On the supernatural utility of virgins

They’re not just for sacrificing any more

This week Video Vulture takes a look at films in which virgins are treasured for their usefulness in supernatural rituals. Space is limited so I’ll leave out films about virgin sacrifices and concentrate on non-sacrificial rites that are particularly weird/noteworthy. For example:

Operation Pink Squad 2 (a.k.a. Thunder Cops ) (1987). Don’t worry if you haven’t seen Operation Pink Squad 1 . No one has. The sequel is justly famous as the supernatural comedy in which a flying witch head chases our protagonists around a highrise building until they turn the tables and chase it with remote controlled helicopters. This flick is utterly bonkers even by the standards of other Hong Kong supernatural action comedies from the 1980s.

In any case for reasons we need not get into at the moment four beautiful women a jealous husband a yellow-robed monk and a gangster all find themselves trapped in a haunted building. Did I miss anybody? I think there’s one other regular guy in there. Oh and a decapitated witch. She’s in there too clawing and kung fu-ing people with her torso while her snarling head speeds down hallways like the silver orb from Phantasm (1979). The flying head explodes all over everybody which is apparently the dreaded “blood out” curse dooming anyone hit by the splatter to be killed by the army of ghosts in the basement after a few minutes pass. Bummer. But the Taoist monk has a solution — they just need to summon a supernatural entity called an “elf” and everything will be fine. Of course in order to summon the elf they need the help of a male virgin. Everybody awkwardly interrogates one another until they find the only virgin amongst them who turns out to be the big tough gangster. Unfortunately he gets torn apart by ghosts before he can take part in the ritual which means the gang must resort to an even weirder plan….

Night of the Living Dorks (2004). Just before Shaun of the Dead (2004) perfected the art of zombie comedy some German filmmakers had a go at it. A bunch of nerdy high school boys get turned into the living dead and kind of enjoy it at first. They can’t feel pain any more so sports are a breeze and bullies suddenly have reason to fear them. Mind you decay and the constant hunger for human flesh are growing problems so it’s up to the local cute goth chick to cast a spell to cure them. Naturally a virgin must cast the spell. Equally naturally the virgins in this crowd are a bit shy about owning up.

Andy Warhol’s Dracula (a.k.a. Blood for Dracula ) (1974). Some vampire films insist that Dracula and his ilk can only feed on virgin blood. This vampire film points out how difficult it can be to find the stuff. Dracula (Udo Kier) has been assured that four beautiful sisters are all untouched but this turns out to be a bit of a fib as the gaunt bloodsucker pukes his guts out whenever he nibbles on one of them. (“The blood of these whores is killing me!” he whines.) A handsome young servant (Joe Dellasandro) has been getting to them first it seems.

The Monster Squad (1987). Once again only a virgin can perform the magic ritual that will save the day. Once again people tend to be less-than-truthful about such things….

Taoism Drunkard (a.k.a. Drunken Wu Tang ) (1984). And we’re right back to ridiculous Hong Kong supernatural comedy. The quest to find a “cherry boy” (born in the year of “Sun Mou” on August 15 no less) for some kind of idol consecration is kind of weird (especially with one bizarre untranslatable joke about painted-on pubes) but the rest of the film is even weirder. A drunken monk speeds around the temple driving a wicker buggy that resembles a rat’s face. An old granny goes into combat with a tobacco pipe the size of a saxophone and a sword the size of a coffee table. And once you see the infamous “watermelon monster” in action you’ll never forget it. Hilariously indescribably strange.