Producer: Wong Jing
Writer/Director: Dick Tso [Cho Kin Nam]
Starring: Yolanda Yen Cho Sin, Mark Cheng Ho Nam, Lam Wai Kin, Yeung Fan, Yeung Hung
Why is Wong Jing my favorite HK producer/director/writer? Besides being one of the most prolific filmmakers working anywhere in the world, he is always able to put compelling visuals with interesting stories up on the big screen. He has done it for me again with 1998's 'A Chinese Torture Chamber Story II' which I saw at the Music Palace in NYC on 3/25/99. This movie features some very attractive actresses, a little martial arts, and some wildly extreme sexual situations, all cleverly written and beautifully photographed.
The film starts off slowly with Wong Chung and his sister and their friend Cheung Man-cheong as they attempt to rob Ma Sing-yee while he baths in the river. Kung Fu master Ma, on his way to the city to become a general for the Emperor, admonishes the trio and a bond is formed. Wong brings Ma back to his home where his nymphomaniac wife has prepared a meal. They have sex while Cheung gets drunk and passes out. Ma secretly lusts for Wong's sister, the sexy and demure Lotus. She is played by beautiful Yen Cho Sin quite effectively. The catch in the story, at this point, is that she is Cheung's fiancee. Though Cheung has disappointed Lotus as a lover she remains faithful when Ma makes his desires known.
All this is pretty normal stuff so far, right? Sexy simulated straight sex, some T & A, lusty performances but, you know, kind of boring. Then, all of a sudden, Wong Jing cranks it up a few notches.
Ma goes off to the city and has success as a government official. When Wong and Cheung join him at his palace, Ma makes good on his promise to make them his chief assistants. As Ma 'shows them the ropes', if you get my meaning, the two country boys find themselves in deep trouble. The treacherous Ma has a horrible secret that drives him insane as he has his eyes set on the virtuous Lotus.
Once the 2 couples hook up with Ma in his palace, the visuals become more compelling. The swordplay in the film features lots of severed limbs and heads. Scenes with torture feature molten wax being poured into ears and tongues being ripped out by hand held hooks. Cannabilism is featured in a scene with a villain who cuts out the heart of a captured soldier and eats it raw. Another captive is beaten to a pulp, then given oral sex by 2 women to force an erection, which is then whacked with a club by his tormentors. Sick.
The simulated sex scenes in this portion of the film, although photographed in a most compelling visual style, feature more deviant behaviour. Oral sex and anal sex, homo- and hetero-, are shown, some in flashback scenes to Ma's troubled youth.
If you look hard enough, I think you can find some post-Handover subtexts woven into the cleverly written script. Although credited to 'Dick', the writing is very 'Wong Jing'. Credited director Cho Kin Nam was bashed in a recent poll as one of the worst directors in HK for his work on Chinese Erotic Ghost Story, also a Wong Jing production. I guess he's improved, but I'm sure Wong worked closely with him on 'Torture Chamber 2'.
Copyright 1999 J. Crawford