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Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Original Title: Liu Jai Yim Tam
Director: Nam Lai-Choi
Cast: Amy Yip Chi-Mei, Man So, Tan Lap-Man, Kamimura Kiyoko, Pal Sin

     If Tsui Hark were to remake "The Witches of Eastwick" with a script by Zalman King it would look something like "Erotic Ghost Story," one of Amy Yip's more popular Category III outings.
     While the title is clearly intended as a reference to Ching Siu-Tung's classic "A Chinese Ghost Story" (a rather erotic endeavor in its own right), it is "The Witches of Eastwick" from which the film takes its primary inspiration, along with all of its major plot points, characters, scenes, and other assorted details. Call it "homage" or call it a "rip-off," it doesn't matter. It's got Amy.
     The story basically concerns three "Fox Fairies" (of which Amy is one) who have been granted human form for being really, really good. Unfortunately, the bodies they've been given make it enormously difficult to keep being good.
     One by one, the sister fairies are seduced by a charming young scholar with whom they make mad, passionate love. It isn't until they find themselves reverting to their hairy ol' true fox selves that they realize they've been duped by Wu Tung, a god/demon/spirit whose job it is to tempt and exploit nubile young women. Anyone who's seen "The Witches of Eastwick" knows where it goes from there.
     Fans of lesbian action won't be disappointed, either. The "bathing pool" scenes featuring all three sisters together are priceless.

Country: Hong Kong/Japan
Language: Cantonese
Original Title: Nam Ging Dik Gei Duk
Director: Tony Au Ting-Ping
Cast: Tony Leung Ka Fai, Yasuko Tomita

     Tony Leung essentially reprises his "The Lover" character in this adaptation of Japanese author Ryunosuke Akutagawa's autobiographical account of his tragic affair with a naive young Chinese prostitute named Jin Hua (Tomita Yasuko) in 1920s era Nanjing.
     Akutagawa, it seems, was a rather virile sower of seeds in his younger years, frequenting brothels at every turn when away from wife and family. Normally, this is an arrangement that prostitutes understand and take for granted. But for the young Jin Hua, sold into whoredom so that daddy could buy farmland, the affections of such a handsome young writer feel like an emancipation.
     Alas, when the inevitable day arrives that he must return home to Japan, Jin Hua also discovers that she has contracted venereal disease, beginning a slow and steady descent into madness. Increasingly desperate for solace and redemption, Jin Hua finally embraces Jesus Christ and Western religion.
     Given the task of balancing the story's sexual content with the weightier thematic aspects of Western Christian guilt and morality, director Tony Au and a superb technical team succeed surprisingly well, crafting genuinely erotic scenes between Leung and Yasuko that somehow never verge on the exploitative.
     Viewers familiar with Leung's and Tomita's previous work will also enjoy the irony of casting both actors against nationality in a story where Japanese-Chinese relations play such a profound part. Page 6

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