You are currently displaying Big5
玉蒲團之偷情寶鑑 (1991)
Sex and Zen

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 1

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 10/30/2010

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 02/27/2010

Director Michael Mak effortlessly translates all the zany dexterity of Golden Harvest's martial arts output into this big budget remake of "Yu Pui Tsuen II" (1987) that offers a lot of sex but only a little Zen. Both films are based on a notorious 17th century erotic novel "The Carnal Prayer Mat" [supposedly] penned by well received author, playwright, actor, producer, and director Li Yu. While its praise is often times a tad unwarranted for such a tawdry piece of cinema "Sex and Zen," nevertheless, is noteworthy for being an adult comedy that is both titillating and amusing if nothing else.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 07/26/2007

Audacious sex comedy about a lustful scholar's mis-adventures. The high production values make it difficult to write off as 'just porn', even though sex is clearly the main focus of the film. Most of it is farcically over the top and unmistakably simulated (more like parodied!), culminating in a nightmarish role-playing orgy, but a few scenes are quite artfully done. I've never found Amy Yip especially attractive, but she is clearly well suited to this role (and vice versa). A curious beast of a film!

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/17/2005

A playboy (Lawrence Ng) marries a cold fish (Amy Yip), so he goes to one of his friends for advice. On taking a look at his small "equipment," the buddy says he won't help until he's "hung like a horse" (yes, that is the exact line). So what does Ng do? Well, like any sane person (*cough*) he goes to a backdoor doctor (Kent Cheng), who cuts off his penis and put on a horse's in its' place. Ng is quite happy with the new third arm, but it leads to all sorts of trouble as he makes his way around to all the local ladies.

This movie has been called a "classic" by some, but, frankly, if this movie didn't have subtitles, I think the same people would probably recognize Sex and Zen for what it is -- a softcore porno. Yes, it does have a fairly substantial plot (at least for this type of sex romp) based on a 17th erotic novel called "Carnal Praying Mat," it does have nice production values, it does have some good acting along with some decent comedy, and it does have Amy "Miss Giant Boobs" Yip displaying as much skin as she has in a movie (not the full monty though). But when a movie stops regularly so a sex scene can be shown from foreplay to orgasm, that qualifies as porn in my book, no matter how arty it might be.

To be honest, though, sex scenes are some of the most boring things to watch on film in my opinion. You can shoot them in really only two ways -- the overfiltered soft-focus stuff (which most of this movie is) or the nasty gynelogical closeup variety. And really, how much gyrating and overactive panting can one person be expected to watch? I feel like a bit of a hypocrite -- I normally wouldn't fault a film for being too violent or having too many action scenes -- but Sex and Zen feels like one of those kinds of movies you'd feel embarrassed if your mother walked on you watching it. Despite claims by "Asian Cult Cinema" author that Sex and Zen "is refreshingly graphic without being hardcore," I found a few scenes pretty disgusting and not the least bit sexy, such as one with a giant horse-sized penis being masturbated into a loaf a bread, from which... well, I won't go into more detail -- I don't want my account to be yanked -- but I think you get the idea. If you want a further argument, Sex and Zen is the first movie I've seen which has "recommended by Penthouse" in its end credits.

Yes, this film does have its fans, and if you're into softcore porn, it's pretty good for that type of movie. Unlike a lot of other sexually explicit Asian movies, there's little malice towards women during the sex scenes, which is a nice change of pace. And I will grant that some of the sex scenes have (as one internet poster put it) "inventive choreography." However, to paraphrase Austin Powers, "it's not my bag, baby."

[review from]

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 09/06/2005
Summary: Cat III fun, enjoyable comedy

Sex & Zen, based on the ancient erotic Chinese novel, "The Prayer Mat of Flesh", is a hilarious Category III movie that breaks a lot of rules but set a lot of trends for Cat III movies to follow. Lawrence Ng plays a philandering scholar who sets out to conquer as many women as possible after he feels that his wife, Chou Yin (Amy Yip), doesn't enjoy their sex life enough. After being told that his penis is too small and his longevity is lacking, he goes to Tin Chan (Kent Chang), a local doctor whose abilities include the transplanting of sexual organs. Yan Ching (Ng) decides to have a horse penis attached, and after an extremely comical scene, he is fitted with the equine member. His exploits then take him across the land, where he beds a local shop owner's abused wife and a bi-sexual lover of the rich and powerful Mistress Ku (Carrie Ng). When Ku finds out that Shui Chu (Isabella Chow) has been hiding Yan Ching, she sets in motion a bizarre, almost dream-like sequence that has Yan the unwilling participant in a myriad of sexual situations, many of which border on torture. In the meantime, the abusive shop owner Wong Chut (Elvis Tsui) has taken up as a gardener in Yan Ching's house, and after spying Chou Yin, he cannot control himself and ravages her in an unbelievably gymnastic hot tub scene. She becomes pregnant and is disgraced, and is forced to work in a brothel (coincidentally owned by Mistress Ku), where her sexual ability becomes legendary. Yan Ching, sexually washed out from his torture and hoping regain his prowess, goes to the brothel and finds his wife there, leading to a disastrous ending.

Sex & Zen is a terrific film, and although obviously made strictly for adults, it is incredibly funny and well acted, with or without clothes. The women in this movie are incredibly beautiful, and Amy Yip's career was understandably built on this film. For an Asian, she has enormous breasts and the director, Michael Mak has no qualms in showing her ample assets at all possible times. There is a ridiculous scene involving Carrie Ng, Isabella Chow and a flute which has to be seen to be believed, and comes as close to crossing over into a hardcore sex movie as any other part. You can watch this film for many reasons, one obviously being the legendary sexual aspect which is probably what has been touted the most. However, it can be enjoyed as a terrific, well directed comedy with multitudes of talented actors.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: runo_jp
Date: 06/12/2001
Summary: sex and zen

The title says it all, and when you look at nowadays production, this one is a real classic, and above average as well. Without being a porn amateur, I can say that this one is really pleasant, erotic, sexy, and very funny. Of course, after this one, they chose the fastest way to cash on it : focus on sex!

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/29/2001
Summary: Ummm.........

I can't remember much of this but i remember it to be quite funny!! Lots of sex scenes and the only other thing i remember was a horses 'thing thing' being attached to the lead actor.........

Reviewed by: anyajade
Date: 03/28/2001
Summary: One of my all time favorites

This movie is funny, hot and visually very beautiful. I'm still searching for another movie that can combine these elements equally as well.

This is MUCH better than most American softcore films. Better plot, much better acting and the sets are dreamy. I've seen this film about 5 times over the past 10 years and I like all the same everytime.

Reviewed by: toto63
Date: 12/20/2000

Very sad movie. The moral is offensive for intelligence.
Some nices soft-core actions and beautiful girls can't help this movie.

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

A young man argues with a Buddhist monk: "Why should I notindulge my sexual desires to the fullest? Why should I not seduce as many women as I like? What can their husbands and lovers possibly do in return? Seduce me?" He then sets off on his lascivious mission. It is not long before he begins to feel under-equipped for the task and arranges for an "organ transplant"...the unfortunate donor being the apothecary's splendidly endowed horse. The young man resumes his quest in earnest. When excess reduces the young man to a piteous state of exhaustion and he seeks out the source of reputed wonderous powers of rejuvenation, he discovers that the woman responsible for the spring in the step of half the men in his province is his own dear wife!

[Reviewed by Rim Films Catalog]

Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999

Imagine Peter Greenaway and Ken Russell collaborating on a softcore HK period piece. A handsome young stud (Lawrence Ng), expert in the ways of love, is cursed with a one and a half inch dink. So he asks a local surgeon (Kent Cheung) to transplant a 10" horse schlong onto him, which is done with a tiny custom guillotine and a command of arcane skills. Director Johnny Mak opts to show his big-breasted Asian babes in action at the plot's expense, so mostly you end up either leering or dozing.


Reviewer Score: 5