It's that same old adage - the grass is always greener on the other side - and for roving Frankie Wei, apart from his wife, he has a thing for the Girl With The Long Hair. Stephen Tan reviews.

THE ASIAN VALUES DVD REVIEW

As far as sexploitation films go, this is rather basic. Frankie Wei goes to Pattaya in Thailand for some rest and relaxation with his blind wife Terry Liu. Upon entering the hotel, he runs into his friend Henry Yu who tries to set him up with the local beauties. In the meantime, he meets the sexy and mysterious girl with the long hair (Dana). The rest of the show - no points for guessing - is about how Wei succumbs to the temptation of sex.

It isn't too long before the first nude scene kicks in but patience is required before the star of the show, Dana, shows off her assets. Dana (Shun Shuk-yee) was among the more popular erotic actresses at Shaw Brothers and while she also appeared in films such as The Super Inframan, she is best remembered for her role in this movie. To be honest, she probably slept through this film, figuratively speaking that is.


Dana is the Girl With The Long Hair.
 

While Dana is prominently shown in the movie poster and DVD/VCD cover art and that the film is named after her character, like Bo Derek in 10, she is really a tease and it is surprising fans have not clamoured that more of her should have been revealed. Probably at the time of the film's release, it was already a pleasure to be able to have a glimpse of whatever parts of her that is on display - and such a veritable pouting and sexy temptress that she is.

On the other hand, in terms of exposure, the honours really go to Terry Liu, who is also another key erotic Shaw actresses. One of her notable films is Bamboo House Of Dolls (1973) but here, she not only provides viewing pleasure with her body but even gains viewer's sympathy for being the blind wife who is horny-as-hell but is constantly left alone by her roving husband. Viewers will be hard put to forget the scene where, on her own, she has to make do with an extra large bathing sponge.


Frankie Wei and Terry Liu (right).

 

This is also the point where the film narratively falters. Why would Wei, who is, on the one hand, devoted to his wife - and there doesn't seem to be any hidden motives on his part - be so quick to be tempted just because another nubile woman is seated at the next dining table? Given his wife's insatiable urges, there does not even seem to have any need for the couple to leave their hotel room at all - a sentiment that is half-fleshed out in a comedic sequence that is meant to be funny but everyone knows is flat.

If there is a salient point director Ho Fan was trying to set up, it's that men are never satisfied, and the next woman will even be more exciting than the one who is currently in bed. Ho Fan was a prominent photographer before joining Shaws and the film has a number of artistic flourishes - a sex scene reflected on a pair of sunglasses; tinted beach scenes (or is that day-for-night tinting that is ravished by time?); lounge music that recalls European soft-porn movies and carefully composed shots.


What is that sponge when you needed it?
 

But the film betrays its stereotypical (and ultimately moralistic) roots - such as half of these films are wont to do - when Wei not only decides to mend his ways but that his friend, Henry Yu, gets what is supposed just desserts for trying to lead Wei astray.

If the name Ho Fan sounds familiar, he was the priest in the Monkey Goes West series, but like Cantonese actor Liu Kei, Ho is nowadays better known for his erotic (or Category III) movies. Girl With The Long Hair is breezy enough with its fair bit of sex and nudity that one might even consider this a guilty pleasure but like that recurring feeling prevalent in the show, perhaps the next erotic movie might even be better.

Note: The Girl With The Long Hair DVD is not available in $ingapore.

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