Sex Flower (1993)

Directed by: Yip Hing-Fai
Written by: Li Chi-Shang
Producer: Lau Mei-Wan
Starring: Chan Wing-Chi, Alan Ng, Man Ding-Goh, Ku Feng, Shum Wai, Hon Gwok-Choi, Hung Fung & Gam Biu


You get what you deserve if you're infatuated with an era, its trends and content. The Category III-rating meant elevated levels of sex, violence, effort and lack of it. To try and be a part of an explosion meant cutting corners or meant anyone could shoot and release any old sex-movie. That's where we find Sex Flower, mixing gangster-plotting with sexy downtime for the characters. When neither the deadly danger or eroticism on display matters, a movie is in trouble however.

Stripper Laura (Chan Wing-Chi) is being tended to, looked after and screwed by her boss. Who in turn has gangster connections and is in an infected conflict with a rival gang. Laura's boyfriend Howard (Alan Ng) disapproves of her life but stands by her. Especially when she tapes an incriminating conversation and is now the target of her boss and his tiny group of henchmen.

Because this isn't a gangster saga in character-volume or epic scope. It's as thread-bare and amateurish as it gets, with the gritty underworld feeling merely like flat cinematography and not an atmosphere-enhancer. The multiple nightclub scenes are laughably poor, with an overexcited, clapping audience trying to sell a world we're asked to engage in for 90 minutes. Then cut to gangsters in t-shirts and there's no effective notion about the small but deadly underground where a big boss dips his toe into running nightclubs and pushing drugs. The movie could've even been recut to exclude the sex scenes because they have no true connection to any drama on display. They almost exclusively take place in between the basic plotting, they are shot at dull looking houses and the idea of sensual style by the crew is to tilt the camera every now and again.

Because of the volume of high and low of this era of the III, expectedly not all were going for the effort AND commercialism. And Sex Flower painfully reminds you how desperation to do business equaled filmmaking merely defined as it because it was filmed.


reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson