Some friends of mine sold off a lot of their old VHS tapes for next to nothing, so I got a chance to get my hands on a lot of more or less obscure Asian movies. For instance "Whores From China." I think this is the first category III film I've seen, and I was expecting a lot of gratuitous and tacky sex and violence. To my surprise, however, this was pretty much a straight-forward drama, only with a slightly larger (and slightly more explicit) focus on sex. It was largely kept tasteful and soft-core, and was eminently watchable.
The story is about Ying, a girl from Beijing who comes to Hong Kong to find work and stay with her wealthy uncle. She is played by the stunningly beautiful Isabella Chow, whose charms easily carry this picture. At first, Ying is harassed sexually by her uncle and her employer at work, which sends her into the arms of the kind but psychotic Kent. He is possessive and wants her to marry him. However, she wants a career before settling down, and leaves him. Soon after, she runs into an old girlfriend who is now a part-time prostitute. She advises Ying to start using sex to further her career. Ying tries it, discovers she is good at it, and soon her career is skyrocketing. Just as everything is going perfectly and she has attained a corporate position of such power that she doesn't have to compromise anymore, the psychotic Kent returns with a video tape of them having sex, and starts pressuring Ying to continue their relationship despite Ying's now being engaged to be married to another guy. Ying then decides to go along with Kent's scheme for a while, but soon she hatches a plan to set him up, framing him for sexual crimes he did not actually commit, but which are similar to the ones he did commit (against Ying). She then avoids having her past with Kent (and the video tape) discovered by her new fiancée, and the movie ends, Ying's intelligence and cunning having assured her a successful life. Of course, the essence of that success was the fact that she slept her way to the top - but hey, how else are women supposed to go places in a repressive society? If you accept that it's okay to use sex for career advancement, this is a movie that pays homage to those women that pull this off successfully. In some ways a feminist movie, even.
The sex scenes are quite tasteful, overall, though a few of them are over-long, ending up being almost comical. But many scenes are also genuinely erotic. A quite pleasant movie.
My rating: 7 out of 10.
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