Satyr Monks (1994)

Directed by: Sek Bing-Chan
Written by: Law Kei
Producer: ?
Starring: Wang Qun, Takajo Fukimi, Poon Tak-Chuen, So Kwok-Leung & Charlie Cho

An order of monks (led by Poon Tak-Chuen) have their goals set on capturing and bedding 100 virgins in order to elevate their overall skills as practitioners but in the small village, their actions are noted and the likes of Lady Lung plan to disrupt their goal. Meanwhile, young fighter Chunkai (Wang Qun) trains for revenge against famous fighter Steel Palm...

If these adult and kung fu-strands respectively sound disconnected from each other, they certainly do feel like that to the point where I don't think this is one but TWO movies spliced together. Regardless of what Sek Bing-Chan (The Sad Story Of Saigon, which in its alternate version Rape In Public Sea IS a mixture of two shoots, with the latter exploitation title adding nudity not originally shot) filmed or if he films all of Satyr Monks as it appears now, this is a desperate and weak exploitation mess dying to matter. Only it dies cinematically.

There's quotable, wild elements such as the monks praying to their higher authority represented on the altar by a penis but this period setting with its prospect of lavish sets and costumes showcases pretty quickly the flat and dull nature of the cinema at hand here. It's 1994, it's low budget, it's Category III so of course it was going to be made but it's also one of the depressingly, transparent products of the time. Not even the addition of sometimes wire-assisted martial arts gets Sek Bing-Chan anywhere.

As for the adult content, there's no real expansion to the initial setup involving the monks but rather it's a springboard for the sexual content. Scenes that do range from sensual to even fairly well shot in a case or two but in an 80 minute movie, you clearly don't need to make the sex filler. But this is what happens in several cases as Poon Tak-Chuen for instance has sex (well, he rapes) an unconscious girl in a room, moves on to the other unconscious girl and then BACK to the original girl. Ensuring 7-10 minutes of "content" in the process and even in a latter, lesbian scene we're on board with the way it's put together until it decides to run for 5 additional minutes. All of it, aside from the passable sensuality, is also very poorly shot and slow to the point of being dull. Only upside being the sole scene with Charlie Cho (who doesn't appear before and certainly does not appear again) having sex with THREE women in a totally out of context type of scene only there to add commercial elements and Charlie Cho. Enjoyable on its own terms but it furthers the argument of Satyr Monks being a patched together work.

AS for the generic kung-fu plot, Sek Bing Chan has no action directors with the ability to choreograph fast and creative wire-fu here and in this case, a still camera reveals the tired and weak nature of said choreography (and story line). Some grittier boxing sections makes it spring to life for a moment or two but that's the nature of Satyr Monks in general. It's neither fitting for the Category III explosion of the time nor the kung-fu one. Because few made it this boring.


reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson