Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Chinese Torture Chamber Story

Where do I begin with this one? The opening castration scene? The martial arts couple wire-fu fucking in mid-air? The woman forced to ride a wooden horse with a ginormous wooden dildo in the saddle? The old water torture and bamboo under the fingernails? The man who literally jumps out of his own skin? The husband who services his wife with sex toys named "The Dwelling Bells," "Orgasmic Armor" and "Mr. Horn"? Or how about the guy who overdoses on aphrodisiac and discharges a fire hydrant-worthy, bloody ejaculation all over his wife and the surrounding area as he expires?

This 1994 Category III Hong Kong film cooks up a rich feast of sex, violence and depravity while folding in a healthy dollop of goofy humor. There really isn't one moment when something outrageous isn't happening in this picture. The story concerns the adorable (and adorably named ) Little Cabbage (Yvonne Yung Hung, above), a sweet, innocent virgin who is framed for murder and tortured mercilessly by officials of the Ching Dynasty, along with her benefactor, the equally blameless Yang Nai Wu (Lawrence Ng). The wicked ones get their comeuppance eventually, but not before these two suffer the torments of the damned. Lightening things up are comedy set pieces like the aforementioned aerial sex show featuring old Cat III favorites Julie Lee and Elvis Tsui (pictured right).

I'd recommend a double feature of A Chinese Torture Chamber Story and its Japanese counterpart The Joy of Torture (1968) to anyone who thinks torture porn is strictly a Bush-era phenom. And, as usual, the Asian filmmakers do it darker.

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