Abu Hassan, Chu-kwong Chan, F.C. Chan, Chok Chow Cheung, Szu-ying Chien, Wong Ha-Fei and Li-fen Han.
Kay asks her big brother Wai Lun if she can take a trip to exotic Southeast Asia, despite a family curse that forbids them to go there. Therefore, Wai Lun gives Kay a special necklace to protect her from evil spirits. Unfortunately, finds the necklace unattractive and takes it off. As a result, the curse is enacted and she is attacked by masses of centipedes.
Wai Lun and his friend Yeuk-Chee visit a wizard to try to break the hex and save the family. The latter employs two ghost children to help exorcise evil spirits. In a showdown, the good wizard must combat an evil wizard…
Reviews [click links to read more]:
“The final 20 minutes are an absolute endurance test. Certainly, nobody will ever want to kiss the heroine (Margaret A. Li) if they’ve seen this movie!” Thomas Weisser, Asian Cult Cinema, Boulevard Books, 1997
“It’s a perfect little package filled with creepy crawlies, melodrama, evil spirits, a very cute dog, and mystics wearing headbands and frizzy wigs. The budget may be low, but the production value is high and ambitious. There are elaborate set pieces and flying fireball effects, and a plot that is cohesive and, dare I say, logical.” Bleeding Skull!
“Above and beyond the screaming myriapod nightmares that crawl unceasingly through this film, it’s none-too-shabby, with a nice little mystery-solving plotline and weird magic going on. Far from the gruesome centipede-fest I’d been expecting, it’s actually a little bland on the grue-front, plus it threw in some surprise gratuitous nudity.” Bill Adcock, Radiation Scarred Reviews
” …Centipede Horror lives up to a cult status amidst the audience that knows of it. Hong Kong cinema got busy and not everything worthy of the spotlight got it. Centipede Horror remains out of the spotlight but retains its acclaimed status.” So Good Reviews
“Centipede Horror isn’t particularly gory or sleazy but it is pretty gross. I mean these are giant ass bugs here. We’re talking over 6 inches long and an inch wide, crawling all over folks. They certainly look nasty to me. We even get a great scene of live centipede vomiting.” Toxic Graveyard
“While far from the nightmarish vision many would have you believe it is, Centipede Horror is a relatively interesting, occasionally successful, and unarguably weird take on the black magic theme popular in the Hong Kong cinema of the time. It’s a pity Keith Li didn’t direct more than the few films he did, as I quite enjoyed myself with this one.” WTF-Film
Image thanks: Backyard Asia