AMC Network Entertainment LLC

This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.

Asian Horror Movies That Will Make You Rethink Your Summer Vacation


Summer’s nearly here, and for most of us, it means a vacation, a chance to get away from it all, to unwind, relax and spend some time with our loved ones. Well, I have one word of advice for you: Don’t. I’ve seen enough movies to know that leaving town is an invitation to be tortured, cursed or killed. Tourism is a dangerous business, and no one understands this more than Asian filmmakers — they’ve been warning us against the dangers of summer vacation for years. Here’s a roundup.

Beware of Bangkok

The vacationing Hong Kongers in The Seventh Curse (1986) not
only remembered the sunscreen and machine guns, they even brought
rocket launchers, the SPF 60 of firearms. It’s a good thing, too,
because the second they set foot in Thailand, they’re attacked by giant
aliens and going hand-to-hand with a bloodthirsty mummy. It’s their own
fault for going to Thailand in the first place: Long regarded by Asian
filmmakers as the best place to go if you want to die, most Hong
Kongers expect to get their passports stamped with a blood curse once
they arrive in Bangkok.

Take The Eternal Evil of Asia (1996). A bunch of clean-cut
Hong Kong boys take a trip to Thailand, run afoul of a wizard and start
biting the dust in spectacular fashion when said wizard follows them
home looking for revenge. The “What the hell?” moments come fast and
furious — expect the ghosts of angry dead babies to arrive. But black
magic comes in handy in Seeding of a Ghost (1983) when a nice
cab driver hires a Thai wizard to help him avenge his wife, who was
murdered by a gang of thugs. This is a movie that works your gag reflex
the way Muhammad Ali works a speed bag. The putrefied corpse of the
wife has revenge plans of her own, and it includes eating the gang’s
brains.

In Thailand, if it’s not the Ghost Hexes and the
Gong Tau curses that get you, it’s the zombies. A starring vehicle for
the Japanese noise rock band, Guitar Wolf, Wild Zero
(2000, pictured) blames UFOs for a zombie menace. Count on chicks with
guns and rockers with samurai swords to destroy them; it’s a flick that
delivers on the poster’s promise to serve up “Thrill, speed and stupid
zombies!”

Leaving the City for an Afternoon in the Country Is Still a Bad Idea
Even Thai people are scared of the Thai countryside as witnessed in Art of the Devil 2
(2006). A bunch of Bangkok kids go back to their home village to pay
homage to the teacher who inspired them to do great things, but just as
they arrive, she decides they’re ungrateful brats. Her system of discipline involves planting alligator eggs inside them so they’ll hatch and chew their way out.

Hong Kong’s We’re Going to Eat You (1980) says it like it is. Agent 999 leaves Hong Kong for one
of its rural outlying islands to arrest a notorious thief known as
Rolex. Once he gets there, the entire village targets him as dinner. Think Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets
Black Belt Theater and you’ve got the gist. One viewing and
you’ll make the movie’s tag line your personal mantra, “If you don’t
eat people, people will eat you!”

Still feeling outdoorsy? Watch out
for the family run inn of Korea’s The Quiet Family (1998), where backpackers are murdered to cover up the family’s crimes and to keep
the place profitable. Takashi Miike made a musical version of The Quiet Family called Happiness of the Katakuris (2001) which even has a karaoke sing-a-long in the middle just to drive the lesson home.

Changing your destination won’t help much — decay will travel. In Ebola Syndrome
(1996) professional screen psychopath, Anthony Wong, plays a Chinese
restaurant waiter in Johannesburg who gets the flesh-eating virus from
a local, and then returns to Hong Kong spreading stink, putridity and
death in his wake.

All things considered, you might not want to leave your house this summer. You’ve seen the movies — It’s dangerous out there.

Read More