What is it they say... there are three sides to every story? Regardless, Water Margin is the classic novel out of Chinese literature has lent itself to movie adaptations at Shaw Brothers (The Water Margin, All Men Are Brothers), TV-series and video games. Naturally and logically, somewhere in the stories of the 108 outlaws during the Sung Dynasty, there must've been some nookie and these three, according to the dvd cover, "Untold Stories" covers this while connecting the subjects to prominent participants. Also, when narrated by Gaan Yee-Ching, we're treated to his thoughts on how women affect heroes and politics in our times. It's merely the first and part of the second sex story that actually impresses though and things have petered out by the hour mark for director Lam Yat-Miu. However this late in the 90s and way fewer Category III period sex movies produced, Water Margin Heroes' Sex Stories overall has worthwhile effort behind it.
First story concerns couple Madam Sun (Natsuki Ayano) and her herb collector husband Cheung Ching (Chim Bing-Hei). Happiness and sexual happiness is interrupted by the rough times represented by raping bandits. She's left scarred and he's immobilized in the penis department. Moving on and opening a restaurant while he tries to find a cure for himself, Sun spots the bandits one day and executes a gory revenge plan...
The best story out of the three and best showcase for Lam Yat-Miu's directing skills, the obvious sign of wanting to be snappy and not linger on events for the half hour of story is an extremely clever stance. There might not be depth in the couple and Natsuki Ayano's overacting is more than a little disruptive. But somewhere in there we root for this awful event that happened to them to be turned around, even if the poor times dictate gory murder and ripping off The Untold Story is the order of the day. Yes, it's Bunman in the Sung Dynasty in a wonderful, morbid twist. The narrator sends the couple on our way, kind of happily and explains the connection this particular woman had on the 108 outlaws and then Karel Wong's Yin Ching takes over.
Playing a generally stupid man without the ability to acquire any other skills in for instance the kung-fu department other than the 'Tits Attack Stance', here's a story about multiple rejection from among others possible future wife Ann and a woman he gets close to after she loses her memory. Bad experiences will make you grow stronger and more determined. It's the final, thematic nail that makes this work rather than the half hour we spend with it as creativity and pace take a few steps back.
Things literally come to a grinding halt for the third story of a fat local man claiming he's the famous ax hero Lee Kwai (played by Elvis Tsui in his late cameo). Letting wealth go over your head and getting karma payback perhaps in the form of syphilis from females (who might be ghosts actually), grinding halt is the word and we really do lose track of the story. However injecting thoughts of redemption and dying honorable works surprisingly well so arguably, Lam rebounds at the very last second. We could've survived without knowing all three stories, their connection to the famous 108 but as a project Water Margin Heroes' Sex Stories actually is quite amusing and even dedicated in its re-telling of the shenanigans to the side of the main material.
reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson