Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Teresa Mak "Tortured Sex Goddess of the Ming Dynasty"

At first “Tortured Sex Goddess of the Ming Dynasty” seems to be one of the typical casualties of the slapdash translations from Cantonese to English that are a particular plague of Hong Kong films. In this case they may have gotten it right, bizarre though it may be. It is labeled as Category III, the rough equivalent of a “hard R” rating, a skin flick with lots of simulated sex and plenty of nudity. Teresa Mak is the star, the topliner whose presence gave “Tortured Sex Goddess” the briefest sheen of respectability. She keeps her clothes on and spends most of the movie chained loosely to a wall waiting to be reborn. I think the Buddhist concept of avici hell or endless suffering is being illustrated or at least referred to here, and the constant knowledge of how each day will be more horrible than the last may be how Mak felt during the filming.

After an opening act that is too tawdry to describe here, action in the film moves to a palace. The focus of the action is Eunuch Liu (Teresa Mak) and the Evil Enchantress (played by, I think, Japanese porn actress Yuri Kumuro). Eunuch Liu is stuck in a horrible cycle of reincarnations, reborn every day and every day sentenced to death and smothered. He is stuck because of the karma from past lives, times in which he was guilty of killing innocent people. He tries to convince the officials around him that they don’t exist but are only images from his dreams and that they will cease to exist when he is killed—which, of course, doesn’t work although his inability to convince them seems to be part of the karmic price he will be paying for the next few thousand years.

The Evil Enchantress wants to change bodies with Eunuch Liu solely, she claims, because she feels sorry for him, which makes absolutely no sense based on anything that has happened until then. The switch does create the basis for sex among three women plus some rough sex between whomever is in the body of the Evil Enchantress and the court official who pronounces the death sentence on Eunuch Liu every day.

This is really a horrible movie, one of the many, unfortunately, that are on Mak’s filmography. While it would never make it to the top of her resume she does a workmanlike job and cashed a paycheck.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ed, what a great site! I am really impressed with what you wrote- all dead on. Can't wait to read more. jodi