For a moment I almost paused, pondered the realization that there was no such thing as a Chinese Kama Sutra, which actually was an ancient Indian tome of sexuality, but then I quickly remembered my station in life as an unpaid film reviewer of ancient sleaze cinema. I had better check these facts at the door (and by check I mean ignore entirely), before they ruin me. It is critical thought like that based on real life truths which will almost make me unfit to continue to review an entire genre of movies based on dreamlike, stream of consciousness states with senseless abundant sex and may invalidate all of my future reviews with my silly preoccupation with reality instead of male crotch consciousness fantasy which these films were solely designed. So let’s crack open this sexploitation DVD tribute to the land of the rising sun and see if it makes me blush a proper shade of communist red that would have pleased good old Chairman Mao.
The Chinese Kama Sutra is actually the true and often blue confessional of Joan Parker, a mild mannered librarian by day who has the misfortune of coming across the infamous book of the title, which is filled with suggestive Asian pictures of love making. It quickly becomes her favorite night time reading and she soon starts tracing herself along with the pages. So far so good, At least Joan Parker looks like a dead ringer for Jaqueline Bisset and depictions of her “private reads” aren’t the worst way to show obsession. But not so fast, everyone! Before Joan can say “Ancient Art of Whore”, it appears that she has awakened something more otherworldly and ancient than her spirit own self exploration. It turns out she is being watched by a crazed Asian man from a nearby haunted house. In due time Joan becomes his guest, yet also his lover and the object of his affection; obsession. He teaches her many things, not the least of which is that she is the reincarnated version of a woman he once cared very much for. From there we are treated to a flashback of them making love on stolen time, the guards coming and the two lovers committing suicide in order to be together forever in a classical Shakespearian “unhappy ending” operatic fashion that might have been touching in any other film. I hope you liked this concept of doomed star-crossed lovers because snippets of this scene will be replayed ad verbatim/ad nauseum for the rest of the flick.
While a supernatural love story featuring a perfect love that took centuries to renew is a very basic common theme in gothic Romance, our Japanese warlord is kind of freak in bed, and by that I don’t mean he is well versed and strangely skilled in the physical arts of lovemaking. It turns out the one thing that really gets him off are largely ceremonial, ponderous moments where his bride to be is mauled by four average looking Asian women who randomly lick at her anatomy like she is made of soy sauce, as well as three ninja thug characters who clumsily stab at her with didoes, usually in places where she doesn't even have orifices. Such crude scenes of multiple partner madcap intimacy don't look so much like a rendition of a woman being made love to with ancient, otherworldly sex techniques of the orient as they do a sloppy “Chinese Fire Drill”. Yet, there is an attempt made to assign some higher fortune cookie meaning to this. Between scenes where he or others maul her at his behest, the Warlord dutifully attends to Joan’s bedside as he talks to her sweetly, softy, while mumbling esoteric philosophical nonsense, relating his own insane observations on the nature of pleasure, life, and love that are so patently pretentious to the point of unintentional hilarity, and, perhaps sleazier than the loveless sex scenes (if not certainly stupider.)
Yet, there is a plot, and in time it seems that Joan may meet the lover she was always predestined to be with all along, yet at stages I must admit that I have seen more sensual, sensible things written on the bathroom stalls of Chinatown than in this film. It fails both as an adult themed tome of foreign sexuality, as well as the usual interactive sexploitation “pop-up book” that some consulting adults enjoy in the privacy of their own home.
Extras include a deleted scene. Too bad they couldn’t have deleted more of this, say around 88 minutes. Two stars for owning its ornate yet indeed awful unratedness.