Woman In Lust (1993)

Produced & directed by: Fan Dan
Written by : ?
Yuen Man, Ying Siu-Liu, Charlie Cho, Chui Bo-Lun, Fan Dan & Austin Wai

Prostitute Anna (Yuen Man) lives with and is essentially married to the shady character of Stephen (Chui Bo-Lun). She's new to the business and is tricked by her husband to sign a loan agreement. With a pending transfer to the stable of Charlie Cho's character, Stephen instead gets in bed with Lulu (Ying Siu-Lu) who herself is scamming an old man for HIS money. All while ruthless gangster boss Mr. Hung (director Fan Dan) is gunning for Anna, her mistress in the PR club and cop Shek (Austin Wai) who is stumbling upon the trail of violence...

Does it sound packed? It sure is. Just like The Unpublizeable File, Woman In Lust clearly is 2-3 not particularly well fleshed out ideas for movies crammed into one instead. It's the more economical choice perhaps, certainly not promising on paper as its technical chops are coming off as low, slow and cheap. But because of its insistence on featuring every idea and mood available to the brain of the filmmaker that week, Woman In Lust becomes an oddly entertaining mess.

Technically it simply can't or doesn't have time to perform and execute, including rigging up squibs for gunshot wounds or to even let us see shots fired on screen and Fan Dan in both his acting and directing is therefore coming off as quite forced and mild. But rather than lingering on that, he clearly knows the solution is to do a couple story strands surrounded by sex scenes acting as filler to get him closer to 90 minutes. That choice is way too easy and shameless but it's a decision that comes with an atmosphere that amuses. Because characters have a sense of attitude, lightheartedness about the scenario they're in, including Anna so Fan is going for the comedic to a degree too. I mentioned it was packed? It certainly doesn't elevate the softcore sex scenes and performer engagement is pretty low on the charts (Ying Siu-Lu excluded) but having his subjects break the 4th wall and talk to us at one point signals this movie is trying everything in desperation, hoping that it sticks. Low and behold, it does.

With fantasies mid sex about running naked, old veteran Ho Pak-Kwong wearing a baseball cap backwards while shooting models in natural light, Lulu doing kung fu against bushes, some fairly well timed fight choreography plus an added rape scene and bloody murder towards the end, this is schizophrenic Hong Kong cinema working the Category III rating hard in order to get noticed. Maybe hard is a bit of an overstatement because this isn't grand effort or an accomplishment. But the idea of doing as much as they could come up with paid off and generated random amusement. Sort of what they were hoping for.

reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson