ASIAN VALUES DVD REVIEW
four-story anthology Love Swindler, director Li Han-hsiang seemed
to have called in a lot of favours as the cast reads like a who's
who in Shaw's erotic movies - Shirley Yu, Chen Ping, Shaw Yin-Yin
Yu in Love Swindlers.
none of these stars appear in the first story, Deadly Injections,
a period tale about travelling medicine seller Ku Feng and his
sidekick Ng Ming Tsui. Veteran Ku Feng was magnificent as the
diminutive brother of Wu Song in Li Han-hsiang's Tiger Killer
- his midget walk taught to him by kung fu exponent Yuen Wah [lately
of Kung Fu Hustle fame]. In this movie, it's almost a breeze in
the park for Ku Feng. Trying to make a quick buck, Ku Feng treats
a sick girl by saying she's suffering from a venereal disease
and requires acupuncture. The treatment goes wrong, the girl dies
and Ku Feng and his assistant are caught by the townspeople and
have to suffer the humiliation of parading around town announcing
their crime and carrying the corpse of the girl. In the next town,
they are called to treat a rather fat girl who has a habit of
eating burnt wax wicks - probably the only gross-out scene in
the film. However, Ku Feng decides not to cheat the wealthy girl's
family when his assistant tells him that if they are caught, he
won't be able to carry the heavy corpse around town!
about a scam gone wrong, is briskly paced and it's kind of fun
to watch usual "bad guy" Ku Feng get his comeuppance so viewers
tend to overlook the fact that there is not so much as any peek-a-boo
or enticing bare flesh to be seen.
On paper, the
next story, Counterfeit, looks promising as it stars bombshells
Shaw Yin-Yin and Dana (last seen as the alluring Girl With The Long
Hair) as the victims of a get-rich-quick scam. Sure they get to
strut their stuff - meaning lots of shots of them walking the streets
in their mean hot pants - but none of the type of shots that really
matter. By this time viewers' patience must be wearing thin.
Shaw Yin-Yin (left) and Dana.
takes a while before things move up a notch in the next tale,
Social Disease. Here, Kang Kai, who works in a goldsmith, is enticed
somewhat by an attractive customer. Through an elaborate ruse,
Kang delivers a package of jewellery to a clinic run by Chiang
Nan. The first nude scene in the film appears with Chiang examining
a woman patient who is lying nude in bed with her legs spread
apart. What really ails this woman is left to the viewer's imagination
since her examination requires that she takes off all her clothes
but it is doubtful any viewer will be complaining by this point.
This segment has some witty double entendres regarding sex, visiting
prostitutes and possibly the deflowering of virgins but if there
is a point in this segment, it's that a pretty face plus some
sweet talk and a seemingly sensible man will lose his senses and
simply follow the pull of his loins.
Yu and Yueh Hua.
in the final segment, Hire Purchase, where viewers get their money's
worth. Shirley Yu applies for work as a sales assistant in a lighting
shop run by the husband-and-wife team of Yueh Hua and Chen Ping.
It doesn't take long before Yueh takes a drugged-out Yu to his
apartment and the two have some of the steamiest sex on a Shaw
screen. Soon, Yueh even builds a love nest of his own with Yu.
When Chen discovers the affair, there is a free-for-all with the
naked Yu bandied about. (In the meantime, Chen has a fling of
her own - you can't really allow Shirley Yu to get all the credit
here). That humiliating fiasco aside, it is only at the end that
Yueh realises that Yu has fleeced him of his money.
should have read "An Erotic Movie" rather than the more flowery
"Love Swindler" as this is what viewers are in the cinema for
- Shirley Yu, Chen Ping, Shaw Yin-Yin and Dana.
But like a good con where the premise looks promising and where
the victims (in this case, the viewers) are willing not only to
suspend their belief but actually hope for a better result, overall
it does look as if director Li has pulled a quick one.
The Love Swindler DVD is not available in $ingapore.
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