Woman of the Night
Hong Kong 1973
Directed by Yu Kuan-Jen.


Another anthology film, of the kind that Shaw Brothers made regularly when they couldn't come up with any story actually worth telling, but still needed to fill their theater chain. The three stories contained in this film all concern themselves with sex, in some way, a little bit; just enough for the marketing department could get some good clips for the trailer.

In the first tale, a guy gets his balls shot off and divorces his wife in impotent shame. His wife then works as a nightclub dancer to pay their daughters way through school, until the young girl is kidnapped and mom has to make the ultimate sacrifice. Moral: Don't frolic in the woods during pheasant hunting season. Next, a fat boss (Peng Peng from Shaw's JOURNEY TO THE WEST movies) keeps trying to get his secretary alone in a hotel with him and drunk so that he can commit adultery. His wife finds out and chases him around the hotel with a baseball bat, and he runs into a bunch of random hotel rooms, and in each one finds a women in some state of undress. Moral: Run around a hotel and go into random rooms. Finally, a teenager decides to start peeping on all his neighbors as they shower, undress, or sleep, in the last episode; disturbingly titled "The Pee Ping Tom," which puts entirely the wrong images into one's head. He gets caught peeping every single time, bringing shame to his older sister, who works as a maid trying to raise him right and pay for his schooling. Eventually she gives her most precious possession to a friend for a promise that she'll sleep with the young lad and get it out of his system. But he gets wise to plan and repents of his peeping ways, in his shame. Moral: Well, this last story backpedals a bit at the end: Hiring a prostitute to cure a young peeping tom worked in THIS case, but that doesn't mean it will work at home. Too bad, this is the sort of advice that teenagers all over the world would embrace.

Directed by an unknown (at least to me) and starring a bunch of people who should have known better, including Margaret Hsing Hui, Ni Tien, and Chin Han, WOMAN OF THE NIGHT is not the low-brow, sleazy, guilty pleasure I was hoping for. In fact it lacks any qualities whatsoever to recommend it.

Rating: Not Recommended (Not Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on March 24, 2007.


Comments

In my opinion, the first story is the best. Chin Han & Li Hsiang are first-rate actors but Margaret Hsing Hui as the daughter displays her acting range from A to B. Tanny is glamourous in the 2nd story notable only as a showcase for her wigs. The less said about the 3rd story the better.

Posted by: Terence Lee at May 6, 2007 11:19 AM
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