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3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy

3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy is a 2011 Hong Kong 3D erotic costume drama film directed by Christopher Suen and produced by Stephen Shiu. It was released in Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand on 14 April 2011.[3] It is a new instalment of the Sex and Zen series and is loosely based on the 17th century Chinese novel The Carnal Prayer Mat. As compared to the original film series, it is more dark and dramatic, and it occasionally pays homage to the humour of the earlier films.

3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy
Extreme Ecstasy.jpg
Chinese release poster
MandarinSān D Ròupútuán zhī Jílè Bǎojiàn
CantoneseSaam1 D Yuk6 Pou4tyun4 Zi1 Gik6lok6 Bou2 Gaam3
Directed byChristopher Suen
Produced byStephen Shiu
Stephen Shiu, Jr.
Ng Kin-hung
Screenplay byStephen Shiu
Stephen Shiu, Jr.
Mark Wu
Story byLi Yu
StarringHayama Hiro
Lan Yan
Saori Hara
Vonnie Lui
Yukiko Suo
Tony Ho
Music byRaymond Wong
CinematographyJimmy Wong
Edited byAzrael Chung
Matthew Hui
One Dollar Production, Ltd.
Local Production
Distributed byOne Dollar Distribution
Release date
  • 14 April 2011 (2011-04-14)
Running time
110 minutes[1] 118 min (extended cut)
129 min (director's cut)
CountryHong Kong
BudgetUS$3.5 million[2]
Box officeUS$6,369,363[2]



A conceited Ming dynasty scholar, Weiyangsheng, believes that since life is short, one should pursue the ultimate sexual pleasure as time permits. By chance, he meets Yuxiang, the daughter of the Taoist priest Tie Fei, falls in love with her on first sight, and marries her. Yuxiang is elegant and courteous under the influence of her father's faith, though her lack of passion cannot fully satisfy Weiyangsheng's sexual needs. His disappointment is no less than his affection for her. He ventures in search of ways to increase his sex drive and performance in bed.


  • Hayama Hiro as Weiyangsheng
  • Lan Yan as Tie Yuxiang
  • Saori Hara as Ruizhu
  • Vonnie Lui as the Elder of Bliss
  • Yukiko Suo as Dongmei
  • Irene Chen as Pandan
  • Tony Ho as Prince Ning
  • Kirt Kishita as Quan Laoshi
  • Wong Shu-tong as Monk Budai
  • Tenky Tin as Dique
  • Justin Cheung as Mr Lam
  • Carina Chen as Xianlan, Tie Yuxiang's maid
  • Jason Yiu as Shangguan Shen
  • Lau Shek-yin as the Mayor
  • Mark Wu as Tiancan
  • Naami Hasegawa (Tomoko Kinoshita)
  • Vienna Lin
  • Flora Cheung as Xiang, Tie Yuxiang's maid
  • Cliff Chen
  • Jeffrey Chow
  • Wah Chiu-ho


3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy is essentially an adaptation of the novel The Carnal Prayer Mat depicting the sexual exploits of Weiyangsheng, a young Ming dynasty scholar. It is produced by Stephen Shiu, the executive producer of Sex and Zen. The film was incorrectly promoted as "Hong Kong's first IMAX 3-D erotic film" because it was actually rejected by IMAX due to its subject matter and content.[4] Its cast includes Japanese AV idols.[5][6] Laughing aloud, Shiu described the experience of watching this film onscreen: "It is just like [being a] voyeur near someone's bed."[7]


The film is a Category III film as per Hong Kong rating and Stephen Shiu said that screening was likely to be blocked in mainland China, a key market for Hong Kong filmmakers.[8] Nevertheless, the producers further announced that 3D Sex and Zen will be released in various versions to bypass censorship laws in some jurisdictions and allow wider distribution.[9]

In Australia and New Zealand, the film was screened by Hoyts.[10][11]


During the Chinese New Year in 2011, T-shirts and 3-D mouse pads with portraits of the cast were sold at the Lunar New Year Fair in Victoria Park, Hong Kong.[12][13]


3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy received mostly negative reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 22% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 23 reviews.[14]

Simon Foster of SBS Australia suggested the film loses steam along the way. He believes the thrill of the movie dissipates as the narrative turns nasty at the final 40 minutes, caused by those multi-dimensional rape and dismemberment scenes.[15] Elizabeth Kerr of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Given Extreme Ecstasy's ultimate message that "All you need is love" and the vindication of the value of emotional connection in intercourse, the road the filmmakers take to get there is perplexing to say the least."[16] The Daily Telegraph named it one of the ten worst films of the year, citing "the film goes on for too long, and gets darker as it does so, veering awfully close to torture porn on occasion, before ending with some unexpectedly sentimental philosophy that will be anathema to the manufacturers of Viagra."[17]

However, Zoe Li of CNNGo gave the film a positive review. "I walked out of the first private screening of the softcore 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy never wanting to have sex again, not because the sex scenes were gross... but because its message of 'true love doesn't need sex' was so convincing", she states.[18] Simon Miraudo suggested on his Quickflix blog that the movie heralded a new age in cinema.[19]

Box officeEdit

According to Russell Edwards of Variety, 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy took in US$351,000 (HK$2,790,000) on the first day alone in Hong Kong,[20] beating Avatar's HK$2.5 million opening gross in the country in 2009.[21] It earned HK$13,104,982 in the first four days after opening.[22]

As of 15 June 2011, 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy earned more than HK$40 million (over US $5M) in Hong Kong.[23][24]


  1. ^ "Title << British Board of Film Classification". British Board of Film Classification. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ Smith, Ian Hayden (2012). International Film Guide 2012. p. 131. ISBN 978-1908215017.
  4. ^ "No 'Sex' for Imax, but '3D Zen' Film Eyes Sequel". The Hollywood Reporter. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Hong Kong film hopes to break new ground with 3-D porn". Reuters. 16 August 2010. Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Saori Hara in 3D Zen". 27 August 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  7. ^ "The Hype and Glory of 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy". Asia Pacific Arts. 5 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Hong Kong filmmakers shoot 'first' 3D porno". Herald Sun. Australia. 9 August 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
  9. ^ "3D "Sex and Zen" offers buyers various edits". Reuters. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
  10. ^ "(3D) SEX AND ZEN". n.d. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  11. ^ "(3D) SEX AND ZEN". n.d. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  12. ^ "話你知 滑鼠墊矽膠谷胸". Apple Daily. Hong Kong. 24 January 2011.
  13. ^ "肉蒲團殺入年宵". Apple Daily. Hong Kong. 24 January 2011.
  14. ^ "3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Landmark erotic film loses steam along the way". n.d. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  16. ^ "3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy: Film Review". Hollywood Reporter. 12 June 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  17. ^ "Ten worst films of 2011: CULTURE REVIEW OF THE YEAR". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  18. ^ "Movie preview: '3D Sex and Zen' is all about abstinence". 26 March 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  19. ^ "A new age in skinema – 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy review". 12 May 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  20. ^ "3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy". Variety. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  21. ^ "'3D Sex & Zen' Beats Out 'Avatar' for One-Day Hong Kong Record". The Hollywood Reporter. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  22. ^ "Hong Kong Filmart 11 to 17 April 2011". n.d. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  23. ^ "Weekly box office". n.d. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  24. ^ "3D肉蒲團突破4000萬大關". The Hollywood Reporter. 15 June 2011. Archived from the original on 1 September 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.

External linksEdit