3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy was screening in Singapore, given R21 rating (duh) in July-August 2011. RAP did a post on this film when it was first released in Hong Kong, which you can check out here. It was well received locally, but do check out the review below by our resident writer, Ryandall Lim!
Movie review – 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy by Ryandall Lim
For not doing my research on the “World’s First 3-D erotic movie”, I was punished with a big fat question mark that hovered above my head five minutes into the show and for the rest of the day.
At the end of the supposed two-hour “extreme ecstasy” experience, I can confidently say everyone sitting in the cinema hall was anything but. I couldn’t tell if it was a comedy, a romance action-thriller, a B-grade slasher-flick, or the cheapest excuse to arouse oneself. It did however, feel very much like a mutant sequel to Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle –cum- Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill – cum- David Gorden Green’s Your Highness. With so much lame dick jokes and rubbish thrown at you, literally, it might have well been titled “Confusion says..”
The storyline, based on an improvisation of the classical erotic novel The Carpet Prayer Mat by Qing Dynasty author and playwright Li Yu, reads like a sick fairy tale gone wrong: smug-and-possibly-Pantene-using scholar Yangsheng falls in love at first sight with pale-breasted virgin Yuexiang. They marry and have rabid sex. Unsatisfied, he visits evil Prince of Ning who has a ginormous dick to learn how to achieve sexual satisfaction. Cut to rabid orgies with other fair-breasted porn cross-overs but Yangsheng is soon made fun of his extremely small dick (we see a cutaway to a small button-mushroom-like appendage – the only time a male genitalia is shown, while breasts are in extravagant supply throughout the show…). Enter Elder of Bliss, a transgender being with a dick so long it coils around his/her leg and who demonstrates how he/she can control it to spin wheels. Inspired, Yangsheng decides to have a dick transplant. He succeeds with the help of two idiot dick-replacement experts, but not before the horse’s organ that he’s supposed to get transplanted with ends up squashed by a wheelchair and his own gets bitten in half by a dog and one of the idiots. They substitute with that of a passing ass’.
Brandishing his new donkey dong, Yangsheng goes on to have more rabid, but this time satisfying sex with random naked pale-breasted women in Prince of Ning’s sinful harem. Meanwhile, Yuexiang pines for her husband by masturbating with a home-made dildo comprising a roll of coins, gets raped by a lustful but hunky and dirty dagger thrower (she loves it, I’m sure) and then makes her way to Prince of Ning’s lair to be reunited with her love. However, Prince of Ning now captures the two lovers and tortures them mercilessly – Yangsheng gets de-donkey donged while Yuexiang gets raped again before having a chastity belt forced on her for eternity. Yangsheng then realises that love is more important than good sex (yeah, right).
What happens in the last quarter of the movie is a bigger blur than all the previous scenes combined: the hunky dagger-thrower kills himself unwittingly; there are interstitials of a once-villain riding a horse in close-up as cheap green-screen 3-D leaves fly past; a prized concubine breaks her neck while running away; Elder of Bliss explodes to smitherines after leaking blood from seven holes and Prince of Ning gets spoked in the neck. The couple live happily ever after without sex. The end.
While the plot seems hysterically nonsensical, the inclusion of some sudden gruesome scenes make the show schizophrenic – a concubine bludgeons a servant’s face inside out; there are two castrations done, one without anesthesia; and the torture scenes are cruel. I for one, was left with a bit of a cognitive dissonance – one minute I am sinking in my seat from the silliness and camp, the next I am cringing because of its gore. It was kind of like watching Sam Raimi’s Drag me to Hell: one moment laughing to tears, the next, screaming for dear life. But unlike the latter which I consider a masterpiece in manipulating feelings, this one just begs the rhetorical: what the fuck?
There were scenes reminiscent of the Kill Bill movies (the elaborate fight scenes building up to an anti-climatic death of a villain) but unlike those, the sudden deaths of the villains in Sex and Zen made it feel as if the writer had run out of ideas or time was up and they had to just die anyhow, anyway.
Unlike the original 1991 version and its sequels, which boasted former Category 3 Hong Kong actresses Amy Yip and Shu Qi among their alumni, and which pushed boundaries of sexuality in mainstream movie making, all this sordid and patchy remake did was to throw random unnecessary things at the audience – camp, gore, nonsense, fingers, rocks, coins, blood, dust etc in 3-D. If boobs and dicks were included in the list, maybe some would forgive the movie’s incompetence. But sadly, there was none.
If you’d ask me, I’d say this was a waste of resources put together for a made-for 3-D movie, a waste of a marketing effort, and a fallacy of a tagline bragging the first 3-D erotic movie which it hardly was. What non-zense!