Dasepo Naughty Girls (Lee Je-yong, 2006)
Korean Title: Dasepo sonyo
A teacher walks in on a class composed of uniformed and attractive students, excusing himself as a replacement for their teacher who got an STD, allegedly for sleeping with teen prostitutes. The teacher tells a chubby student to have herself checked for the STD; the student replies that she doesn't sleep with teachers. The substitute quickly replies that their professor's STD is syphillis (which I believe can be transmitted through oral sex). The student excuses herself, followed by another, and another, and another, and another until one is left --- Cyclops (Lee Kyeon), who really has only one eye. The pre-credit gag segues to pink-attired female dancers performing the film's upbeat song accompanied by a bevy of kitsch, camp, and colorful zaniness.
Dasepo Naughty Girls is a film that has an exterior of a wacky sexy romp. It is episodic with each episode mostly consisting of gags, jokes, and bloopers --- all of which are inconsistently fleshed out; some are quite hilarious while the rest are tiring and confusing. It is unceasing in its irreverence and political incorrectness with characters ranging from a poor girl (Kim Ok-bin, she is by herself a walking, talking stereotype) who supports her single mom (Im Hye-jin, who absent-mindedly sells pyramids for a pyramid scheme, haha) and little brother, a rich exchange student (Park Jin-woo) who suddenly questions his sexuality when he falls for a beautiful lady who turns out to be a pre-operation trannie, a thug boss (Lee Weon-jong) who gets a kick out of wearing teen girl's uniforms, the aforementioned single-eyed and lone virgin of the film's high school, among other weirdos.
Director Lee Je-yong (or E J-young, his cooler, hipper name), whose previous feature was the ultra-serious and uber-sexy Korean remake of Dangerous Liaisons entitled Untold Scandal (2003), infuses the film with enough artistry and intelligence to keep the film from sinking in gag show and sitcom tedium. There are clever touches --- overt metaphors that somewhat matches the film's consistently un-subtle means of reaching into its audiences brains and subconscious. There's that doll named poverty hanging from poor girl's shoulders; there's the diversity of religions being taught in "No Use" high school; there's those pyramids for sale in the pyramid-ing scheme; and a whole lot more.
The film is a kaleidoscope of dumb sex jokes, visual humor, directorial statements (successfully or unsuccessfully relayed), and storylines bursting out of sheer absurdity. These storylines include a principal possessed by a mythical monster who espouses the virtue of virginity to the students of the high school, an underground cult that kidnaps virgins for the purpose of releasing potential erotic energy, and more. The film's lack of structure, its glaring and voluntary ineptitude, its rebellious nature are both its success and its failure.
It's irreverent, but not enough to force you to re-think adopted norms and ideals. It is indeed campy fun when it doesn't make sense and just streams along in wild fanciful abandon. Yet, whenever it starts to slow down to deliver a coherent thought, it fluctuates and becomes an utter boredom. So how does one enjoy a film like Dasepo Naughty Girls? It's quite simple, I thought. Just treat it like a movie caught accidentally one lazy Sunday morning. It's quite intelligently made but none of the intelligence can pass through that force field of utter campiness, so the only thing to do left, is to sit back and enjoy this colorful and musical romp.