Siew Lup, Ranked Against Our Favourite Sexploitation Films
Top image: SGIFF
Sexploitation films are generally independently produced features that exhibit either explicit or non-explicit sexual situations, often just for the fun of it. This tends to be paired with extreme violence, which can make the genre feel disproportionately senseless and misogynistic.
These days however, comedy, horror, and thriller films have begun exploiting similar tropes, often to both humourous and witty effect. Siew Lup, Singaporean director Sam Loh’s latest effort, is one such film.
In order to see if it lives up to the hype generated by its leading actresses’ nude performances, we compared it to other films in this same genre.
1. Lady Terminator (Indonesia, 1989)
In case you’re wondering, yes, this is a spin-off of James Cameron’s Terminator. But it also involves a powerful witch who gets a magic snake stolen from her lady bits after being duped by a treasure hunter. As a result, she curses his grand-daughter. Fast forward to 1989, and we’re greeted by a young student whose favourite line seems to be, “I’m not a lady, I’m an anthropologist.”
From then on, there are lots of familiar Terminator tropes. The student is now clad in a leather jacket, can’t be killed, goes on a rampage, and oh, did we forget to mention this? After that same aforementioned magic snake enters her via her vagina, she goes around sleeping with dodgy men and “bites off” their dicks via the snake that lives inside her.
This tops our list for being a so-bad-it’s-so-fucking-great kind of movie.
2. Battle Royale (Japan, 2000)
Pretty Japanese boys and girls in school uniforms are instructed to murder each other until only one person is left standing. What could be better than this?
The fact that film is actually about what happens when the melodramatic nonsense of teenagers is taken to the most far-fetched extreme, of course. There is class politics, revenge, and devious manipulation, all with the accompaniment of weapons both deadly and hysterically useless.
While some have decried the film for its excessive and over-indulgent violence, it is, in the end, still a smart and intelligent film. It even inspired The Hunger Games.
3. Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings (Philippines, 2011)
The only film on this list where the sexploitation is of male instead of female bodies, this film interrogates the idea of tolerance via Remington, a homophobic man who finds himself turning gay amidst a drag queen murdering spree.
Mart Escudero, who plays Remington, is fabulous as he struggles against the “gayness” invading his body. His performance, at times, is sublime. And right as this comedy is unfolding, we are thrown into a zombie apocalypse while a serial killer begins hunting down gay men.
It’s a wonderfully camp film—super corny, super unpredictable, super terrifyingly scary. But it gets points deducted for how the film’s plot still revolves around turning Remington straight again.
Oh, and a zombading is a gay zombie.
4. Siew Lup (Singapore, 2016)
Siew Lup is what happens when a bad movie tries but fails to be a great movie.
With one cliche after another, from the damsel in distress to the sleazy old man, this movie actually has the potential to be great. After all, even cliches can be entertaining. Yet Siew Lup is agonising to watch. While there are moments of tenderness, the sex is painfully awkward and the fight scenes badly choregraphed. On top of this, every line of dialogue makes you cringe.
Rebecca Chen is perfect for the role of the film’s psycho-bitch, but the plot is bland and even the gore feels sterile. We go from a chopped hand to char siew being roasted over an open stove, but see nothing of the preparation process in between. How were we supposed to lose our appetites after watching this?
There are good slasher flicks that are at turns creepy, hilarious, and unbelievable. But because Siew Lup cannot decide what kind of movie it wants to be, it ends up as none of these things.
5. Casa Amor: Exclusive for Ladies (South Korea, 2015)
Bo-hee, the female protagonist, works too much. As such, her husbad’s carnal needs go unattended to. But then again, he doesn’t exactly get her to orgasm either. When Bo-hee loses her job, she teams up with her sex toy peddling neighbour to launch an adult business. Along with lots of masturbation, these women, it appears, have set themselves on the warpath to shaking off the shackles of conservative Korean society.
But right when one has begun to hope that our female heroes would eventually achieve the sexual liberation they so deserve, the narrative turns towards how women should fulfil their roles as good wives and mothers.
Seriously, such bullshit!
6. Lan Kwai Fong (2011) – Hong Kong
A bunch of wealthy young adults keep hanging out at the same trendy club. As a result, everyone knows everyone and everyone ends up dating everyone else. For kids who grew up in nightclubs, this is a familiar story. This film, in essence, is filled with the shallow drama of adolescent pre-occupations, set against the backdrop of glitzy Lan Kwai Fong.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much else to this film even though it went on to spawn two sequels, both of which are more or less the same. While this entire trilogy is padded with plenty of attractive, scantily clad women in heels, this ultimately does little to buoy its utter lack of charisma.
We suppose the film is meant to be a comment on the emptiness of non-stop clubbing and sex without love or something?
Contrary to what one might think, there are good thrashy movies. And it takes both vision and finesse to make that happen. Unfortunately, Sam Loh’s Siew Lup didn’t quite hit the mark despite its corny sequences and bad dialogue.