As if a wayward husband is not enough, a lonely housewife must deal with a peeping tom who is also a murderous sex maniac. Stephen Tan reviews.


Seen on the big screen, the opening credit sequence must be an eyeful. Close ups of naked breasts, bare buttocks and a nubile female body, if nothing else, it's already a couple of hours considered well spent at the cinema.

But it's a Lui Kei (Lu Chi) movie so everything's to be taken at face value. The opening sequence is a tease. It's also a way to alert viewers of the presence of a peeping tom character who stalks women by taking their photographs. But if the title, The Stud And The Nympho (1980), is enticing, it is also off the mark.

There are no studs here, unless you are referring to wandering husbands, nor any nymphos, unless it's about a woman who's a flirt (though she admits she doesn't sleep around).

The movie starts with statuesque Ai Ti, who is married to Tang Ching, trying to form an association of women to prevent their husbands from straying. While the banter among the women has some of Lui's better writing, you know the ploy is not going to work as the women can't seem to agree on anything.


In a comical flashback, one of the women explains how she got her husband (Frankie Wei) from straying. Pretending to hang herself over Wei's wayward ways, she reaches for the sash she had hung over the chandeliers. It could be because of the red dress (according to film legend, women who commit suicide wearing red tend to return as malevolent ghosts) but the ruse works and Wei spills the beans about his affairs - another flashback that provides lots of full frontal nudity as Wei talks about his trysts with foreign women. [It's the early '80s and full frontal shots seemed to be confined to 'foreign devils.']

Then Ai Ti says something innocuous like how a wife can provide a supportive household as a way to "attract" the husband, only for the viewers to be shown the philandering husband in bed with mistress Ling Tai. The rich businessman likes the emotional security provided by Ai Ti but he also longs for the impulsiveness and sense of adventure that Ling Tai brings with her. Tang inadvertently spends a night with Ling only to be discovered by Ai Ti in the morning. Ai decides to leave Tang and files for divorce. Tang then moves in with Ling.

In the meantime, peeping tom and sex maniac Qi Ye is stalking Ai Ti and saves her from a rapist. He bring the unconscious Ai Ti to his home - they practically live next door to each other. He removes her clothes but leaves her in her undies [presumably for audiences to better ogle at]. Torn between giving in to his urges and "preserving" her, Qi does the next best thing with his trusted full-size rubber doll. Ai Ti wakes up, wanders about in her undies, finds a telescope pointing into her bedroom, grabs the nearest shirt, gets her handbag, rushes past a bemused Qi Ye (who is ironing the dress!) and dashes home. Next Qi Ye visits Ai Ti with the dress (as if nothing had happened) and soon, the two become friends!

After seeing Ling with a man in the apartment, the jealous Tang storms off and decides to return to Ai Ti. At that moment Qi appears and a row ensues between the two men before the police are called in. Later that night, Qi kidnaps Ai Ti and keeps her chained and locked up in a cage.

It cannot be stressed enough that this being a Lui Kei movie means it's a potpourri of genres. In other words, Lui tries to please everybody - there's nudity and sex for those in the back row, there's comedy and there's melodrama. But it's not a satisfying mix. Logic quickly goes out the window - hard to imagine any sane woman left alone in her undies becoming friends with a peeping tom, no matter how saintly she appears to be.

It's not a draggy movie, things do move at a brisk pace and the opening credit sequence does tend to dwell long after the movie is over. Well, that's a lazy afternoon for you.

Note: The Stud And The Nympho (IVL/Celestial) DVD is banned in $ingapore.

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December 5, 2006

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