Lies (1999) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

I'm ready for my career in sexploitation.

I've even got my justification prepared. My film will be an thoughtful examination of the natural progression of an incandescent sexual relationship. A sexual odyssey toward the forbidden passion that knows no limits. A detailed insight into existential erotic angst.

Well that's what I'm going to say. But you guys will know what it really is. It will be a porno flick for people who like to watch women grease their bodies with Turtle Wax, then masturbate while wearing chicken masks. But I can't say that, because all the watchdogs and religious conservatives will immediately come after me for exploiting and corrupting their children. Then every time a kid is seen in a chicken mask, the American media will blame me. So I have to rationalize with that crap above, but all you guys will know what I mean. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.


Plenty. It's a sex film. But it's only Kim Yeon.and Lee Hyun, and the sex scenes differ mainly in the escalating intensity of whipping.

Lies is a Korean sexploitation film about a man and a woman with the same obsession - whipping. He's 38, she's 18. He excites her at first because he's so sophisticated and she's a virgin. Then he becomes too clingy, she matures, she dumps him. It's just the same old relationship story as usual, except that instead of straight sex, their whoopee-making activity is pretty much based upon beating each other's backsides until they are raw, and other rear-oriented activity like sodomy, coprophilia, etc. My personal favorite was when the guy butt-fucked the girl even though she had to shit, then made her suck his shit-covered dick. They finished by kissing for a few minutes, talking about how the taste of shit excited them. Your basic sophisticated, existential stuff, and yet with a certain light-hearted romance that would make it an ideal date movie.

Provided that you are dating Squeaky Fromme.

Let's just say when they say in this film "I'm gonna whip your ass", they are not speaking figuratively.

In order to make the film seem like something more than a fuck-flick, the director inserts some pseudo-artistic third wall violations. We hear him shout "cut" at the end of a scene. We see an interview with the lead actress, which is inserted right into the movie proper, in which she talks about her reservations about the nude scenes. This was undoubtedly inserted to persuade people with double digit I.Q.'s that they were watching art instead of a fetish film. I have made a note of that technique, and will use it myself when I make my Turtle Wax film. I will explain that it is an homage to Pirandello.

Very few people know that Pirandello liked to watch women cover themselves with Turtle Wax, and even fewer have seen his long-forgotten play on that very subject, in which the Turtle-Waxed women ponder aloud while they masturbate, wrestling with the question of whether they are real people who like to cover themselves in Turtle Wax, or merely characters in a Pirandello play about Turtle Wax. One of the characters even wonders if Pirandello lived long enough to hear of the invention of Turtle Wax. Look for many of those elements to be incorporated into my movie.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • no meaningful features

I think the film is probably more interesting if you are Korean, because I guess the female star is a famous Korean fashion model who had never acted before. So for them, this would be like us seeing Heidi Klum in a medium-core specialty sex film. Stripped of that context, however, it's just a medium-core specialty sex film.

Is it a great fuck film? No. But it's an OK one. It's probably great if you are into whipping.

Tuna's Thoughts

Lies (1999) - Once upon a time, the Supreme Court of the United States determined that smut was protected speech only if it contained "redeeming social importance," or, as Tom Lehrer put it in his march in favor of smut, "As the judge remarked the day that he acquitted my aunt Hortense, to be smut it must be utterly without redeeming social importance ..." We have since moved to the community standards criteria. In essence, the court said art is protected speech, porn is not art and not protected, but nobody can agree on what porn is, especially us, so you decide locally, and we agree before hand that you are right. Or, in other words, we are sick of hearing these cases, especially since we piss people off no matter what we decide, so we aren't playing anymore.

Lies, a soft core fetish film from Korea uses a strategy similar to the "redeeming social importance" scam to avoid a porn label. They added some minimal art film elements, like cinema verite hand held grainy camera work in parts, breaking into the film with an interview, and other unsubtle tricks. The odd thing is, just like introducing a film about nymphomaniacs performing every possible depravity with a shrink saying what a serious disorder nymphomania was actually worked, the Lies ruse (was even the title a jab at the idiots they were duping?) won this film some acclaim in the art house world. It was even nominated for a Golden Lion in Venice, and won a Critics award and Jury award in Uruguay.

It tells the story of an 18 year old girl who elects to lose her virginity to a 38 year old married man. The relationship gets through vaginal, oral and anal sex the first afternoon, and soon progresses to heavy S&M, including bludgeoning each other with hoe handles.

In the initial meeting, the film had some erotic energy, and some lovely lighting and photography. For me, all of the charm was lost when they started adding the artistic elements, and moved away from sex towards extreme punishment. It was Korean fashion model Kim Tae Yeon's first film. She shows all three Bs, but mostly breasts and buns. As near as I could tell, there was no penetration. I give this a D, even though I, like Tom Lehrer, am in favor of smut. Again, to quote from his song, "All books can be indecent books, though recent books are bolder, for smut, I'm glad to say, is in the eyes of the beholder. I could tell you things about Peter Pan, and the Wizard of Oz, there's a dirty old man."

The Critics Vote

  • Apollo 76/100. What the hell were they thinking?

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDB readers say 5.7 of 10


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C, rated as a medium-core specialty sex film. Unlike what you may have read elsewhere, this is not a serious movie. It is not artistic or even very commercial. It's a shock-fuck film, passed off as "arty" to avoid being banned. See it if you want to see a fairly explicit film about a relationship based on whipping. (Tuna says D)

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