Thursday, 7 March 2013

Not enough jiggle...

3D Sex And Zen: Extreme Ecstasy

Considering it’s selling itself as the world’s first 3D erotic movie, 3D Sex And Zen: Extreme Ecstasy is a pretty one-dimensional experience. 

It’s also not the world’s first 3D erotic movie. 

The ‘70s 3D explosion brought us such cinematic delights as Prison Girls (1972), The Playmates in Deep Vision 3-D (1974), Hard Candy (1976) and1977’s Blonde Emmanuelle (the last two were hard-core).  There’s even been 3D gay porn, 1977’s Heavy Equipment (now there’s a title to live up to) and, more recently, in 2010 Hustler released a 3D porn parody of James Cameron’s Avatar, This Ain’t Avatar XXX.  In fact, the most popular 3D film ever made was 1969’s soft-core skin flick The Stewardesses which, having grossed over $27million in 1970 on a budget of $100,000, is officially one of the most profitable theatrical films ever produced. 

A loose remake of Michael Mak’s 1991 Sex And Zen with added ultra-violence and based on Li Yu’s erotic novel The Carnal Prayer Mat, 3D Sex And Zen: Extreme Ecstasy follows the erotic misadventures of arrogant scholar Wei Yangsheng (Hiro Hayama) who, failing to satisfy new bride Tie Yuxiang (Leni Lan), sets out on a quest of sexual discovery which leads him to the Pavilion of Ultimate Bliss where the evil, dissolute, licentious Prince of Ning (Tony Ho) presides over a non-stop orgy of unimaginable sexual delights.  After consulting the duplicitous Elder of Ultimate Bliss, an elderly man magically inhabiting the body of a beautiful young women with a 10-foot cock he can use like a bullwhip, Yangsheng discovers that the reason he can’t satisfy his wife is down to his microscopic penis.  Undergoing a penis transplant, Yangsheng swaps his half-incher for a donkey’s member (I kid you not folks), returns to the Pavilion and, feeling rather cocky (ahem), proceeds to plough anything that moves.  Meanwhile his wife is having her own problems as she’s raped, accused of debauchery, condemned to death by drowning and saved by scholar Shangguan who adds her to his harem of 127 wives and concubines.  But the evil Prince of Ning is nursing a grudge against Yangsheng…

Echoing the comedic, almost Carry On-style, tone of the first Sex And Zen (not necessarily a good thing) as arrogant doofus Yangsheng bumbles around and tries to get laid despite his teeny weeny shortcomings, 3D Sex And Zen: Extreme Ecstasy suddenly lurches into Hostel territory in its last third when the mildly misogynistic undercurrent bubbles over into some pretty repugnant sexual violence (Ning f*cks to death his masochistic concubine, Yangsheng and Tie Yuxiang are viciously tortured).  And for an erotic movie there are just far too many penises (or is the plural penii?) being lopped off for comfort.  Sure the transplant scene is played for laughs but a hungry dog snarfing the hero’s severed penis is never something you want to see.  Counting that, the horse and the donkey (both penis donors) and the bloody climax of the film which involves not one but TWO involuntary penectomies, a grand total of five, FIVE, penises are lopped off during the course of 3D Sex And Zen: Extreme Ecstasy.  Which is at least five too many.  Personally, if I’m watching smut, the last thing I want to be thinking about is getting my dick cut off.

A costume drama with very little need of costume, trying to review 3D Sex And Zen: Extreme Ecstasy is every bit as curious an experience as trying to watch it.  The plot is virtually incomprehensible, most of the film  and the acting ranges from atrocious to mannequin but let’s be honest, none of us are watching 3D Sex And Zen: Extreme Ecstasy for its story and characterisation, both of which could do with fleshing out (fnar, fnar).  And few of us are watching it for the Zen.  We’re watching it for the sex.  3D sex.  Sex you can almost reach out and touch, taste.  Well, don’t go splashing out on the Handy Andies and a tub of goose fat just yet. 

While there’s acres of (mostly female) flesh on show, as erotic films go, 3D Sex And Zen: Extreme Ecstasy just isn’t that erotic.  The sex itself is soft-core and very obviously simulated.  It’s all tastefully-lit writhing, heavy breathing, girly squeals and heaving bosoms.  More importantly, it lacks the all-important jiggle factor, with most of the 3D effects confined to the usual unimaginative knives flying over the heads of the audience during a climactic fight rather than in-your-face boobies.

Unsexy, unimaginative and nowhere near the immersive experience you hope it’s going to be, 3D Sex And Zen: Extreme Ecstasy‘s sexualised violence against women leaves a bad taste in the mouth.  Stick with the Avatar parody.

David Watson

Christopher Sun
Hiro Hayama, Leni Lan, Vonnie Lui, Saori Hara, Suou Yukiko, Tony Ho, Carina Chen
Hong Kong
Stephen Shiu, Stephen Shiu Jr., Mark Wu
Running time

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