The Story Of Tong Queen (1993)

Directed by: Wan King-Cheung
Written by: ?
Producer: Polly Kiu
Starring: Lee Chung-Ling, Chiu Ying-Mei, Ruby Wong, Ku Kuan-Chung, Wa Lun & Peter Chang

King Sau has it made and in his sight is dream woman and dancer Yiang Yu Hwan. However the Emperor's eyes fall on Yiang and therefore more wealth and influence for the young woman is on the horizon. She leaves the King, leaving him emotionally crushed amidst turbulence in the Tang dynasty...

Credited to the director of Liu Chai Ghost Story which was a softcore edit of a film also released as Mind Fuck with part pornographic inserts and actual sex being performed on camera, seemingly The Story Of Tong Queen isn't XXX originally but curiously enough Wan King-Cheung uses a similar device: Separately shot scenes featuring Lee Chung-Ling commenting on the big events of the lands together with his romantic interest at hand. The Story Of Tong Queen isn't without slight competence but is more interesting as a mass produced product of its kind trying to cash in on the Category III softcore porn-trend of the 90s in Hong Kong.

Regardless of how much Wan directed out of the footage that made up Liu Chai Ghost Story, it was low budget and visually flat with only saving grace being an excursion into the supernatural. Somewhat better visual splendor rears its head here with some well composed overhead shots of Yiang Yu Hwan's dance scene. At least the initial sex scene seems to verge on passable in terms of eroticism (although someone liked smoke as atmosphere way too much) but as for story of greed and political chaos, this is slow and dull.

The vcd print quality doesn't help but even amidst pretty costumes and sets, dialogue set to move us forward towards greed, heartache, political intrigue is just rattled off quickly in hope of coherence manifesting itself. Even during the sex scenes themselves, such key dialogue is delivered plus Lee Chung Ling fills us in as an external observer.

But it's quite anonymous, cheap and even desperate ranging from plot to ham-fisted morals to calculated erotic scenes. But the twist and jump into the supernatural makes it visually pleasing and entertaining for a few minutes as one of the servants of King Sau kills herself in front of the emperor and then returns with a big green light aimed at her face for the attempted spooky factor. Obviously it's not but the switcharoo in question makes one sit up during an otherwise tedious and awfully long 78 minutes of Category III nonsense that just wanted to be and fit in. Not try.

reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson