Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, etc.
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Unread postby HungFist » 15 May 2007, 18:52

HK Video’s Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs dvd is only available as a part of Coffret Femmes Fatales box set. It’s a white card board package that opens like a book and holds two digipacks. The art work is great as always with HK Video

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The other dvd in set is Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion. Note that the sequel, Jailhouse 41, was released by Studio Canal, not HK Video.

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And finally, there’s a 16 page booklet

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Both dvds feature similar extras: introduction for the film, short bio & filmographies, original trailer and bonus trailers for other HK Video releases. The animated main menu on 701 is especially stylish with Meiko's theme song played on the background as a whole and the video / animation running circles so that it starts from the beginning again and again without any break. Bye bye 30 second menu animations.

My next review will be Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion but I’ll be reviewing it from the Media Blasters dvd and not the inferior HK Video release.

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Unread postby HungFist » 17 May 2007, 10:25

Cover arts for Malformed Men and Snake Woman from Fangoria

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Extras

Horrors of Malformed Men

• Audio commentary by film critic and 2003 Ishii retrospective programmer Mark Schilling
• New documentary featurette including interviews with cult directors and Ishii fans Shinya (TETSUO) Tsukamoto and Minoru (THE CALAMARI WRESTLER) Kawasaki
• Ishii’s video introduction from the 2003 Far East Film Festival
• Original Japanese theatrical trailer
• Ishii and author Edogawa Rampo biographies
• Poster galleries and trailers from other Ishii and Rampo films

Snake Woman's Curse

• Audio commentary by Japanese film scholar Jonathan Hall
• Original Japanese theatrical trailer
• Nakagawa biography
• Poster gallery and trailers for other Nakagawa films

More extras are to be announced; each disc retails for $24.95. —Michael Gingold


http://www.fangoria.com/news_article.php?id=4281

And no word about Chris D. I don't want to be mean at the guy (hey, I even have his book) but it's nice to see that they've found other people to do commentaries... I mean other than Andy Klein and Wade Major (that was fucking nightmare pair)


interesting that Panik House isn't even mentioned in the cover. But this only strengthens my suspicions. I don't expect to hear about Panik House again once all of the 6 dvds are out. Such a shame. They're work with Pinky Violence films has been revolutionary.
Last edited by HungFist on 28 May 2008, 18:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 May 2007, 13:17

Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion (Joshuu 701-go: Sasori) (1972)

701 is the first part in Toei’s classic Female Prisoner Scorpion series. This and the sequel Jailhouse 41 are widely considered the absolute best in the genre. The original film also marked Shunya Ito’s (sometimes credited as Toshiya Ito) directorial debut. Ito directed two sequels for the film before leaving the series to the hands of Yasuharu Hasebe who directed one more instalment to the original series. All four films starred the glamorous Meiko Kaji.

What that made Ito’s entries in the wip genre so special was his extremely ambitious visual approach. Even though the prison setting doesn’t offer very colourful surroundings Ito has filled the film with first grade camera work and surreal images. No wonder the production took approximately five times longer than the average Toei film of the time. Aside the visuals the music is also used wonderfully, including Meiko Kaji’s famous theme song Urami Bushi. However, despite the technical brilliancy Ito doesn’t forget the films manga origins. Although the source material was cleaned up a bit 701 is still very much an exploitation movie with gratuitous violence and nudity throughout. There’s a bit of political attitude as well but I’m unable to say whether it originates from the manga or not.

One major factor behind the film’s success is Meiko Kaji. She was a perfect choice for the role of Nami Matsushima, a woman betrayed by her lover (Isao Natsuyagi) and sent to prison for life. Kaji has more charisma and dignity than five average pinky violence stars put together, and the fact that she has no more than a dozen lines of dialogue in the whole film makes her appearance even stronger. 701 being one her first Toei films it’s interesting that here she finally agreed to do nudity. I don’t think she ever did that for Nikkatsu, the company she left when their films started becoming too driven by the erotic content.

Speaking of Nikkatsu; Hiroko Ogi, the actress Meiko Kaji replaced as the lead of Blind Woman’s Curse, can be spotted here as one of the prisoners. Another remarkable star in the film is Fumio Watanabe who does excellent job playing the sadistic warden. He and the two guards played by Hideo Murota and Chinzo Hotta come close to stealing the show a few times. Watanabe would later co-star in another all time pinky violence classic, Norifumi Suzuki’s School of the Holy Beast.

Muldoon at asiandvdguide confirms that the R1 Media Blasters dvd is a Toei port but encoded with a lower bitrate. This being a rather barebones disc and the film running less than 90 minutes it thankfully didn’t cause any compression problems that I would’ve noticed. The transfer itself is nice.You might argue that the blacks are less than solid but I’d rather take my image like this than manipulated and unnatural looking like HK Video’s transfer. Playing a bit with contrast and brightness I managed to make the image quite pleasing. Extras include 4 page liner notes by Chris D (he’s everywhere), original trailer and a good photo gallery plus bonus trailer for other Media Blasters releases. The cover art uses one of the films original posters.

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Meiko Kaji
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Fumio Watanabe
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Shinzo Hotta
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Hideo Murota
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Hiroko Ogi
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Yumiko Katayama
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Yoko ”my middle name is pinky violence” Mihara
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Rie Yokoyama
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Yayoi Watanabe
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The great Isao Natsuyagi
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A picture comparison between HK Video and Media Blasters can be found here:
http://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums/ ... 2683#42683
Last edited by HungFist on 05 Nov 2007, 21:06, edited 3 times in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 27 May 2007, 15:25

I was subbing Dario Argento’s [spoiler]Suspiria (1977)[/spoiler] (top) and there was a shot that reminded me a lot of Norifumi Suzuki’s [spoiler]School of the Holy Beast (1974)[/spoiler] (bottom) which was made three years earlier. Some reviewer commented the Suzuki film saying [spoiler]"Dario Argento meets the Marquis de Sade"[/spoiler] but maybe it was actually the other way round

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spoiler tags to hide the film titles

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Unread postby HungFist » 30 May 2007, 15:32

Received Toei's Jailhouse 41 dvd today. While it's badly cropped the image is otherwise far superior to Studio Canal dvd. Will compare and review later.

But that's not why I'm writing this post. I was fixing subs and everything went to hell timing wise. Why? There's no other logical explanation that that there's a difference in running times (other than the PAL / NTSC issue, I have that covered). While the beginning and ending were in sync the middle part was far from it. After picking up timings for a more than dozen random lines throughout the film and seeing how the sych changes I could finally track down the problem point:

The Studio Canal dvd is cut. The rape scene in the beginning runs approx 12 second longer on Toei. The NTSC / PAL difference doesn't come even close to explain such difference in a scene that runs about 90 seconds.

Next comes the nasty part. I gotta to take a pen and start writing down the shots in the scene try to see what's missing on Studio Canal dvd. It's not a graphic scene so there's no obvious shots that might be missing.

Anyway, now I know where to split the subs. Hopefully there won't be further problems. I'll get back to edit issue when I get the film subbed, watched and reviewed... hopefully later this week.

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Unread postby HungFist » 23 Jun 2007, 14:40

Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (Joshuu sasori: Dai-41 zakkyo-bo) (1972)

Shunya Ito’s second instalment in the Sasori series is, if possible, even better than the terrific original film. Ito moves further away from anything you could label as typical women in prison movie, or typical exploitation. The first big surprise comes soon after the technically brilliant but storywise not so surprising opening scenes. Seven female prisoners manage to escape while being transported to the prison, and the whole rest of the movie takes place outside the prison walls. Among the escaped prisoners is Scorpion (Meiko Kaji) who holds personal grudge against the sadistic warden (Fumio Watanabe).

Most of the film plays out like a surreal road movie. The storyline itself is simple but slightly spiced it up with some sensitive subjects like echos of Japan’s wartime crimes. Visually the film is exceptional with terrific cinematography and use of colours. The surreal content is perfectly balanced with the more realistic parts and never feels out of place in the story. Sound effects, music, silence and songs by Meiko Kaji are used extremely well and deserve a special mention. The ending is not quite as satisfying as in the first film, but what preceeds it is one hell of a memorable trip.

The main star Meiko Kaji dominates every scene she’s in, despite the fact that she has no more than two lines of dialogue in the entire film. But her eyes say more than a thousand words ever could, and this is certainly not left unnoticed by Ito who takes full use of close ups of her eyes. As far as male cast goes Fumio Watanabe, Shinzo Hotta and Hideo Murota all return from the first film.

The dvds

I own two dvd editions of the film. The japanese dvd by Toei (used in this review) is interlaced and heavily cropped, which is a serious problem in such a carefully framed film. The colour and brightness however is pretty much perfect. The french Studio Canal dvd is not cropped but is overly bright, which hurts the films colours which in case of Jailhouse 41 is an extremely big deal. The film is full of discreet color and brightness details that go missing on the Studio Canal dvd. The background detail is also a mess, plus there’s edge enhancement. It also features burn it french subtitles for credits and for one song in the middle of the movie.

The Studio Canal dvd is cut. The rape scene in the beginning is missing the last 12 seconds. There’s no graphic footage, just men laughing. On the Toei dvd the sound goes mute near the end of the scene (I’m sure this is intentional). My guess is that some french smart ass though it wasn’t intentinal and cut that footage out. I don’t see a reason to avoid this dvd because of this specific flaw, but it does make the scene worse as the sudden transition from the horror to complete silence is very effective.

There’s a third transfer for the film which was used on the old OOP US dvd by Image (NTSC) and the recent UK dvd by Eureka (NTSC to PAL), but that transfer seems very poor (although not cropped) and comes with burnt in english subtitles. I really wonder why Eureka went for the US transfer instead of the native PAL Studio Canal transfer... especially when Studio Canal are well known for licensing their transfers to other companies. Aside these four editions there’s also a German dvd by R.E.M which is very likely to a port of the Toei transfer (but NTSC to PAL).

Extras wise Studio Canal has the edge with their exclusive Shunya Ito, Romain Slocombe and Risaku Kiridoushi interviews. There’s also an introduction for the film (by Jean-Pierre Dionnet), picture gallery and text infos. But where the hell are the trailers? Well, they’re on the Toei dvd, which comes with both the original trailer and the original teaser. The usual photo gallery is also included, and Toei has used the original poster as cover art. Studio Canal too went for the original poster, it’s just that the idiots picked the wrong movie. They’ve used artwork from the third movie (Beast Stable)! The titles found in the cover are ”Beast Stable” (in japanese) and ”Elle S’appelait Scorpion”. The back cover claims the original title is Female Convict Scorpion (which is the first half of the US title). And they have four or five different spellings for the director’s name....

EDIT:
Pathe later released all 6 movies in a box set in France. For Jailhouse 41 is seems they have used the Studio Canal, but they have remastered it. It is sharper than Toei and does not feature the cropping present on Toei’d dvd, but the colours are a bit bluish, and not as accurate as Toei in my opinion. The cut remains, but no burnt in subtitles anymore. It’s a good release but I still consider Toei the best edition.

Discotek / Eastern Star has also licensed Jailhouse 41 and will release it in 2009 or 2010.

Toei screencaptures
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Footage missing from the french dvd
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Picture quality comparison between Toei, Studio Canal and Pathe dvds can be found here:
http://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums/ ... php?t=3693
Last edited by HungFist on 25 Apr 2009, 19:17, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 23 Jun 2007, 16:44

Here’s the Studio Canal dvd cover art. This must be the first time in the history of dvd there’s two wrong titles in the covers plus one local translation no one’s ever heard of and no mention of original one. And the artwork of a wrong movie of course. D’oh!

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As if that wasn’t enough, they have four different spellings for the directors name: Shunia Ito (back cover), Shunya Ito (front cover), Ito Shunya (opening credits) and Shinya Ito (inteview).

The Toei dvd comes with the correct artwork

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Unread postby HungFist » 29 Jun 2007, 18:53

Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (Joshuu sasori: Kemono-beya) (1973)

Shunya Ito’s third instalment in the series could be considered the final proof of his exceptional skill. After turning the original women in prison movie – which was never a strandard offering of the genre to begin with – into a surreal trip to madness Ito once again turns the table upside down and delivers a movie that differs from the previous instalments like day and night. The fellow prisoners, the sadistic warden, the surrealism, even the prison setting are all gone. The third film follows the escaped Sasori who tries to settle down in a big city while being chased by a persistent cop (Mikio Narita)

Despite the outrageous opening scene Beast Stable is more of a character study than anything else. Ito uses long takes, often without any dialogue or music, and really lets the silent Meiko Kaji shine. The soundtrack features some incredibly beautiful tunes that accompany the images flawlessly. While these moments are the film’s very best offering, they don’t unfortunately last till the end. The second half is very solid genre cinema but after the unexpectedly impressive and melancholic first half you can’t help but to feel slightly disappointed. There’s still some more discreet moments but much of the content would actually work even better in a different movie.

While the second half doesn’t go exactly where you’d hope it to go, there’s no denying of it being thoroughly entertaining. Content wise the film moves closer to the previous films, which depending on the viewer is either a good or a bad thing. The very last is simply wonderful and would be a perfect way to end the series. The Toei bosses however would not let the series rest and the next film would be produced without Ito’s participation. The original trilogy however remains one of the greatest achievements in exploitation cinema history.

It’s unclear whether the R1 Media Blasters dvd is a direct port of the Toei dvd or not. The source print is almost certainly the same but MB may or may not have done some further tweaking for the image. What we have here is a nice, slightly digital looking interlaced transfer. The colours look good and there’s no problems with edge enhancement. The extras offer a picture gallery, original trailer, original teaser and bonus trailers. The good looking cover art is very similiar to the original theatrical poster, minus the text and the edges.

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Unread postby HungFist » 03 Jul 2007, 17:28

Female Prisoner Scorpion: Grudge Song (Joshuu sasori: 701-go urami-bushi) (1973)

When Ito left the series directing duties were handed over to Yasuharu Hasebe, best know for his work at Nikkatsu. Hasebe directed several yakuza pictures as well as some super stylish pop cinema classics like Black Tight Killers and three of the five Stray Cat Rock films (all starring Meiko Kaji) in the late 60’s and early 70’s before diving deep into roman porno in the late 70’s and helming some of the most notorious violent pinku films ever made. His visit at the Toei studios did not produce exactly the kind of movie Sasori fans were expecting. That however is not to say the movie turned out bad.

Hasebe’s instalment in the Sasori series would be best considered an individual movie and not much so of a continuation of the series. The truth is that Grudge Song shares little resemblance with the three other films. Although Ito’s films too were highly distinctive from each other, Grudge Song feels like an outsider in the series. Except from the ending, there’s no familiar themes or elements, nor are there shiny visuals. Instead Hasebe delivers an impressive crime drama circulating around characters abandoned by the society. The the muted visual look may disappoint the fans, but is in fact a perfect fit for the style.

The contast to the previous films when it comes to content is actually so high the viewer is even likely to forget the character played by Meiko Kaji is indeed the same Sasori as in the previous films (although Kaji herself acts the role in similiar fashion). But that’s how it should go, it’s the key to enjoying this movie. Myself I didn’t really start to appreciate Grudge Song until on the second viewing. Hasebe’s direction is indeed very different from Ito’s but not really inferior. The soundtrack is terrific and the supporting characters prove out stronger than in any of the previous films. Especially the scenes between Kaji and Masakazu Tamura are excellent and often haunting. There’s a small notch in quality after the halfway but the last 15 minutes is very satisfying and marks the second time the series gets a fitting end.

The R1 Media Blasters is slightly problematic. The film is meant to look very muted but probably not quite like this. Adjusting contrast and brightness will however lead to a moderately pleasing image, although it’s impossible to say exactly how the film is supposed look. Otherwise the disc is much like their Beast Stable dvd. Interlaced transfer, good audio, and original trailer (no teaser), picture gallery and bonus trailers as extras. The cover art is nothing like the original poster, but is thankfully very stylish.

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Last edited by HungFist on 17 Dec 2007, 08:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 03 Jul 2007, 18:25

Media Blasters cover arts for Beast Stable and Grudge Song

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Plus some stylish production stills for the first two films from 'outnow'

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check out http://outnow.ch for more and non-resized
Last edited by HungFist on 28 May 2008, 16:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 04 Jul 2007, 15:44

The Sasori series was later exploited with new instalments that were not a part of the original series and do not feature Meiko Kaji. The most interesting of these would be New Female Prisoner Scorpion (Shin joshuu sasori: 701-go) (1976) starring Yumi Takigawa (the star of School of the Holy Beast, as well as several Kinji Fukasaku films), Ema Ryoko (more about her in the upcoming pinky violence reviews) and Nobuo Kaneko. I haven’t seen the film, but it could be worth a check.

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(ebay stolen image)

The 90’s (and possibly 2000’s) direct to video films like Scorpion's Revenge (aka Sasori in USA) look like something you want to avoid. (as reminder, also remember to stay the hell away from the 90’s Zero Woman films).

A bit more interesting looks HK producer/director Joe Ma’s upcoming HK – Japan co-production starring Miki Mizuno (as Sasori) and Simon Yam (as an old martial arts master). The film should throw a martial arts twist in the series, which basically sounds awful, but considering what are the options it actually sounds like a decent idea. It could turn out decent trash, but naturally light years from anything made in the 70’s. The main star Mizuno is apparently no newbie to kung fu moves as she studied Shorinji Kempo in her youth. Check out her blog for more information about the film: http://www.628drive.net/profile.html
(I haven’t been reading that recently but some months back there were nice some behind the scenes photos)

flyer stolen from twitch
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behind the scenes images:
http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/6191 ... 86anu9.jpg
http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/233/dscf1060aqv5.jpg
http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/2610 ... 51acp6.jpg

(rest assured, this was my final Sasori post... for now at least)

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Unread postby HungFist » 07 Jul 2007, 10:18

Delinquent Girl Boss: Worthless to Confess (Zubeko bancho: zange no neuchi mo nai) (1971)

Worthless to Confess, the fourt part in the Deliquent Girl Boss series, opens with a scene where the girls are watching Abashiri bangaichi film in prison and going crazy over Ken Takakura. Reminded me of how I watch some idol films myself... okay, back to the movie; One year later the girls are all out, although released at different times, and trying honest living and staying out of trouble. The film follows mainly Rika, played by the sweet Reiko Oshida.

Worthless to Confess is nice fresh air in the pinky violence genre. None of the usual madness and psychedelia of Ishii and the likes is here to be found. Instead the film is enormously entertaining and loaded with humour, music, ultra cool 70’s fashion, positive girl gang attitude and a very cute lead. I’m happy Reiko Oshida never agreed to ”go low” in the series nor would the director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi have allowed her to. Yamaguchi in fact stood against the Toei bosses and said that if they wanted Reiko to do nudity he wouldn’t shoot it.

Without spoiling too much it has to be said that the ending alone makes the film essential viewing for all action fanatics. It’s the only action scene in the film but in this case quality more than makes up for quantity. You’re gonna have to watch quite a few genre films before you find an ending as satistying as this. Worthless to Confess is simply a great film and stands out in a very positive way.

The Panik House dvd is just great. I can’t be bothered nitpicking this time so I’ll just say the transfer is perfect. Perfect colour, good sharpness, edge enhancement nowhere to be found... extremely pleasing for the eye. Extras feature very short biographies, nice picture galleries, rather useless production notes, the usual monotonic Chris D commentary and the original trailer that does not feature any notable ’not in the film’ footage.

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Last edited by HungFist on 14 Nov 2007, 16:14, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 07 Jul 2007, 17:41

One more cap of Reiko Oshida sweetness:

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I've only seen one movie from her but so far I’m impressed. She’s full of energy and she’s got a real cute voice. I’d love to see more of her work. I’m a fan of many other pinky violence stars too, like Reiko Ike and Miki Sugimoto but them I only love because they’re so cool and such badasses. But to be honest, those girls scare me a bit. If I was thrown into a pinky violence movie (ala Last Action Hero) I’d like it to be a Reiko Oshida movie :D

Thinking of it, Reiko Ike would probably sleep with me before killing me (using a sword or poison on her body)... while Miki Sugimoto would probably take her shirt off and then shoot me dead with a tiny red pistol... and Meiko Kaji would stab me dead without ever saying me a word. :D

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Unread postby HungFist » 08 Jul 2007, 10:53

Criminal Woman: Killing Melody (Zenka onna: koroshi-bushi) (1973)

Killing Melody is the only film in the box set that is not a part of a longer series. Although the original trailer refers it as ”first in the new series” I don’t think any sequels were ever made. I don’t know what got Toei into changing their minds as the film is awesome. Helmed by first time director Atsushi Mihori and starring a wide variance of genre stars from the electrofying lead couple Reiko Ike and Miki Sugimoto to such excellent supporting stars as Shinzo Hotta. You can also spot many familiar girls you’ve seen in Deliquent Girl Boss: Worthless to Confess (Yumiko Katayama), Seiju gakuen and the Sasori films.

Killing Melody begins as a women in prison flick but once the girls are released and Reiko Ike decides to go after the man who killed his father the film turns into a super slick crime thriller. Although Mihori leaves the usual over the top colour play to his collegues the film is extremely stylish from start to finish. I don’t think Reiko Ike has ever looked this good (some of the dresses she wears are amazing). She also sings the nice but less-than-memorable theme song. The rest of the soundtrack is actually notably better and the theme melody is very beautiful. The best part of the movie is without a doubt the incredibly stylish last 15 minutes.

The director deserves recognition for how swiftly he keeps thing moving. Despite some genre violence and incredibly long cat fights the film is rather ”light” in tone and time goes past really fast while watching this. This is a great ’feel good’ pinky violence flick, even if we once again have some political attitude in form of the American G.I.s. But while in Red Handcuffs Eiji Go was pissing over (not quite literally) the americans immigrants here the G.I.s are given a much softer treatment... even if they’re all shown as sex hungry gun dealers...

The dvd has very slightly too much contrast and there some minor edge, too. There’s also more slight scratches that I expected. But as a whole, those are such small flaws this is a pretty stunning transfer. Japanese 70’s films have never looked this good on dvd before. Same extras as before, except that the commentary is by film critics Andy Klein and Wade Major. Both make complete fools of themselves. The original trailer does not feature any deleted footage.

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Unread postby slasher13 » 09 Jul 2007, 14:36

DVDTimes has reviewed, Blind Woman Curse, Love the coverart for it

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Unread postby HungFist » 09 Jul 2007, 18:45

Girl Boss Guerilla (Sukeban gerira) (1972)

Norifumi Suzuki’s third instalment in the Sukeban series isn’t quite what it seems. It’s a biker gang film but goes agains most genre traditions in both story and style. It’s also one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time. Once again we get to witness Suzuki’s grudge against the authorities as he spends the first 20 minutes making fun of almost every authority figure imaginable. Monks and nuns get their share, as do doctors, husbands and men in general. There’s a few short glipses of strong violence later in the film but mainly Girl Boss Guerilla is all about light weight entertainment and girls kicking ass. Most of the film takes place in Kyoto where many scenes shot on public areas with real people instead of fully staged scenes with studio actors. This works nicely and brings some freshess to the outdoor scenes.

While Reiko Ike (who’s plays a supporting role here) really got to shine in Criminal Woman, this is Miki Sugimoto’s moment of glamour. Well, maybe not glamour but she looks really good and even a little bit sweet in Girl Boss Guerilla. Miki also sings one of the songs on the soundtrack. While she not the greatest singer it’s always nice to have one of the main actresses singing instead of a professional singer. There’s another and much better song in the film when Ichiro’s (Michitaro Mizushima) old pal arrives and writes a song for the lovers. You could argue there’s a minor glitch in the scene where he performs the song as he’s using a guitar but all you can hear coming out from the speakers is piano tunes...

Suzuki often revisits the same themes in his movies and in Girl Boss Guerilla I spotted one of the more interesting ones. There’s s brief moment of Reiko walking on the streets of Kyoto that kinda reminded me of the numerous festival scenes in Suzuki’s hugely popular mid/late 70’s Truck Yaro series (although I’m not sure if anyone else is gonna see a connection here). In Truck Yaro Bunta Sugawara (and usually Kinya Aikawa) would visit one local festival around Japan in almost every movie. The scene in Girl Boss Guerilla is not a festival scene but has similiar feel and immediately brought Truck Yaro to my mind.

One thing I love about the movie is that it has the most awesome nude scenes. These scenes are cool as hell and often humoristic (especially some of the sex scenes) and Suzuki has managed to shoot them basically without any perverted voyeurism fell. Miki arriving the beach toppless is my second favourite nude scene of all time right behind Michael Caine in Get Carter. Suzuki’s always been good with these scenes and I think it’s because he himself would get easily bored and always felt the need to spice the scenes up and do things differently compared to other directors. But then again, it’s hardly surprising Suzuki excels in this area as too. There’s no denying he was one of the most gifted men working on japanese cinema in the late 60’s and 70’s. Although Girl Boss Guerilla does not rank among his most ambitious work it’s an extremely enjoyable film for those who don’t mind some very lowbrow comedy.

The dvd

There’s some edge enhancement at times which prevents the transfer from being perfect. It does not however prevent the transfer from being one of the best looking presentations I have ever seen for a 70’s movie. On the audio commentary we have asian cinema columnist Wyatt Doyle and the (former) Panik House president Matt Kennedy. I haven’t listened to the whole track but it seemed like a great improvement over the previous Panik House commentaries. Both men seem to know what they’re talking about and tell some interesting behing the scenes stories.

The original trailer comes with a few glimpses of interesting deleted footage + footage from some other film, possibly another instalment in the series. Toei often promoted their films with footage taken from other pictures that sometimes had no other connection than the leading star. Interestingly the sunset scene looks totally different in the trailer. In the film it’s all yellow and orange, but in the trailer there’s no sunset anywhere. Pure daylight colour scheme. And the thing is, both look 100% natural. I don’t know what to think of it so won’t. The rest of the extras consist of photo galleries and useless production notes by Chris D.

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Ema Ryoko, who never survives a fight without ripping her shirt :D
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I can’t believe it, Yoko Mihara has once again found her way into a pinky violence film
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Unread postby HungFist » 10 Jul 2007, 15:57

Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom (Kyofu joshikoko: boko rinchi kyoshitsu) (1973)

What do you get when you mix all girls’ high school and pinky violence? Lots of lesbian sex in the school bathroom that’s for sure. But since were’re not interested in such things, what else? Well, first of all, this is no ordinary high school but a school for girls that didn’t quite fit the normal schools. The young chicks the government couldn’t handle. The opening scene with the girls punishing the poor deliquent by draing her blood out should give you some taste of what’s to come.

Terrifying Girls' High School is the second Norifumi Suzuki film in the box set and comes with the same leading cast as Sukeban gerira; Miki Sugimoto as the lead, Ema Ryoko (who once again gets her shirt ripped in a fight against Miki) as the villain, and Reiko Ike, who’s given probably the coolest introduction scene of the decade, in a supporting role. Yoko Mihara also appears in small role. But unlike Girl Boss Guerilla, this film is much darker in tone and more violent. Some scenes are genuinely disturbing although there’s also lots of humour and a very cool soundtrack to lighten the tone a bit.

Suzuki’s usual mockery of the authorities goes so over the top that it’s hard to say if he’s really aiming at a political target or just having fun his own way. However, when the torture methods used by American soldiers in Vietnam find their way into the movie I don’t think there’s two ways about it. Suzuki himself has stated that he liked to insert (more or less) indirect political and social messages to his movies, as did many other japanese directors of the 70’s. In terms of exploitation content Lynch Law Classroom is clearly stronger than the other three films in the collection. It’s an excellent, anarchistic film although not my favorite of the four films. But it’s quaranteed to find its fans.

The transfer features edge enhancement and sometimes an occational notch in quality. But this is still better than what most other studios can come up with, so generally speaking the transfer is very good. Extras are the usual ones (and Chris D back for commentary). The original trailer features shots from what seem like another instalment in the Terrifying Girls' High School series (Lynch Law Classroom was the second film in the series).

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Unread postby HungFist » 10 Jul 2007, 16:10

The box set is nice (pink of course) and not too big. It opens like a book and carries 4 dvds, a cd and a 26 page booklet written by Chris D. The booklet is decent but hardly great. Chris D goes though the movies and the series they are a part of (spoiling the endings almost every film) and writes something about the genre’s history. If you’ve read his liner notes on the Panik House dvds then there isn’t much new in this booklet. It’s should still be useful for those not very familiar with the genre and not afraid of spoilers.

The audio cd is called Reiko Ike no miryoku and features 15 tracks of singing and, uhm, moaning by Reiko Ike, apparently recorded in 1971 (not in the mid 70’s like Panik House claims). While some of the content wasn’t exactly to my liking (thanks to the moaning) I found some of the later track pretty good. The opening track also gets better every time I hear it. The ideal way to experince this music would’ve been back in early 70’s alone in a small shabby hotel room in Tokyo in the middle of the night with the lights off. Or that’s at least the image that comes to my head when listening to the cd.

The inclution of the cd is great of course but there’s some issues. First of all, it was apparently not licensed, and secondly, it was sourced from a cassette tape. Track listing is also nowhere to be found, and the liner notes feature mistakes as mentioned before. Official japanese cd release titled ’Koukotsu no Sekai’ should feature the same content, and should be an improvement on all areas. The liner notes are even in english (as well as in japanese). Read more here: http://adg.invisionzone.com/index.php?s ... c=98&st=40

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In the second picture you can see the back side of the cd, weirdly placed inside a cardboard ’page’. The fourth dvd is under Girl Boss Guerilla dvd. There’s two separete disc holders (like you see in the first pick) but you can’t see the one underneath from this angle. Overall a stylish looking and convenient box set that doesn’t take too much space.

Here’s two stolen pictures of the japanese cd release ’Koukotsu no Sekai’

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Unread postby HungFist » 12 Jul 2007, 15:26

While Japanese girls often look younger than they are (at least to me), Reiko Ike I always thought looked older than she really was. She was no more than 19 years old in Girl Boss Guerilla (1972). According to jmdb her first film was Norifumi Suzuki’s pinku flick Onsen mimizu geisha (温泉みみず芸者 ) (1971). IMDB incorrectly claims it was made in 1972. Onsen mimizu geisha also stars Miki Sugimoto, and jmdb is listing it as her film debut as well. She’s the same age as Reiko Ike, minus a few months.The rumor is that Miki was street girl discovered by Toei’s talent scout. She left film industry at the end of the 70’s, married an old classmate and became a nursery school teacher (what a sweet story). Ike too disappeared from movie industry at the end of the 70’s. While most films she appeared in were pinky films she also had some supporting roles in ”high profile” films such as several Kinji Fukasaku yakuza films, and Teruo Ishii’s The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge.

Reiko Ike, 19, in Girl Boss Guerilla
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Poster for Onsen mimizu geisha
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No dvd release available, but Toei’s September 2007 release エロ将軍と二十一人の愛妾 (1972) stars both Miki and Reiko, and is directed by Norifumi Suzuki.

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Unread postby HungFist » 14 Jul 2007, 16:59

Fans of Miki and Reiko (and pinky violence in general) might be interested in Hotwax’s Miki Sugimoto vs. Reiko Ike (杉本美樹vs池玲子) cd, featuring music and song from their movies. Myself I don’t usually buy movie soundtracks, especially prior to seeing the films but since many of these will never see the light of day on dvd I thought what the hell. The package is very nice and there’s a collectible card (b/w pic of the front cover) included (limited to first pressing I think) so it’s gonna be a nice collectors item as least.

Popping in the cd it took me about three second to realize I had hit the gold with this purchace. Pure awesomeness, polar bear coolness from the north pole. The cd opens with Miki Sugimoto’s Zero Woman – Red Hancuffs opening theme, followed by Shunsuke Kikuchi’s (Karate Bullfighter, Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion) super funky "driving tunes" from the same movie. Other recognizable tracks include for example Reiko Ike’s Criminal Woman – Killing Melody theme, opening and closing themes from Female Yakuza Tale and two tracks from Sex & Fury, among others. Some of my other favourites include the spaghetti western esque track from Terrifying Girls’ High School - Animaru Dokyusei, and Ichiro Araki’s ジュテームはさよならの始まり from an unrecognized (by me) movie. As as a single weakness the cd includes maybe one Zero Woman theme variation too many, and it doesn’t cover quite as many movies as I’d like it to. But all things considered, this is a kick ass cd.

Track List
01.0のバラード -女の瓜あと-(唄:杉本美樹) *
02.0課の女 赤い手錠 M-18(音楽:菊池俊輔)
03.女番長 タイマン勝負 M-5(音楽:広瀬健次郎)
04.0のバラード -女の瓜あと-part.2(唄:杉本美樹) *
05. 温泉みみず芸者 M-3(音楽:鏑木創)
06. 温泉スッポン芸者(唄:杉本美樹) *
07. 恐怖女子高校 アニマル同級生BGM(音楽:鏑木創)
08. 女番長流れ者(唄:杉本美樹) *
09. ふうてんぐらしpart.1(唄:池玲子) **
10. 0課の女 赤い手錠 M-20(音楽:菊池俊輔)
11. 不良姐御伝 猪の鹿お蝶 M-2(音楽:荒木一郎)
12. ふうてんぐらしpart.2(唄:池玲子) **
13. 温泉スッポン芸者 M-24(音楽:荒木一郎)
14. 温泉スッポン芸者 テーマ(音楽:荒木一郎)
15. やさぐれ姐御伝 総括リンチBGM(音楽:鏑木創)
16. お蝶のブルース(唄:池玲子) **
17. 徳川セックス禁止令 色情大名 C-1(音楽:荒木一郎)
18. ジュテームはさよならの始まり(inst)(音楽:荒木一郎)
19. 0課の女 赤い手錠 M-9(音楽:菊池俊輔)
20. 0(レイ)のバラード -女の瓜あと-(カラオケ)
21. 0(レイ)のバラード -女の瓜あと-part.2(カラオケ)
22. ふうてんぐらし(カラオケ)
23. ふうてんぐらしpart.2(カラオケ)

For quick reference (aka you can’t read japanese) I’ve marked songs by Miki (*) and Reiko (**) with stars. For more information see Hotwax’s official site: http://www.ultra-vybe.co.jp/hotwax/sugimotovsike/

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The movie in the poster is the first Terrifying Girls’ High School movie - (Onna) Boryuku kyoshitsu (恐怖女子高校 女暴力教室) (1972).

For more information about Hotwax cds, dvds and magazines see the asiandvdguide Hotwax thread. Muldoon knows so much more about this matter than I do that I won’t even bother pretending I know what I’m talking about. So, go here: http://adg.invisionzone.com/index.php?s ... &hl=hotwax
Last edited by HungFist on 28 May 2008, 18:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby Classique » 14 Aug 2007, 21:34

HungFist wrote:Classique, I hope I didn't disencourage you to write reviews. I could really use some help with movie introductions and reviews, in case you any have interest for it. I'll see if I can get Tokugawa onna keizu, Love & Crime and Ooku jyuhakkei reviews done at some point but I probably won't have much time for anything else.

and btw, do you think we should start some sort of "japanese cult cinema thread" or something. For films that don't fit exploitation and chiba threads? (aka Toei dvd releases kick ass :D )


No actually I started playing a new video game and it's eating ALL my time.

The thing that actually kinda discouraged me was the fact that some of the stuff I listed like Gincho Watadori 1&2 and some of Meiko's other stuff has not been released on dvd and only vhs and I didn't know if that would be alright to put info about the films here since this is a dvd forum. :D

I too had thought about creating a thread that was one giant Toei love fest but maybe we should just turn this one in to it?! :twisted:

On other notes.

Rica - Not the greatest of it's kind but it is a blast.Even without any time i've managed to watch it twice now and I can't wait for the sequels.
The dvd, eh i'm not an expert but I saw one moment were an area of Rica's shirt looks "blotchy" in the beginning.Otherwise it's suffice to me.


And lastly a certain bootlegger I will not mention but i'm sure you know who i'm talking about has put the first Stray Cat Rock film in his 'upcoming titles' section which is were he puts everything that's essentially done sub wise and just has to be worked out for the rest of the stuff.
So the good that will come out of this is that we will be getting sub scripts to match up with the r2j's since he's going to eventually do the others as well!!
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Unread postby HungFist » 19 Aug 2007, 10:56

Rica (Konketsuji Rika) (1972)

Toho’s take on the Toei dominated bad girl genre doesn’t open so good. There’s certain off putting elements (related to pregnancy) and the shiny visuals of their competitor are nowhere to be found. I was already missing Toei’s iconic pinky violence queens. But I changed my mind real fast. 15 minutes in and I had realized Rica is a fucking fusion of great genre elements. It may not have the glossy look but but it’s got plenty of kick and ass. It’s mean, violent, fun and sounds good. Just like our lovely heroine, Rica.

Rika Aoki is something different from the usual genre stars. Her character is young and so is she. Toei stars like Reiko Ike and Miki Sugimoto were barely legal when they entered the business but they both looked and acted older. They were also more distant, more movie star kind of personalities. Rika on the other hand feels more like a real life girl. She displays more energy, less gloss and some great teen angst. You could argue she’s got lesser looks than her Toei sisters but in fact that made me like her even more. She’s far more approachable and she’s got more real eroticism that Miki and Reiko put together. Double the effect if you got a thing for school girls.

And lets not forget the final knock down; she sings in the movie. And she sings well, better than most genre stars. Her singing is included as a minor sub-plot (that won’t develop anywhere) which is good example of the movie’s structure. Appart from the firm backstory (rare in the genre) the plot is pretty much non-existent but the storyline makes great use of different elements from several sub-genres, mostly girl gang and high school films. You probably won’t notice the lack of actual plot until during the second half, which is a bit less wild than the first. The ending however is so damn cool that it’s easy to forgive. Besides, after the satisfying finale we’re treated with one of the coolest ending credits sequences I of the 70’s.

The R1 dvd release by Media Blasters’ sister company Exploitation Digital isn’t too bad. There’s a problem with pixelization in some scenes, and the sharp and grainy presentation doesn’t make it any less noticable. It bothered be a bit in the beginning, so I turned sharpness down by a bit which gave the image a more solid look. The transfer is also interlaced. Other than those problems this is very good job with minimal edge enhancement and excellent colours. No problems with sharpness or contrast levels either. Overall very acceptable presentation on smaller screens but I don’t know if this is gonna fare well on bigger screens. Extras feature a nice photo gallery, original trailers for the Rica series plus bonus trailers. The subtitle colour is yellow.

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Unread postby HungFist » 22 Aug 2007, 12:28

Hana to hebi (Flower and Snake) (1974)

Media Blasters does a heroic job by bringing some Nikkatsu to US markets. Their choise of title is not a very surprising one; Masaru Konuma’s original 1974 Hana to hebi. The dvd case states; ”based on the novel by Oniroku Dan, this beautifully lensed film helped usher in the S&M Roman Porno genre in Japan and many numerous sequels and remakes. Flower & Snake '74 (aka Hana to Hebi) was directed by Masaru Konuma (Wife to be Sacrificed) and boasts an ultra-groovy score by Riichiro Manabe (Godzilla vs. Megalon, Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster).”

Sadly there’s one problem. I found the movie to be total garbage. Mixing awkward and repulsive this ”S&M masterpiece” isn't quite the ”beautifully lensed film” that some might have expected. A fair amount of the 74 minute running time is put into torturing Naomi Tani in various ways, including forcing her to defecate. Konuma shows little visual ambition, and it’s hard to find any impressive aspects from the storyline. The soundtrack is forgettable as well.

The interlaced transfer is a bit colourless, but this is how many Nikkatsu films look on dvd. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a R2J port. The subtitle colour is yellow. Extras feature original trailer, bonus trailers and a not-so-great photo gallery. The cover art differs from the one I’ve seen at most web sites.

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Original Japanese Theatrical Poster -- Amazon.com Media Blasters Cover - Actual Media Blasters Cover Art
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Last edited by HungFist on 30 Apr 2009, 12:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 22 Aug 2007, 22:45

Last edited by HungFist on 29 Aug 2007, 16:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby Classique » 28 Aug 2007, 20:16

Sad to hear the disappointment for Snake Women's Curse as I was actually looking forward to that one more.

Still gonna pick it up eventually along with Malformed.


Noticed Discotek is eluding to a Teruo Ishii samurai pinky violence movie coming on the horizon.A guy at kfcc made a news post that it's may be Joys of Torture but for some reason i'm thinking it's Bohachi.
I haven't seen Joys of Torture but other then the setting/era it didn't look like something you'd call a 'samurai' movie.
Maybe you can fill me in on that one more Hung.


If that Norifumi Suzuki movie their talking about is Beatiful Girl Hunter I can't say i'm gonna be too interested.
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