Regulars Shirley Yu, Hu Chin and Chen Ping do not disappoint in Li Han-Hsiang's Crazy Sex (1976), a bedroom romp that combines erotic naughtiness and showcases elements of the director's classical touch. Stephen Tan reviews.


THE ASIAN VALUES DVD REVIEW

The lacklustre Forbidden Tales Of Two Cities did not dampen Shaw Brothers' enthusiasm for erotic movies nor did it adversely affect the prominent Li Han-Hsiang's status as a director. In fact, one could say that Li bounced back with even more popular erotic movies such as The Golden Lotus (1974) and That's Adultery (1975) or key classical films such as Empress Dowager (1975) and The Last Tempest (1976).

 

By this time, Li could probably direct these films with ease. He had a formula that worked - instead of one story, his erotic films contained two or more segments. And he had a regular cast consisting of sexpots Shirley Yu, Chen Ping and Hu Chin.

Crazy Sex is no different. Drugs, sex, double-cross are already a heady brew and, with the machinations of a Ku Lung wu xia novel (with enough twists and turns to keep everyone on their toes), the first story is an entertaining tease. Shirley Yu is suspected of being a police informer on a drug ring and she is taken to a hotel room and tied up. Henchwoman Lily Li, in her knee-length boots, opens up Yu's blouse and the audience is led to expect some Ilsa, Wicked Warden-type of lesbian sex. But that's about it though this is followed by a "torture" sequence involving some mites or insects that has the bare-bosomed Yu moaning and groaning away (to a disco soundtrack no less). Taking a liking to her, crime boss Wang Hsia decides to join Yu in bed (and the two are secretly videotaped).


Shirley Yu (left) and Wang Hsia.

It then transpires that Wang took over the gang when the previous boss was jailed. Wang not only took over control of the drug ring, he got the boss's wife and property. However there is a provision that the assets will go to a third party if either the wife (played by Chen Ping) or Wang is involved in an adulterous affair. More sexual interludes follow and eventually both Wang and his wife are blackmailed into signing away HK$4 million. What happens next is a twist upon another twist for an ending that says crime, in whatever form, does not pay.

The second story, set in the Warlord days, is more fleshy and also much more cinematically accomplished. In a crowded corner of the town, jeweller Li Kun stays with his wife, Hu Chin, in a house next to a brothel. In an impressive tracking shot, director Li takes the viewer on a tour of eight brothel rooms and the audience sees the prostitutes at work - some of whom are either welcoming their clients or bidding them farewell, naturally most of the women are in some sort of undress.


Hu Chin (left) in a playful mood.
 

Hu Chin has the hots for a young artist, who lives next door, while in a separate development, Li Kun, in a pre-Viagra move, gets a huge appetite for sex after taking some aphrodisiac by mistake. While this ruse is such a cliché, audiences will tend to overlook it as there are more enticing moments on screen. Still, the director seemed to have missed out on the potential for great comedy in a fake possession sequence that has Hu Chin contriving to get Li Kun out of the house for her dalliance with the artist.

Once again, Hu Chin and Chen Ping are called upon to lend their charms to the movie and they do not disappoint. Chen Ping's role is much smaller in the second story - she plays a prostitute who attends to Li Kun as Hu Chin is having it on with the artist.

While both stories are nothing to shout about, they are still delectable entertainment, giving enough nudity and sex for that erotic Shaw moniker and there is enough thought to the script and staging for the movie not to be boring. As Variety magazine says, "Sex still sells in-between Shaolin monasteries and kung fu odysseys… as this bedroom romp proves."

Note: The Crazy Sex DVD is not available in $ingapore.








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