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Issue #165a HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES June 23rd, 2003

Ancient Chinese Whorehouse
(1994; Long Shong Pictures H.K./Golden Power Productions)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Cantonese: Ching lau sap yi fong
Mandarin: Qin lou shi er fang
English: Qing Twelve Story Building

One of the better entries in the early 90s HK period sex craze, this Long Shong production offers up some enjoyably base humour and bizarrely enticing eroticism, which helps to counteract distasteful scenes of torture and rape. The main plot centers around young maiden Siu-ching (Ching Suet-ngan), who reluctantly sells herself to a brothel for five years in order to bury her recently deceased father and pay off his debts. After she initially refuses to perform her duties, the madam of the establishment, Miss Ng (Yvonne Yung Hung; image, nudity), sentences her to a dip in the "magic cup" (a boiling tub of eels!). Siu-ching, understandably, changes her mind after this ordeal and is aided in her transition by kind worker Yat (Dick Lau Dik-chi), who harbors an obvious affection for the girl.

Various subplots fill out the remainder of the running time: when a competitor brings in a caucasian hooker from overseas, the virginal master carpenter Kong (Kent Cheng Chuk-see) tries to boost business by creating wild sexual props like the "Tai Chi Bed" and new positions like the "Super Shooter"; Yat and Siu-ching try to mend their relationship after a misunderstanding arises from her use of a powerful aphrodisiac; the top-heavy Sister Bamboo (Yuen King-tan) finds herself without clients after accidentally smothering one with her enormous breasts; and Miss Ng concocts a plan to trap a killer rapist (Elvis Tsui Kam-kong) who has been preying on the local working girls. The bizarre highlight has to be Yat and the white girl doing it on a giant chicken sex chair (a prostitute is called a kai or "hen" in Cantonese slang)!

Shing Fui-on co-stars as the lecherous local constable and Victor Hon Kwan plays a filthy derelict who begs on the street, not for food, but so that he can frequent the brothel. The film was directed by Ivan Lai Kai-ming, no stranger to the genre with other Category III efforts like EROTIC GHOST STORY III, DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS I & II, and THE IMP (1996 version) to his credit.

Cover art courtesy Universe.

Ching Suet-ngan (left) and Yvonne Yung. Image courtesy Universe.

Kent Cheng (left) and Yvonne Yung. Image courtesy Universe.
Universe #5278 (Hong Kong label)

Dolby Digital 2.0

Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks (both post-synced)

Permanent English and Traditional Chinese Subtitles

8 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With Clips

Letterboxed (1.75:1)

Coded for ALL Regions

NTSC Format

96 Minutes

Contains frequent nudity and sexual content, sexual violence, torture, coarse language, and crude content

DVD menu courtesy Universe.

British Columbia: R (Completely Concerned With Sex)*
Hong Kong: III [Passed With Cuts]

*The pre-cut HK version

Universe has simply ported over their old LD/VCD master for this release but the results are not bad. Colors are somewhat pale in spots and the image is a bit soft but the element is clean and the presentation looks perfectly acceptable; the audio is fine (though the Mandarin dub is very studio bound). There are no extras. HK censors toned down a rape scene and it is this edited version that is offered on the DVD.

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