Like many of
classical director Li Han-Hsiang's erotic movies for Shaw Brothers,
Sensual Pleasures (1978) is made up of three separate stories.
ASIAN VALUES VCD REVIEW
Shi-Yi dies, he is sent to a way-station to await reincarnation.
Like the way-station in Heaven Can Wait (the Warren Beatty version),
it is run in a bureaucratic manner, where in this case, the officials
are a parody of Mainland Chinese officialdom with a disdain for
story focuses on Zhao, this way-station preamble focuses on a
few individuals; for example, Meng Fei, who loses at gambling,
wishes that in his next life he would be the old receiving money
instead of dishing it out. He turns out to be a beggar. David
Chiang, who is killed in the prime of his life, wishes that nothing
can harm him. What follows is a sequence drawn from David Chiang
movies where is he shown to die - being split apart in The Heroic
Ones, stabbed and slashed in Vengeance or blown apart in Mercenaries
From Hong Kong. A voiceover said that David Chiang has been reborn
as a movie stuntman. Two mute girls wish they could talk forever
- they end up welcoming and thanking customers at a Japanese department
to Zhao who is questioned as to how he died. Zhao thinks he died
of sickness and is sent back to "earth" to determine the truth.
Waking up in a coffin dressed in funeral garb, Zhao decides to
go home to break the good news that he's back. As he stands outside
his home, he hears his son and daughter-in-law talking about his
promiscuous stepmother (Shirley Yu) and how his insurance money
has come in handy to help them start a new business. Zhao then
sees Shirley Yu and his best friend having sex. He also hears
how his best friend is also sleeping with his cousin, who happens
to be the wife of his ex-boss. Realising that he has been duped
and probably murdered by his wife and lover, Zhao retreats to
the funeral house seeking comfort in his coffin.
story has Yue Wing as a student coming to the city for his exams.
To cut down on his expenses he stays at a haunted guildhouse looked
after by an aged caretaker (veteran actor Yeung Chi Hing). Disturbed
by some noises as he is about to go to bed, he sees Chen Ping
and Shirley Yu having sex (which involves some heavy duty tongue
action) in the building next door before the two are what looked
like being forcibly raped. Braving whatever supernatural elements
there are, Yue soon finds out that buxomy-but-a-bit-thick Shirley
Yu is a dominatrix who enjoys lashing out at her lover or naked
girls and that the local warlord dons himself up as a sex maniac
before raping his wives and concubines.
In the third
story, philandering Ku Feng (who has a jolly good time with prostitute
Shaw Yin-Yin) and his brother runs a winery but because of his
spendthrift ways, the company is broke and the second brother
drowns himself in a vat of wine. Ku Feng then gets his nephew,
Ng Ming Tsui, to nail up the vat but being unscrupulous, he sells
the wine from the vat which turns out to be popular with the customers.
While trying to silence his nephew over the misdeed, Ku Feng gets
drowned in a vat of wine instead. It is then revealed that what
had just transpired is nothing but a story concocted by a rival
cover artwork and stills section of this DVD probably come from
a different movie (featuring Hu Chin, who is not in this movie).
Sensual Pleasure's original poster features a topless Shirley
Yu in S&M garb. But Sensual Pleasure fares somewhat better
among Li's erotic movies, as the film is fairly literate, with
the opening story having a melancholic feel, and nice play of
words throughout (with the usual foreign "devil" being accrued
to Americans and Russians). While S&M elements are not new
in Li Han-Hsiang movies, there is a nice gay gag here involving
Zhao Shi-Yi. Typical of the dead in Hong Kong movies, they are
shown with red lips and have rouge on their cheeks. Made up as
such, Zhao is hit on by a bunch of male prostitutes!
Sensual Pleasures is not moralistic as some of Liu Kei's erotic
movies are but they do point out the foibles of human nature -
greed, drink, gambling and womanising.
really makes Sensual Pleasures unforgettable is the no-holds barred
lesbian sex scene between Chen Ping and Shirley Yu, which starts
with Shirley Yu slowly removing Chen's clothes. This scene appears
at a moment when viewers least expect it so it becomes doubly
pleasurable! While the scene is erotically charged, the same can't
be said for the sequence showing the campy Shirley Yu as an S&M
madam, even if she is in the nude! But then these are the money
Sensual Pleasures DVD (IVL/Celestial) is banned in $ingapore.