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3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy

original title: 3D rou pu tuan zhi ji le bao jian


  • Theatrical Version
  • Director's Cut
Release: Sep 10, 2011 - Author: Jason - Translator: Sebbe - external link: IMDB
The Movie

3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy is often be called the first Asian erotic movie with “real” (stereoscopic) 3D footage. Incorrectly, it’s often called porn. One way or another, the South Korean romance Natali premiered earlier which is why the producers started to promote 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy as Hong Kong's first IMAX 3D erotic movie but playing it in IMAX theaters wasn’t an option for the IMAX Corporation, due to its content.
All that didn’t change the fact that there was a huge interest in the former British crown colony and 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy beat any records at the HK box office. Only on its premiere day, the movie made more money than the former record holder Avatar.

The reinterpretation of the Chinese erotic classic Rouputuan written by Li Yu is the forth film version and it’s as less a sequel or remake of the “original” Sex and Zen from 1991 as the following two movies. Thereby 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy actually contains some scenes referring to the humor, the characters and the order of the scenes of the first film version but the general atmosphere is basically darker and less comfy here.
While the first half of the movie is basically about fulfilling sexual desires in quite a humoristic way (including much surprisingly explicit SC sex scenes) in the context of the actual value of true love, there’s a suddenly turning point. Blow upon blow, motives like resentment, envy, despite, treason & desire for revenge plus friendship & loyalty are being added. An incredibly crude mixture of brutal rapes, sex torture scenes & bloody violence are being evoked. But on the other hand, the original subject is always kept in sight as well. In the end, all elements merge to a good movie.

As expected, 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy breaks standard viewing habits of Western audiences, basically due to an intensive and explicit way of expressing and representing. Especially when sex and violence are combined, regular main stream movies fade out at some point but not this one. The camera just keeps rolling and contains footage usually known from Heintais (except for the lacking HC scenes of course).
Though some 3D effects aren’t state of the art and some recurring elements become tedious at some point, the movie is a successful mixture of different genres with visual appealing that can be amusing, thrilling, nasty and, due to the triumph about any vile person in the movie, delightful at the same time. But one has to be able to let oneself in for it.

The Versions

The Chinese mainland ist he most important sales market for HK movies which is why the production company didn’t make the effort to show 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy in movie theaters in the first place, due to the strict national censorship. Instead, smart travel businesses offered special trips from the Chinese mainland to HK with the opportunity of going to special screenings. A six-digit number of interested film fans made use of it.
However, the movie was sold to other countries pretty well and, depending on the restrictions in the particular countries, some alterations needed to be made – or not. For Asian neighboring countries, the distributor edited the “appropriate” version for the given situation himself (!) to sell the rights successfully.

Besides the Original Theatrical Version, a 15 min longer Director's Cut was generated. Most of the releases are based on this DC. The DC reveals: apart from some plot tightenings, several cuts for censorship reasons were necessary. Nevertheless, both the HK Theatrical Version and the DC got the infamous CAT III-Rating.
The DC contains extensions in graphic violence & sex scenes. Illustrations of sexual assaults are longer as well. But there are contrary alterations, too. It’s possible that the director intended to remove too cynical shots from his own version.
The Director's Cut is not just a movie that contains a couple of extra scenes and that’s it. No, absolutely not. It’s simply another version with multiple differences of any kind. Besides lots of newly added and only a few removed scenes, the DC also contains alternate shots, different order of scenes or newly arranged scenes. Furthermore, the score has been replaced and so have simple sound effects (trivial differences like that are not going to be mentioned in the following comparison because it would be too confusing).
Generelly, the Director's Cut is the way better version. It’s obvious that this is the originally planned version of 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy. Where the Theatrical Version seems to be bumpy here and there – whether it is the plot or the illustrated sex and/or violence – the DC fills in the blanks and contains more laughs, more visual appealing & the smoother plot. Such being the case, choosing the better version is a piece of cake.

BUT: choosing the best release of the Director's Cut is quite tricky. In its country of origin, Hong Kong, the movie was EXCLSUIVELY released on DVD and ONLY in 2D. Any other release, whether it’s DVD or Blu-ray, only contains the Theatrical Version!
While versions from many other Asian countries aren’t really on option due to the before-mentioned alterations, the movie has arrived in Europe in the meantime. It shouldn’t be a surprise that we’re also talking about a censored Version here. For its UK release, the BBFC demanded the removal of approx. 3 min to get the BBFC 18 (from the Theatrical Version!). Certainly, the uncut versions are going to be released some day but the question is which one is it going to be and are there going to be “comprehensible” subtitles as well.

The Director's Cut is 14 min 53 sec longer than the Theatrical Version.

80 differences in total
The differences in particular:

- 57 extended scenes in the Director's Cut
- 7 extended scenes in the Theatrical Version
- 9 alternate shots / scenes with an alternate order
- 3 removed scenes to another time index
- 4 extended dialogs
The shot of the statue can only be seen in the DC, the following shot of the inner temple also starts a lot earlier.
15,5 sec

The shot in the temple also goes on longer. More people enter the temple in order to pray, others leave.
32 sec

The Theatrical Version skips a few seconds of the tracking shot around the praying people.
8 sec

The prince's helper removes the donations from the statue base longer and then kneels in front of it.
3 sec

Theatrical Version
After Wei has his orgasm rather early again, he contently sinks into Yuxiang's arms, while she looks rather disappointed.
5 sec

In a completely new scene the prince of Ning leads the astonished Wei & Chow into a room full of callicalligraphies, drawings and antiquities. There even is a piece long thought to be lost, which Wei recognizes. When he asks the prince about its whereabout, he answers that it has taken seven years to get it out of the emperor's grave.
51 sec

After a short sequence of the men walking through a corridor another new scene: the prince introduces Wei & Chow to a genious mathematician. He explains that he has calculated that the earth was not flat but rather round with a circumference of about 35,000 kilometres. The prince asks how old they think the mathematician is. Wei says that he is probably 60, looking at his grey hair. The prince answers that he is just 23, but has gotten grey hair because of all the calculating. Afterwards he says that the world cannot be round because they would then fall off it.
50 sec

Before the shot of the dancing women, the DC features a shot of a water pipe being prepared with drugs, which Wei then uses to get hight. From the off, we can hear the prince saying that this would make everyhing wonderful.
20 sec

The killed servant is being dragged away by Dongmei, leaving a trail of blood on the ground.
6 sec

Changed Scene Order
The aerial shots of the ceremony respectively of Wei and Chow are shown in reversed order in the Director's Cut.
No difference in time

An additional shot of Wei and Chow in the DC.
2 sec

Alternative Shot
The shot of Reizhu starts a bit earlier in the Theatrical, the same applies to the following shot of Wei and Chow in the DC (about a second each, resuslting in not significant time difference).
No difference in time

Alternative Shot
The Theatrical cuts earlier to the side shot of Reizhu and Wei, while the DC continues the front shot of Reizhu.
2 sec (DC longer)

Theatrical Version:Director's Cut:

Alternative Shot
The Theatrical Version cuts hard to the side shot of Reizhu riding on Wei, the DC features a soft fade over.
No difference in time

New scene in the DC: Wei continues to have sex with Reizhu at the buffet while Dongmei uses her new weapon to intimidate a passing man. Wei grinningly waves at her, but she only looks at him contemptuously.
33,5 sec

Yuxiang holds the broken brush so hard that her hand starts bleeding. One of her friends asks her why she wants to get a divorce, she answers that she cannot satisfy Wei's needs in bed. At the same time, Wei can be seen in the background. He leaves while looking around sadly.
54,5 sec

Theatrical Version
The shot of Wei sinking down behind Dongmei is a bit longer.
1,5 sec

Recut / Alternative Shot
The shots of the prince pulling away the cloth covering Wei's penis and explaining the woman was not frigid but his penis too small were rearranged. The order is now more logical whereas the long shot of the happenings starts earlier in the Theatrical Version.
No difference in time

Theatrical Version:Director's Cut:

The two women are enjoying themselves with a wooden dildo longer in a longshot and a tracking shot along their bodies.
12 sec

Yuxiang looks at the coins longer.
3 sec

The servant tells Quan that this is his lucky day and that he is allowed to stay because Yuxiang has spoken on his behalf. He then earlier turns to her and falls on his knees.
6 sec

Quan Removes the coals longer, Yuxiang and her companion can be seen earlier.
3 sec

Wei rests his face contently on Lee's leg.
5 sec

In the DC, Lee opens his dress in slow motion and also can be seen a bit longer.
3 sec

Lee can be seen longer, he pushes his dress aside earlier.
1,5 sec

Chows is falling out of the picture longer after he has been hit with the "snake penis".
6 sec

Lee is harassing Chow a bit longer with the "snake penis".
2 sec

The shot of the shocked Wei starts a bit earlier.
1,5 sec

Lee is using his "snake penis" a few frames longer, then a similar shot from Wei follows.
2,5 sec

The prince agrees with Lee onscreen, the latter then starts approaching Chow earlier.
7 sec

Wei goes to the Prince and says that he could learn Lee's extraordinary sex tricks. The prince answeres that Lee is an androgyne being whose abilities are not possible for normal humans. The prince then wants to drink something. Wei walks to Chow and wants that he follows him.
38 sec

The shot of the bath in roses starts earlier.
4,5 sec

Alternative Shot
The Theatrical Version changes back to the normal picture mode, whereas the Director's Cut features the "water drop effect" longer. We also see the naked Quan going after Yuxiang.
4 sec (DC longer)

Theatrical Version:Director's Cut:

Quan is raping Yuxiang much longer, meanwhile changing the position. Then he turns her around earlier, respectively lifting her.
39,5 sec

Quan is having his way with Yuxiang from the side earlier.
6 sec

Quan goes down on Yuxiang and satisfies her orally a lot earlier.
26 sec

Eventually, Quan comes back up and forces Yuxiang to kiss him..
23 sec

Yuxiang cuddles longer with Quan and looks as if lost in her thoughts. It seems as if she liked it.
24 sec

New block of scenes in the DC: Dique wants to take a closer look at Wei's private parts so Tiancan shows him erotic pictures while Dique grabs Wei's crotch. His judgement: like a dead snake. While Wei tries to explain the situation away by saying that it's a result of the uncomfortable situation plus being touched by a man, the other two explain him that he has a "level 2" erectile disorder - they clarify their statement with a mushy piece of tofu (= "level 1") and a banana without peel (= "level 2"). Dique says that he might he might bring his piece to "level 3" (a banana WITH peel) but Wei is not convinced. He wants to know what the "standard" would be. Dique swings a cucumber around and hits it on a table a few times to answer this question.
Wei asks if there's any chance of recovering - Dique and Tiancan tell him about a pill which was developed by their ancestors and which apparently works miracles when it comes to the efficiency of one's sex life; she and her master tested it back in the days. Wei is surprised that the two of them also suffer erectile disorders as well but they deny to do so. Wei is happy that there's hope for him - Dique, however, explains that the formula for the pill is lost because their master took it with him to his grave. Tiancan adds that he will have to face the fact that he will need a completely new penis.
159 sec.

Altered Scene
The cut to an image of the master is already used in the DC while in the Theatrical Version it follows a little later.
No difference in time.

Alternative Shot
In the Theatrical Version you now see the portrait of the master while in the DC you instead see a shot of Tiancan in front of the sedated horse (which additionally begins a little earlier). Slightly underneath the image section you can see him cutting off the horse's penis; then he turns around and holds the bloody piece in the camera distinctly earlier. The DC is slightly longer.
4 sec. (DC longer)

Theatrical Version:Director's Cut:

The shot from above begins earlier in the DC - thus you see the eager women walking towards Wei; additionally, you see the latter swingin his penis around.
5 sec.

Alternative Shot/Order of Scenes
In the Theatrical Version you just see a shot where Wei has sex with a woman from behind; then he pushes her away only to pull another girl towards him. In the DC, however, there's a slightly zoomed alternative variant of this scene (which was also slightly extended): there are several shots of the woman he just pulled towards him squirts milk out of her breasts right on Wei. Because of this extension, the DC is longer.
18 sec. (DC longer)

Theatrical Version:Director's Cut:

After Yuxiang laid down on the bed next to Lin, the shot goes on for a short moment.
0.5 sec.

New Scene in the DC: Yuxiang has sex with Lin but apparently has to think about her ex-husband Wei (this is indicated by a wistful glimpse towards a broken paintbrush which she still keeps in her house).
17.5 sec.

During the following stealing of the key to the vault Wei in the DC thinks out loud every once in a while; this doesn't happen in the Theatrical Version. This will be called Dialogue Extension in the following cuts.

Dialogue Extension
Wei is happy about all of them being drunk.
No difference in time.

The shot of the key which is half hidden by the blanket is shown a little longer.
1.5 sec.

Dialogue Extension
Wei thinks that it's pretty arrogant by the prince to carry the key around in his pubic area.
No difference in time.

Dialogue Extension
Wei is angry about not being able to get the key off.
No difference in time.

Dialogue Extension
Wei can't really believe that it worked out.
No difference in time.

Lin leads Yuxiang into a room inside the prince's tower where the prince bids her welcome at once. Yuxiang anxiously gets down on her knees; for a short moment, the prince grimly looks down on her, then he helps her getting back up and leads her outside.
49.5 sec.

There's an additional shot of Wei trying to break the wooden bowl with a cuff of his chain.
6 sec.

There are 2 additional shots of Wei cutting his infected wound that is seized with maggots open; blood splatters.
12 sec.

Alternative Shot/Order of Scenes
At this point, the course of the Theatrical Version is heavily summarized; the content is a little different from the DC as well.

Theatrical Version: Lee Changchung gets the pill out of the vessel and hands it over to the prince of Ning. Lee breaks it in half and the prince takes one of the halves and puts it in his mouth. (18 sec.)

Director's Cut: In the DC, Lee gets the pill out of the vessel as well, however, in the DC it's a little smaller. There's a longer shot of hom showing the pill to the prince. The latter wants to know if you really get an erection that lasts for 49 days and nights if you take this pill and Lee says that it's true. The prince demands Lee to try it out first; then, the pill is split in half and Lee takes one of the pieces and puts it in his mouth. Then the prince takes the other half from Lee's palm; before he swallows it he takes a critical look at Lee's mouth to see if he really took it. After having swallowed it, Lee steps forward to the prince and puts his hand on the latter's shoulder.
The effect of the pill starts pretty soon and the Prince grabs Lee to go for him; however, he quickly bethinks his behavior and scornfully pushes Lee away. The latter ruggedly falls to the ground and lands on his "snake penis" which Lee then holds in pain. The prince runs off with his huge erection and screams that they should bring Dongmei to him; then follows a short cut to Lee who still lies on the floor and raises his fist. When he opens his fist you can see that the part of the pill which he was supposed to take is back in his hand. (106.5 sec.)

88.5 sec. (DC longer)

Theatrical Version
Only in the Theatrical Version the prince of Ning rapes the whining Dongmei from behind while choking her with the seven-tailed cat. In the end she's able to free herself.
11 sec.

Theatrical Version
At this point, the prince continues to have sex in the same position as in the previous scene; he brought Dongmei to heel a little by wrapping a curtain around her head. In the DC you instead see a smooth transition to the point where the prince slowly pushes her to the ground.
7.5 sec.

Theatrical Version
On the floor, the prince again continues to sexually assault Dongmei a little longer.
5.5 sec.

Alternative Shot(s)
In the DC the "Iron Lotus" is shown a little longer than in the Theatrical Version every time that you see it - thus it makes for a more profound experience for Yuxiang.
No difference in time.

Theatrical Version:Director's Cut:

The prince walks into the torture room a little longer; in this shot he also already orders to get Dique and Tiancan (in the Theatrical Version this order can be heard during the following shot of Lee Changchung).
1 sec.

There's an additional shot of the prince's soldiers who were just split in half by a huge sword falling to the ground with a pretty bloody effect.
3 sec.

Another soldier is split in half; both halves of the body fall to the ground.
5.5 sec.

The prince of Ning cuts one of Tiancan's legs off with his sword (in the Theatrical Version it's only hinted at but not shown); the victim holds the bloody stump up in the air.
2 sec.

Alternative Shot
Lin rides to monk Abbot. In the DC, the woods that pass in the background are distinctly less vegetaded than in the Theatrical Version.
No difference in time.

Theatrical Version:Director's Cut:

The prince's guards grab the chain in 2 earlier shots.
4.5 sec.

Reizhu continues to kiss Abbot's belly after sticking the needle in him.
3 sec.

Reizhu seduces the monk a little earlier.
5 sec.

Theatrical Version
After throwing his knives again you see Quan a little longer in the Theatrical Version.
1.5 sec.

The Prince of Ning rapes Yuxiang much longer and he says that he will give it to her real good. Wei, who is forced to watch, thereupon responds that he’s going to kill him. Shortly after, the Prince stops raping Yuxiang because she’s not satisfying him enough so he gives the order to put her in the iron chastity belt.
21 Sec.

Theatrical Version
A short part from a shot on the Prince from the previous scene was reintegrated at this point. Moreover, in the Theatrical Version his order of putting Yuxiang in the chastity belt was laid over the following shot where Wei falls to the ground.
1,5 Sec.

An additional shot of the desperate Wei was integrated.
2 Sec.

The bloody stabwound of Tiancan, who is lying on the floor, is shown for some more frames.
Few Frames

The Prince stabs Tiancan two more times, blood splatters again. Then he turns the sword, still stuck in his victim, a little earlier back and forth.
8,5 Sec.

The scene where Reizhu falls down the stairs of the temple is longer.
4 Sec.

Alternative Shot
The picture detail of the shot of the Prince of Ning falling onto the “Iron Lotus Flower“ and him getting up again is slightly displaced to the top in the Theatrical Version – probably to hide the blood-bubbling neck wound a little bit.
No runtime difference

Theatrical Version:Director's Cut:

Yuxiang crawls a little bit earlier towards Wei and the brush lying on the floor.
2 Sec.

Additionally the shot of Yuxiang and Wei fades out a little bit later in the DC.
6,5 Sec.

Finally the black screen before the next scene lasts a bit longer.
1,5 Sec.