Reviewed by: j.crawford
Summary: soft-core adult film
From writer-director Li Han-Hsiang, one of the top directors of the Hong Kong movie industry in the 1960's, comes this film based on the banned erotic Chinese novel of the same name. In a no-holds-barred attempt to win one man's devotion, two women embark on a physical and emotional sparring match that only one of them can win. Meanwhile, the despicable man is scheming on the ladies fortunes. Jealously, lust and forbidden love culminate in a devastating, life-altering drama. It is definitely a soft-core adult film, and the acting is dreadful; standard for these types of projects.
Reviewer Score: 4
What is interesting to note here is that Director Li served as art director and manages to frame many of the sequences in the style of the notorious drawings by using lighting and cinematography to create the effects. The film opens with a short sequence that talks about the banned book, how it has been published in many languages and countries around the world, and that this movie is just another interpretation that shows the camera on a Chapman dolly and tracks leading to a huge outdoor set while the director gives instructions to the cast.
Reviewed by: STSH
If you like feelgood soft porn, avoid this one completely ! And if you like really nasty stuff, you might find this one a bit tame. In short, I think this film has a pretty narrow target audience, and I'm certainly not in that range.
Reviewer Score: 2
Tan Lap Man nearly always plays nasty and raving sex maniacs, often rapists, and this one is no exception. He gets to shaft every living female who is even midly attractive here, often two or three at a time. There are masses of sex scenes and of course acres of full frontal nudity, mainly provided by the three lead actresses, who appear to have never made any other films (and I can certainly see why).
The story starts off pretty grim, and turns decidedly nasty around the half-way mark. What little story there is concerns rich mandarin Xi Men Qiang, a man not happy with four wives, who has just acquired another, and is busy trying to be unfaithful to her on their wedding night. Kind of wonder why he bothers with wedding vows.
Things don't entirely go his way. His new bride is busy playing a similar game. When he finds out, he's none too pleased, and this causes to accelerate his seed-spreading.
The look of this film is very similar to Liu Jai : Home Of The Intimate Ghosts, and was probably shot in tandem. But GL and LJ are very different films. LJ is a terrific fun film which looks great, though there are some nasty moments. GL is unrelievedly downbeat.
Much of the many sex scenes are kinky, including bondage, whipping, beatings and even including realistic killing of cats (ugh).
The only thing pleasant about this film, and this is very odd, is the music. It's lovely, and ranks among the best ER HU (Chinese 2-string fiddle) music ever put behind a movie. Totally clashes with the content and the treatment.
Clearly, I am not recommending this film.