You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bugis Street: The Movie

Aboring and stilted walk down fake-mammary lane, "Bugis Street" attempts to re-create Singapore's infamous transsexual row of the 1960s, before city fathers decided to Disney-fy the entire country. Bawdy subject matter, mostly English-lingo dialogue, and the presence of Hiep Thi Le may turn some arthouse heads, although this ultimately will walk down the boulevard of soft-core vids.

Cast:
With: Hiep Thi Le, Michael Lam, Benedict Goh, Ernest Seah, Greg-o, Maggie Lye , Gerald Chan, Godfrey Yew.
(English and Chinese dialogue)

Aboring and stilted walk down fake-mammary lane, “Bugis Street” attempts to re-create Singapore’s infamous transsexual row of the 1960s, before city fathers decided to Disney-fy the entire country. Bawdy subject matter, mostly English-lingo dialogue, and the presence of Hiep Thi Le — the Vietnamese thesp who starred in Oliver Stone’s “Heaven and Earth”– may turn some arthouse heads, although this ultimately will walk down the boulevard of soft-core vids.

Hiep toplines as Lian, a 16-year-old virgin from Malacca who becomes an all-purpose chambermaid and desk clerk at the Sin Sin Hotel, where the fanciest hookers in town are forever drifting through (the hotel charges $ 3 per hour, and also $ 3 per day). It takes Lian about a month to figure out that these women actually are men, and by then she has begun to depend on the advice of some of the more philosophical residents, such as Drag-o (actually Greg-o), who pines for Paris, and Lola (Ernest Seah), whose macho b.f. (Michael Lam) — always seen in his jockey shorts — catches the new girl’s rapidly maturing eye.

These queenly roles all are played by non-thesps and, although they’re genuine in other ways, this contributes to pic’s static, overly mannered feel. With a cast from many countries, everyone speaking English makes strategic sense , but the phonetic-sounding chatter often is hard to follow, and not very rewarding anyway. Against these amateurs, Hiep comes off better than she did in “Heaven,” but that’s not saying much, as all she has to do is look wide-eyed and dismayed for most of the pic.

Lensing is OK, with purely visual vignettes sometimes adding lyrical grace notes to the plot’s not-so-forward motion. The street scenes (shot on Kim Yam Road) are the biggest disappointment, with every shot a stiff tableau rather than a colorful slice of messy underground life. Auds also may be expecting a little more explicit action, but aside from some brief full-frontal business, the sex is fairly tame. Still, “Bugis Street” is raunchy enough to make one wonder how it got past the ever-ready canes of Singapore’s censors.

Bugis Street: The Movie

Singapore

Production: A Jaytex Prods. (Singapore) production. Produced by Katy Yew. Executive producer, Godfrey Yew. Directed, written by Yonfan (Yang Man-Shih), after a story by Katy Yew.

Crew: Camera (color), Jacky Tang; editor, Kam Ma; music, Chris Babida; production design, Ned McLoughlin; costume design, Cynthia Lim; sound, Benny Chu, Brian Schnegmann; assistant director, Chan Yat Ming. Reviewed at Vancouver Film Festival, Oct. 9, 1995. Running time: 101 MIN.

With: With: Hiep Thi Le, Michael Lam, Benedict Goh, Ernest Seah, Greg-o, Maggie Lye , Gerald Chan, Godfrey Yew.
(English and Chinese dialogue)

More Film

  • get out Oscar Race

    'Get Out' and the Golden Globes: A Lesson Not to Laugh At

    Aboring and stilted walk down fake-mammary lane, “Bugis Street” attempts to re-create Singapore’s infamous transsexual row of the 1960s, before city fathers decided to Disney-fy the entire country. Bawdy subject matter, mostly English-lingo dialogue, and the presence of Hiep Thi Le — the Vietnamese thesp who starred in Oliver Stone’s “Heaven and Earth”– may turn […]

  • Justice League

    Box Office: 'Justice League' Scores $185 Million International Opening, Led by China

    Aboring and stilted walk down fake-mammary lane, “Bugis Street” attempts to re-create Singapore’s infamous transsexual row of the 1960s, before city fathers decided to Disney-fy the entire country. Bawdy subject matter, mostly English-lingo dialogue, and the presence of Hiep Thi Le — the Vietnamese thesp who starred in Oliver Stone’s “Heaven and Earth”– may turn […]

  • 'Justice League' Opens With Gloomy $96

    Box Office: 'Justice League' Opens With Gloomy $96 Million in North America

    Aboring and stilted walk down fake-mammary lane, “Bugis Street” attempts to re-create Singapore’s infamous transsexual row of the 1960s, before city fathers decided to Disney-fy the entire country. Bawdy subject matter, mostly English-lingo dialogue, and the presence of Hiep Thi Le — the Vietnamese thesp who starred in Oliver Stone’s “Heaven and Earth”– may turn […]

  • Viacom Halts 'Padmavati' Release After Religious

    Viacom Halts 'Padmavati' Release After Religious Uproar

    Aboring and stilted walk down fake-mammary lane, “Bugis Street” attempts to re-create Singapore’s infamous transsexual row of the 1960s, before city fathers decided to Disney-fy the entire country. Bawdy subject matter, mostly English-lingo dialogue, and the presence of Hiep Thi Le — the Vietnamese thesp who starred in Oliver Stone’s “Heaven and Earth”– may turn […]

  • EuropaCorp Sells French TV Production Unit

    Luc Besson's EuropaCorp Sells French TV Production Unit for $13 Million

    Aboring and stilted walk down fake-mammary lane, “Bugis Street” attempts to re-create Singapore’s infamous transsexual row of the 1960s, before city fathers decided to Disney-fy the entire country. Bawdy subject matter, mostly English-lingo dialogue, and the presence of Hiep Thi Le — the Vietnamese thesp who starred in Oliver Stone’s “Heaven and Earth”– may turn […]

  • IDFA: Syrian Comedian Looks for Fresh

    IDFA: Syrian Comedian Looks for Fresh Start in France

    Aboring and stilted walk down fake-mammary lane, “Bugis Street” attempts to re-create Singapore’s infamous transsexual row of the 1960s, before city fathers decided to Disney-fy the entire country. Bawdy subject matter, mostly English-lingo dialogue, and the presence of Hiep Thi Le — the Vietnamese thesp who starred in Oliver Stone’s “Heaven and Earth”– may turn […]

  • Wonderstruck

    ‘Wonderstruck’ Colorist Joe Gawler on How Film's Multi-Period Look Was Created

    Aboring and stilted walk down fake-mammary lane, “Bugis Street” attempts to re-create Singapore’s infamous transsexual row of the 1960s, before city fathers decided to Disney-fy the entire country. Bawdy subject matter, mostly English-lingo dialogue, and the presence of Hiep Thi Le — the Vietnamese thesp who starred in Oliver Stone’s “Heaven and Earth”– may turn […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content