Love in Sampan (1992) from Tuna

Love In Sampan, or Shan ban '92 is a Hong Kong pulp cinema offering that, if nothing else, points out that it sucks to be born a poor woman in a small Chinese town. Chan Sai Kiu (Asuka Tamami) is still single, a virgin, and working for her parents. Her best friend, Tai Kim (Mitsutomo Saiko) has lost a husband, but takes on a new boyfriend who cons her out of her inheritance and moves on. After a little lesbo loving with Kiu, she becomes a hooker.

Kiu herself finally falls in love with a new employee in her fathers store, but her father is getting too old to earn money, so the family marries Kiu to a rich thug against her will. On her wedding night, she sleeps with the employee she loves before her husband comes to her, and that situation doesn't amuse the ill-tempered husband. He disgraces her in front of the village, and her father is in the process of beating her to death, when her lover steps forward. They beat him, and drown him, but she gets to live. Her lover may have gotten the better deal. Her husband spends half his time with a Hong Kong hooker, and the other half abusing Kiu.

Man, a young University friend of the husband, comes to town to write a thesis, and Kiu is told to show him around, because hubby must go off to Hong Kong. Man and Kiu find each other irresistible. I haven't seen enough of these Hong Kong films yet to know if the ending is typical or not.

Given the ratio of nudity to plot, this is the Hong Kong equivalent of our soft core porn videos. On the plus side, I found it far more interesting than our soft-core offerings because of the exotic locales, the huge cultural differences, and the prolific nudity. On the negative side, the widescreen transfer is letterboxed and the quality leaves much to be desired.



  • No special features
  • Widescreen, but letterboxed, and not a very good transfer
  • The burnt-in subtitles are white, often over white backgrounds, hence hard to read.



Both Asuka Tamami and Mitsutomo Saiko show full frontal and rear nudity in both hetero and lesbian sex scenes, some of them in a shower, some others in a bondage and whipping content.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No reviews online

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our 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. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • 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-. A subtitled soft-core with a decent plot, and two actresses fully nude - would be a C or even a C+ if there were a good transfer with proper subtitles.

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