The Golden Lotus: Love and Desire
AKA: The World's Foremost Banned Novel, Golden Lotus, The Golden Lotus "Love and Desire"
Year of release: 1991
Director: Li Han-Hsiang
Producers: Cheung Chui-Ying, Kam King-Chik
Writer: Li Han-Hsiang
Cinematography: Ardy Lam
Editing: Fong Bo-Wa
Music: Stephen Shing
Stars: Tan Lap-Man, Fong Yuk-Ting, Gei Sin-Yi, Lee Yuen-Suk, Charlie Cho
Rated III for violence, language, nudity, and sexual situations
Movie Review Index
Not really knowing where it wants to go, the 1991 Category III costume sex romp Golden Lotus is neither arty or tasteful enough to be considered erotica, nor is it sleazy or over the top enough to appeal to the hardcore raincoater crowd. Instead, the audience is treated to ninety minutes of semi-clothed people awkwardly simulating sexual intercourse, giving an end product that becomes the opposite of sexy: just plain boring.
Based on the novel Kam Pin Mui, Golden Lotus tells the story of Xi Men Qiang (Tan Lap-Man), a particularly horny fellow who enjoys the company of married women, eventually taking them (and their husband's fortunes) for himself. However, the sexual gravy train can't last forever, and two of Xi's five wives begin a power struggle that eventually leads to his downfall.
I should admit that these types of pictures aren't exactly my cup of tea, so I might be the wrong person to review this slice of jiggling cheese. But, as I said before, I'm not sure who Golden Lotus would appeal to. Those looking for more of a Red Shoe Diaries style of Vaseline-lensed smut will probably be put off by the S and M elements, as well as a scene that shows a fairly realistic (and disgusting) killing of a cat. On the other hand, the portrayals of cinematic copulation aren't nearly as brazen as the better Category III movies in this sub-genre such as The Eternal Evil of Asia, so the sexual scenes will come off as (pardon the term) a little limp to that certain segment of the audience looking for a use for that box of Kleenex by their bed other than wiping their nose.
There are a couple of bright spots here, or, rather, I should say one. Charlie Cho, long a mainstay in these sorts of movies plays his usual lecherous self in a segment that turns out to be quite enjoyable. It's sexy and funny -- something the rest of the film should have been. Sadly, Charlie's onscreen time is short, and we're left with what is just another excuse to show off some bare boobies. Not like that is a bad thing, but even the biggest filmic sex enthusiasts out there would probably be hard pressed to find much of interest to watch here past the ten minute mark.