21 August 2008 | BA_Harrison
For starters, I'll have the snake. And for my main course, would you recommend the toad or the mouse?
If, like me, you actively seek out the rarest and weirdest (and often most awful) that world cinema has to offer, then you should look no further than the supernatural horror output of Hong Kong in the early 80s. Often mixing bizarre black magic with kung fu and silly comedy, and usually packed with plenty of creepy crawlies (snakes, worms, eels, centipedes etc.), these movies are about as bizarre as it gets.
Succubare is definitely a case in point: featuring a mountain tribe whose women keep their men from straying by casting nasty spells over them (that, should they leave, cause them to fill up with writhing creatures and die an agonising death), some so-so martial arts, and lots of real life animal killing (much of which is perpetrated by a geek who has absolutely no bearing on the story), this film is just plain strange.
A prolonged scene in which the tribeswomen hunt for snakes and insects, casually throwing the creatures into the baskets on their backs, is quite fascinating; a tribal feast that sees a poor ox bashed on the head and then torn apart is totally disgusting; and the moments that show worms crawling in open wounds and being vomited onto the floor will have the squeamish losing their appetite for a while.
However, it's the live animal munching that really qualifies Succubare for legendary status amongst fans of out-there movie-making. It's thoroughly vile to watch and yet strangely compelling: the geek chomps on a snake, woofs down a fat, juicy toad (nasty!), and hungrily devours a mouse (biting off its head and then shoving the rest in afterwards).
Not a great movie (hell, it's not really even a mediocre movie), Succubare is recommended only to people who think they've seen it all. This one gets 4 out of 10 from me, which is probably more than it deserves, but I begrudgingly respect it for being able to make me feel slightly ill.