Local erotic thriller Lang Tong's actors talk about dismemberment scene that got cut from the film
Local erotic thriller Lang Tong (Cantonese for nice soup) might have suffered a three-minute cut for its upcoming commercial release in theatres.
But during the shoot, there was another "cut" that weighed on the minds of two cast members.
In the steamy R21 flick, a bold concoction of sex, nudity and violence which opens here tomorrow, one particular revenge scene sticks out for its implied savagery.
It features female protagonist Li Ling (Vivienne Tseng) using a pair of shears to cut off the penis of her cheating lover Zack (William Lawandi).
The actual dismemberment was, ahem, snipped from the movie, along with a lesbian sex scene between Tseng and her bosomy co-star Angeline Yap, said director Sam Lohat a press conference yesterday to promote Lang Tong.
It premiered at the Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF) last December to a sold-out screening and was shown uncut.
Even though the audience will not be able to watch the censored snipping scene, it was something the actors would remember for a long time.
"I felt a little queasy filming that," Singapore-based Indonesian actor Lawandi, 39, told M.
"Thankfully, we had safety precautions in place and my penis was protected from every angle."
A heavily pregnant Tseng - the 27-year-old is due to give birth to her first child in a few days - said: "I was more worried than William as I was the one holding the shears.
"And I had to go really close and look enthusiastic at the same time. It was tricky."
Lang Tong follows in the vein of raunchy films with femme fatales, boasting a storyline that has Tseng and Yap turning the tables on Lawandi's serial womaniser and conman character.
The dismemberment scene was also challenging due to practical concerns over the film's most important prop.
"The prosthetic penis was very difficult to cut," said Lawandi.
Added Tseng: "We had only three prosthetics to work with, so I knew I had three chances to get the scene right.
"If I didn't, we'd be out of prosthetics, our crew would have to go get more and it'd bust our budget."
She joked: "If I had accidentally injured William, he'd have to be rushed to the hospital and that would be a budget problem for us too."
Lang Tong was made on a lean budget of $500,000.
Yap, 27, who went nude for the movie - she has several sex scenes with Lawandi where the latter cups her breasts and kisses her body - has seen her star rise following the film's positive response at SIFF.
But with the highs come the lows.
"I definitely got more exposure in the media after SIFF," said the former Miss World Singapore 2014 finalist.
"I had more suitors too, but it didn't lead to any serious relationship."
The downside of fame came in the form of dubious job offers, she said.
"Following SIFF, I got quite a number of acting offers, but many of them were not legit," said Yap.
"Some people would send me private Facebook messages that read: 'I want to make a movie and act in it with you.'"
Loh, 48, said he "wasn't upset" by the three-minute cut.
"For a commercial release, we have to respect the censorship board's decision," he added.
Lang Tong was picked up by local distributor mm2 Entertainment midway through its shoot last year, even before it was submitted for SIFF.
Buoyed by its success, Loh is planning two more risque films as part of his "female revenge" trilogy.
"I would like to push the boundaries further in my next two films, maybe use more special effects," he said, adding that the film's titles will also be "food-themed".
"Also, I would love to build a core team of cast and crew like Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To, who uses the same actors and actresses in his movies.
"So it's a strong possibility that you'll be seeing the main cast members of Lang Tong in my future films."