Rating: 1 star out of 5
The Stars: Hiro Hayama, Leni Lan, Saori Hara, Yukiko Suho, Vonnie Lui, Tony Ho.
The Story: Taking place in the Ming Dynasty, young dashing scholar Wei Yangsheng (Hiro Hayama) falls in love and ties the knot with the beautiful Tie Yuxiang (Leni Lan), the daughter of a Taoist priest. But just like any other newlyweds, they soon discover that their sex life is much to be desired caused by Yuxiang’s lack of passion and Yangsheng’s lack of stamina among other things. Instead of working around their shortcomings through natural ways like living with it, Yangsheng takes an alternative solution by visiting the cliff-top pad called the Pavilion of Ultimate Bliss run by sexual deviant Prince of Ning (Tony Ho) to teach him a thing a two about being awesome in bed. Ning advices Yangsheng to implant a donkey’s penis –which he does. Ning finds odd cause to dislike Yangsheng and coupled by the death of an unnamed concubine the erotica film gets the grind and turns into a full-blown gore film with scenes of torture, rape and mutilation.
The Buzz:3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy is the world’s first ever 3D erotica film and grossed the highest opening day earnings in Hong Kong beating Titanic and Avatar (both boasting its own memorable sex scenes.) As of June 15, the film has earned more than HK$40 million (over US$ 5M) in Hong Kong.
inSing.com thinks: The three major black-market industries in the world right now are weapons, drugs, and oil. In the film industry, the three major genres are comedy, sex and gore. 3D Sex and Zen has all of that. And if you are looking for a film with an interesting plot, depth in characters and cinematographic brilliance, we’re sorry but you will not find it here?
Adapted loosely from an ancient Chinese text "The Carnal Prayer Mat", Sex and Zen is divided into two segments in its 118 minutes long drag of a film. The first half explains the story, adds a lot of naked and half-naked people in Chinese costumes, wangers and tits are all over the place, and sees the young newlywed scholar learning the ropes from an insidious sex guru. The second half turns erotica on its head (and cutting it off) by journeying towards one shock-factor after the other.
We are not going to give anything away as there’s nothing to give away in the first place. It's porn and gore in 3D. So expect to see either naked or dismembered parts floating around your 3D glasses. As for comedy, fans of the earlier 1991 Sex and Zen (yes, with Amy Yip), and its franchises will be grossly disappointed.
Producer Stephen Shiu (producer of the original Sex and Zen franchise) has passed on his legacy by bringing in his son Stephen Shiu Yeuk-yuen to co-write and produce this movie to disastrous effect. The only saving grace for the older versions of Sex and Zen was its silly slapstick comedy--it helps keep the boner down. But 2011’s version is not only not funny, it went sour once the rape scene takes place and then down the slippery slope from there. The acting is bland, except for Vonnie Lui’s trying her best in which on this level, is deserving of at least an Oscar nomination.
There’s nothing much to expect from a movie that stars semi-popular idols on a semi-interesting concept film. The only use of the 3D glasses is to hide your true identity when leaving the theatre.
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