Movie preview: '3D Sex and Zen' is all about abstinence
I walked out of the first private screening of the softcore "3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy" never wanting to have sex again.
Not because the sex scenes were gross -- they actually ranged from picturesque to silly -- but because its message of "true love doesn't need sex" was so convincing.
Find out why this porno is special at Seeing is believing: 3D porn revival begins in Hong Kong.
The story starts innocently with boy-meets-girl. It is love at first sight for Wei Yangsheng, a handsome young Chinese scholar, and Tie Yuxiang, a beautiful young woman from a well-off family.
The setting being a vague period in ancient China, the kids get married and quickly consummate their marriage. Whereupon the movie's true identity as a campy comedic sex romp surfaces.
Tie finds out that her new hubby isn't all that she thought -- he's unapologetically bad in bed and has what official promotional materials for the movie terms "a micro-penis" (yes, full frontal is included).
What's more, Wei becomes engrossed with the devious Prince of Ning's Pavilion of Ultimate Bliss, a huge cave filled with all the wonders of the world. But mainly full of nymphomaniacs with special powers getting it on with the prince's guests.
Genitals and acupuncture
Wei's descent into the mad orgiastic world of the Prince of Ning results in divorce from Tie, even though they still love each other.
Soon, the sex-obsessed Wei is jumping through all kinds of hoops in pursuit of enhanced sexual skills, including painful acupuncture during sex with one of the Prince's nymphs and undergoing a penis transplant from a donkey before he has an orgy with 10 women.
And he is still in love with his ex-wife throughout all this.
Spoiler alert! The ex-couple eventually end up in dire circumstances in Prince of Ning's sex cave, tied up and having gruesome acts performed upon their genitals, all while they confess their undying love for each other.
The pair does escape from the cave alive, in love, but with their genitals mutilated leaving them unable to have sex ever again. Yet, you guessed it, their love only grows stronger.
In the epilogue, the aged Wei concludes that making love isn't all that important. He just loves his wife that much.
The movie is a puritanical fable packaged in porn, delivered with all the depraved, gory, sexual and violent bells and whistles of a toned-down "Caligula."
Its message and its images are so completely contradictory that overly analytical film buffs may see a satirical subtext directed at society's hypocritical prudishness.
Naughty and naughtier
For the less high-minded, the movie is a circus of erotic and violent spectacles, residing self-consciously in the camp of Camp. I mean, it managed to make a rape scene seem camp, and at one point a meter-long 3D horse penis is thrown towards the flinching audience.
It's all naughty good fun and there isn't a single boring scene. From the moment the first pair of jiggly 3D breasts appears -- prompting the male audience members to collectively gasp -- through to the fight scenes with 3D daggers thrown at the audience, this is 3D movie magic at its low-brow erotic best.
Sex scenes in 3D bring you so close to the action it almost induces claustrophobia. Even a 300-seater cinema is not big enough to contain all that hyper-real flesh and aggressive panting and moaning bursting from the screen.
If the sex is taken out, the movie remains a carnival ride of visual stimulation. Some may take guilty pleasure at the cheesy confessions of love and certainly everyone can appreciate close-ups of the most beautiful horny faces in Asian soft porn.
The only thing to take issue with is that the breast to penis ratio is much too low on penis.
Is "Sex and Zen" going to get you off? Only if kitsch softcore is your thing. Is it a good way to kill an hour or so? Oh, definitely.
It will have you laughing and grimacing and jaw-dropping nonstop so there isn't a free moment to reflect upon what the hell you're doing here watching a 3D porno.
As an added bonus, the feel-good ending on abstinence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder makes it OK that you and your wife don't do it anymore.
At least for the duration of the movie's afterglow.
"3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy" in theaters across Hong Kong on April 14, 2011