Sinful Adulteress

A title like Sinful Adulteress (or what would be more rightfully called Sex Among the Chickens) might naturally lead one to expect a middling bit of trash and in this case one would generally be right Ė but as this is directed by Ho Meng Hua it is stylish trash with some clever shots, good performances and a vivid color scheme. Ho was one of the Shaw Brotherís most trusted and prolific directors Ė beginning with them in 1955 up through the late 1970ís. Unlike some of their more famous directors who became associated with a specific genre Ė martial arts, musicals Ė Ho took on any work and any genre that came his way. In the 50ís it was melodramas, in the 60ís he swung from action to opera and with the advent of the introduction of sleaze in the 70ís he went into that head first as well with classics like Kiss of Death and Black Magic. The 1974 Sinful Adulteress would be one of his more forgettable films but not for trying Ė it just has such a steamy soap opera over used feel to it that there is only so much he can do with the material. But he injects large doses of sex and Chen Ping into it and thatís often more than enough to be entertaining.

It is nap time at the Ling Farm Ė other than the buzzing cicadas nearly everyone is asleep from the hands to the barn yard animals Ė but upstairs in the masterís bedroom, Bocheng (Wang Hsia) is trying to give it a go with his new and much younger wife, Meina (Chen Ping). With a sense of ironically bad timing the wall coo-coo clock comes loudly out of its hole as Bocheng finally surrenders the ghost in his attempt to get his manhood at attention. This is clearly not the first time and he gives vent to his frustration as Meina tries to comfort him. But comfort can only go so far for this nubile and sexually volcanic woman and danger arrives in the form of a hunky farmhand named Lu Zhiqiang (Chen Chun) whoís ability to chop wood shirtless sends Meinaís lower lip into a quivering gallop and herself running into an ominous spiderís web. In a bit of lovely Freudian symbolism she later stands on a railroad overpass and a train below seemingly rushes through her open welcoming legs. This is definitely sweaty film noir James Cain territory.

If this is not enough, the lovely young daughter of Bocheng (Lui Hui-ling) arrives to visit her dad and brings along her doctor fiancé from Canada. The doctor checks out the old manís condition and tells him that he has to stay away from sex and excitement or he will die and recommends separate bedrooms from his wife. Opportunity knocks. Soon the sexual heat escalates when the daughter Shanshan also gets a yen for the farmhand and the two of them decide where better to have sex than on top of a rock by the river where sure enough Meina spots them doing the tango. This doesnít put her off though and in fact increases her need for some comfort of her own and while reading Playboy Magazine Lu comes into her bedroom and itís all over but the headlines. Murder, deceit and greed are soon to follow as the two lovers have sex everywhere including the chicken pen. Discretion isnít exactly the word of the day. The film crawls into rather lovely territory when Bocheng becomes blind and Meina and Lu decide to set up house with Bocheng present but unaware of what is going on. This is all done with stylish swirls and good camera angles and itís really only the utter predictability of the script that keeps this one down.

My rating for this film: 6.5