Those craving films recommended by Penthouse magazine, as this one claims to be, have come to the right place. Among other erotic outrages, this high-spirited, uninhibited, Hong Kong adaptation of a Ming Dynasty erotic novel, The Carnal Prayer Mat, gives literal meaning to the expression, "hung like a horse." A wandering scholar (Lawrence Ng) decides...read more
Those craving films recommended by Penthouse magazine, as this one claims to be, have come to the right place. Among other erotic outrages, this high-spirited, uninhibited, Hong Kong adaptation of a Ming Dynasty erotic novel, The Carnal Prayer Mat, gives literal meaning to the expression,
"hung like a horse."
A wandering scholar (Lawrence Ng) decides to become a world-class seducer. A Zen master warns him that for every wife and daughter he defiles, his own will in turn be defiled, but he is unconcerned, even after he takes a wife (Amy Yip). On their wedding night, the scholar introduces his blushing
bride to a variety of carnal delights that leave her a sexual dynamo. This does not deter the scholar from his mission, however. He tries to enlist the help of a thief with magical powers, but the thief will only help him if the scholar's puny sexual appendage grows to the size of a horse's. The
scholar despairs, until he happens upon a quack doctor (Kent Cheng) who has been experimenting with precisely the kind of transplant operation he needs. With his new equine sexual accessory, the scholar, with the thief's help, seduces the wife of an abusive silk merchant. The merchant leaves town
and becomes the gardener for the scholar's wife, who turns to lesbian sex with her cousin and non-stop masturbation to satisfy her lust. When the scholar returns, he's kidnapped by the cousin and made her sexual slave. Meanwhile, the silk merchant rapes the scholar's wife and both are sent packing
by the family; rather than marry her, however, the silk merchant sells her into prostitution. Some time later, the scholar--enfeebled and impotent from servicing the insatiable cousin, her large staff of equally insatiable maids, and even the mare "widowed" by his penile transplant--visits the
brothel for a cure. To his horror, he finds that the renowned "sexual doctor" undertaking his cure is none other than his own wife. Now realizing the truth of the Zen master's warning, the scholar reconciles with his wife and takes her away from the brothel.
SEX AND ZEN never lets good taste get in the way of its full catalog of sexual obsessions, including castration sight gags that would make Howard Stern wince and frequent erotic applications of such common household objects as flutes, writing pens and fresh-baked bread. Director Michael Mak's
inspirations are eclectic, ranging from antique Chinese erotic woodcuts seen throughout the film to FELLINI SATYRICON and Nagisa Oshima's IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES, to which he adds his own visual fixation with images of women's nipples in close-up contact with silk, bamboo, chains and other
The film's spirit is one of unbridled bawdy slapstick, which misfires as often as it hits its targets, and its attitude towards women probably won't warm many hearts in the feminist community. In short, Penthouse readers will find what they're looking for in abundance wrapped in a typically
bright, fast and furious Hong Kong package that is sometimes funny and occasionally even genuinely erotic. (Extensive nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, extreme profanity, graphic violence.)
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