Local erotic thriller Lang Tong the first of a trilogy

Local Mandarin erotic thriller Lang Tong had to have three minutes cut for its commercial release here on Thursday. This included shots from two lesbian scenes.

Instead of being deterred, its makers say there is more to come. The $500,000 R21-rated film, about a womaniser who conspires to murder his lover, is slated to be the first in a trilogy of erotic thrillers. It will be shown on seven screens.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Ng Say Yong, chief content officer at MM2 Entertainment, which co-produced Lang Tong, said: "It is fairly daring, and we have always been supportive of directors who produce a diverse range of work. We would like to applaud the cast and crew for producing Singapore's very own erotic thriller."

The company is already looking at casting and a script for the second movie.

Mr Ng, 51, added: "The third one is still some time away and details will be announced at an appropriate stage."

The trilogy will be called the "Femme Fatale" film trilogy and the next two films, also to be helmed by Lang Tong director Sam Loh, will be called Siew Lup and Dim Sum.

Loh, 48, said: "I'm fascinated by Korean cinema, which often explores dark themes like abuse. In this industry, it's good to have a personal brand, and looking at these dark themes can be my brand."

Given that his original version of the film has more than 12 minutes of graphic sex, he acknowledged some audiences might find it exploitative. But he made no apologies for it. "My poster already says this is Singapore's most controversial film. If people want to see it, they can. I can't control these things," said the father of a teenage daughter.

It premiered uncut at the Singapore International Film Festival last December.

Loh, who has more than 15 years of film and television directing experience, drew inspiration from movies such as the Japanese psychological horror-drama Audition (1999), by Takashi Miike, where a young woman subjects her widower suitor to torture.

"I want to push the boundaries. Singapore might be a conservative society, but dark things do happen here, too," he said.

At yesterday's press conference, most of the cast had strong reactions when asked if they would ask their family - especially their parents - to watch the film.

Said the male lead William Lawandi, 38, who has acted in the HBO Asia series Serangoon Road (2013) and in various short films, "Hell no, it'll be very weird."

One of the female leads, Angeline Yap, 27, said: "I won't ask my parents, but I will ask my younger sister and friends. I don't regret taking the role. After all, it's just acting, and know I can't satisfy everybody."

Another female lead, Vivienne Tseng, 27, who is pregnant now, said she posted a comment on Facebook about the film, and her father liked this post.

"Maybe he will watch it," she said light-heartedly.

Being a mother will not change how she approaches her career, she added: "Precisely because I'm going to be a mum, I'll want to push the boundaries even further. I have to be a role model for my child, but because of my work, there are times when I don't have to be."

Neither is she afraid of being typecast for such roles.

Said Tseng: "If people want to stereotype me, go ahead. After all, it's guaranteed work.

"And it's fun," she added with a smile.

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