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5. NAKED KILLER (1992)
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Original Title: Chik Loh Go Yeung
Director: Clarence Fok Yiu-Leung
Cast: Chingmy Yau Suk-Ching, Carrie Ng Ka-Lai, Simon Yam Tat-Wah, Svenwara Madoka, Kitty

     With all due respect to director Clarence Fok (aka Clarence Ford), it is "Naked Killer"'s writer/producer, Wong Jing, whose mark is most unmistakable here. In this instance, the manic Wong -- best known for more mainstream films like Chow Yun-Fat's "God of Gamblers," Jackie Chan's "City Hunter" and Jet Li's "High Risk" -- applies his no-holds-barred (some would call it haphazard) style of storytelling to the world of...lesbian assassins.
     Like most of Wong's work, the "Naked Killer" story makes next to no sense with characters doing all kinds of things, both sexual and otherwise, for no apparent reason other than to satisfy whatever script pages Wong thought up the morning of (assuming, of course, that there was a script to begin with). But, logic notwithstanding, Wong's instincts are otherwise right on the money, from an action/comedy perspective as much as from an erotic one.
     The out-of-this-world cute Chingmy Yau (a favorite of Wong's) stars as Kitty, a lethal killer with castrationist tendencies who falls in league with a secret society of lesbian assassins led by the dangerously seductive Sister Cindy (Svenwara Madoka).
     In spite of her mentor's better coaching, however, Kitty still prefers men -- a near-liability when she gets sweet on the gun-phobic cop (Simon Yam) assigned to bring her in. This, of course, doesn't sit well with Princess (Carrie Ng), a renegade former disciple of Sister Cindy who has her own carnal designs on Kitty.
     If all of this sounds madly is. And it's also loads of fun. With liberal doses of both titillating sex (lesbian and hetero) and creative mayhem, "Naked Killer" satisfies all the requisite excesses of a Hong Kong Category III film, and then some.

Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Original Title: You Seng
Director: Clara Law
Cast: Joan Chen, Wu Hsin-kuo, Zhang Fengyi

     It seems oddly appropriate that the most consistently and creatively erotic films emerging from Hong Kong would be directed by a woman. But, then again, Clara Law isn't just any director.
     Based on a novella by "Farewell, My Concubine" author Lillian Lee, "Temptation of a Monk" focuses on the tragic fate of a 7th Century Tang Dynasty general named Shi (Taiwan's Wu Hsin-kuo), a tormented, conflicted, guilt-ridden type who takes refuge in a remote Buddhist monastery after betraying his prince into the hands of the prince's brother.
     Seeking to both hide and do penance for his sins, Shi is ultimately unable to do either when the princes' sister Scarlet (Joan Chen) tracks down the fugitives and lures the men to a nearby brothel for a night of orgiastic indulgence.
     Shi again hits the road, this time alone, but still can't escape his pursuers and tormentors. Joan Chen eventually reappears (as a different, albeit no less seductive character) during the kind of stylish and uniquely erotic finale for which Law is famous.
     Stylistically somewhere between Oshima, Tarkovsky and Fellini, Law's approach to human sexuality ultimately defies categorization, the mark of a singular and incomparable stylist. Page 4

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