While in the United States the softcore is now dying, in Asia the situation is very different. The softcore movies, especially in South Korea, cover a large percentage of Korean film production, with at least sixty releases a year, not just for the home video market.
In Hong Kong, for many years, softcore was a genre able to compete with the great Hollywood productions at the local box office. In the ’90s we remember films like Sex and Zen, Erotic Ghost Story, Robotrix, Pretty Woman (a namesake of the most famous movie with Julia Roberts).
Softcore stars like the busty Amy Yip, the charming Veronica Yip, the statuary Diana Pang Dan, Loletta Lee and the unfortunate Pauline Chan were true movie stars, able to manage in a balanced way their transition from erotic productions to mainstream cinema, something never seen in the United States, where softcore stars are ghettoized and unjustly associated with porn.
The peculiarity of the softcore films in Hong Kong was also associated with the creation of the Category 3, a classification used for those films that deal with themes for adults, from the thriller to the erotic genre. The viewers knew very well, thanks to this category, to be watching a film that featured nude scenes or highly explicit sex, even if simulated. The success of these movies was also the beauty of the actresses involved, able to build around their figures of eroticism starlette, a great following among the public. Amy Yip, star of Sex and Zen, never fully showed her body in the many films she played during her career, hidden her tits to the camera’s angles, a trick called with the nickname “Yip Tease”, something that has increased the mystery and eroticism around the actress.
Unlike the softcore genre in the United States, in Asia rarely pornstars have participated in erotic films. In South Korea this is almost impossible, since the hardcore genre is illegal, while in Hong Kong, at least until a few years ago, the participation of hardcore actresses to erotic films was largely accomplished by japanese pornstars. In Korea, where the production of softcore movies is very high, it is however difficult to find truly recognizable actresses. In the last two years, a small star has come to the fore, showing a great charm and eroticism, thanks to her “girl next door” look.
His name is Kang Han-na-I, not to be confused with the most famous actress Kang Han-Na. In the last two years, this young actress was in many softcore movies, emphasizing a great talent and a great body, mixed with a strong eroticism able to conquer the male viewers. Capable of playing the role of the dissatisfied wife and the nymphomaniac student at the same time, Han-na-I has acted in five/six films since 2016, while in 2018 there was, unfortunately, no sign of her.
Korean eroticism is, however, much more explicit than the american softcore. Directors and producers bet on the public’s fantasies, also stimulate interracial love stories (a young and sexy Russian woman in a Korean family, for example) and never use alien or supernatural events. The United States should look to Korea, and Asia, to revive the softcore genre. NOW!