Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 20 Sep 2017, 06:58

Took 1 month DMM subscription again. Roman Porno Treasure Hunt - Part 1.

Rope Hell (団鬼六「やくざ天使」より 縄地獄) (Japan, 1978) [VoD] - 2/5
Vengeful gangster joins the competing gang after being forced to cut off his finger for trying to rape yakuza sister Naomi Tani. A slightly more watchable SM tale than usual, thanks to it being a yakuza story (based on Dan Oniroku's novel Yakuza Angel). It's a little short on SM actually, and out of the two victims Tani's turn doesn't come until the film's final third. The best thing about the film is villain actor Hitoshi Takagi's enjoyably sleazy performance as a gang boss. He had an odd career that went from Nikkatsu's gangster films via Toho (e.g. Lady Snowblood) to Roman Porno and eventually My Neighbor Totoro. Side note: this is yet another film the Weissers gave an "in depth" analysis without actually having seen the movie - and got it all wrong. Their argument about the film's morale was based on a plot twist very typical to Dan films, but actually not found in this movie.

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Skin of Roses (団鬼六 薔薇の肉体) (Japan, 1978) [VoD] - 2/5
Perhaps more notable than the film itself, is the fact that SM queen Naomi Tani got nominated for Best Actress at the Japanese Academy Awards for this film. It is a little puzzling what exactly got Tani nominated, though. One can only assume the jury had a soft spot for SM sleaze, and this, being perhaps the most restrained of all Oniroku Dan films, seemed like a safe pick. Anyway, the film is a tale of two young lovers and an older "sister" who do live sex shows with two sided mirror to pay off a debt, then later proceed to blackmailing with sensitive photos, which finally lands Tani the long overdue rope punishment as the victim was yakuza affiliated. Curiously enough, all the rope action is limited to the last 10 minutes of the film; possibly due to some sort of artistic ambition. Highlights include Tani as a dominatrix (a fun reversing of roles) and a lesbian scene between Tani and Ako, something I normally wouldn't mention but Ako happens to be one of my favourite actresses. It's a shame she doesn't have too much to do in the film despite her large role. Story wise the film is passable and probably had a few more pages in its scrip than usual.

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Female Teacher in Rope Hell (団鬼六 女教師縄地獄) (Japan, 1981) - 1.5/5
Nikkatsu's 2nd generation SM queen Junko Mabuki stars as a female teacher who is raped, locked in a dungeon and sexually tortured for the rest of the film. I don't often describe movies as misogynist (I feel the term, at least in its most negative sense, is often unwarranted when discussing exploitation films which provide visual entertainment for their selected audience demographics, usually without any deeper ideological "hate" towards any sex). However, this film's exceptionally iffy display of endless sexual torture of a single woman, almost entirely void of psychological or even stylistics merits, makes one wonder if the term was indeed in place here. The film's only saving graces are a handful of over-the-top moments, including a ridiculously stereotypical homeless rapist character, and a strange appreciation for the fact that sleaze like this once passed for "mainstream" theatrical entertainment.

Crimson Night Dream (紅夜夢) (Japan, 1983) [VoD] - 2.5/5
This film is director Shogoro Nishimura's own A Woman Called Abe Sada. The subject however is not Abe but Oden Takahashi, the last woman who was executed by beheading in Japan. Her tale has been adapted into numerous films by Shintoho and Toei, including Teruo Ishii's ero-guro episode in Love and Crime (1969) and Yuji Makiguchi's feature length film Decapiation of an Evil Woman (1977). This Nikkatsu version isn't as wild, but it really isn't too bad a film. Acting and directing are subdued, making things a bit unexciting at times but allowing the film to slowly build up for a rather powerful drama climax.

Tattoo (刺青 IREZUMI) (Japan, 1984) [VoD] - 1/5
Tiresome late Chusei Sone film is mainly "remarkable" for being the Roman Porno debut of 70s pop idol Sakiko Ito, whose film career started and ended with this movie. She plays a pop star abducted and tattooed by the yakuza. Relationship problems ensue. Sone's direction is uninspired, terribly pedestrian and merely seeks to transfer the script to celluloid. Speaking of the script, the film was based on the Jun'ichirô Tanizaki novel that Yasuzo Masumura filmed in 1966. The Roman Porno version was written by Machiko Nasu, Toei director Hiroyuki Nasu's wife. She originally entered Nikkatsu via a screenwriting competition with the excellent Girl's Pleasure: Man Hunting (1977). All that talent considered, Tattoo is a terribly disappointing film.

Rope Torture (団鬼六 縄責め) (Japan, 1984) [VoD] - 3/5
Here's something a bit unusual with Toei director Ikuo Sekimoto (Girl Boss: Diamond Showdown, 1974) gravitating to Nikkatsu for work. It was usually the other way around with successful directors climbing the studio ladder to Toei. He made two Oniroku Dan adaptation for Nikkatsu, both starring Miki Takakura whose Roman Porno career only lasted for five films until she quit. She was one of the several successors to Naomi Tani, none of whom were as successful as Tani. Despite some unfortunate genre trappings, this film is better than your usual Oniroku Dan junk thanks to brisk pacing, beautiful score, a decent visual touch, and the big breasted Takakura who is not only easy on the eye but also had a rather melancholic presence. The most delighting part, however, is the "feminist" twist at the end. It would be interesting to know if that ending originated from Dan's novel or if it was conceived by the filmmakers. Screenwriter Masahiro Shimura was a mainstream Toei veteran who wrote several yakuza and pinky violence films, and directed the last two Terrifying Girls' High School movies.

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Double Rope Torture (団鬼六 縄責め) (Japan, 1985) - 1.5/5
This was a sort of follow-up to Ikuo Sekimoto's earlier SM film Rope Torture (1984), also starring Miki Takakura. Curiously enough, it's yet another film about two sisters, a theme Sekimoto had tackled multiple times in his Toei films (The Story of a Nymphomaniac, Tenshi no yokubo). Takakura stars as the older sister, a kimono dressed Ginza woman sold to a rich scumbag for some sexual torture. Her little sister shows up one day and seems to be heading towards the same path, to which Takakura obviously has objections. Sekimoto was a better filmmaker than many of Nikkatsu's SM directors, and here he at least refrains from the more disgusting content that one often encounters in the genre. Unfortunately the storyline is uninspired and the film lacks style and memorable moments. It's not terrible, just terribly forgettable.

Sukeban Flesh Slave (スケバン肉奴隷) (Japan, 1987) [VoD] - 2.5/5
Relatively speaking, this is a surprisingly "accomplished" ex-delinquent girl drama for a project that 9 times out of 10 would've been meritless junk. It's really a sex flick about a former sukeban girl trying to hide her past and lead straight life as an OL, and her ex-boyfriend who likewise left biker life behind to run a small bar. Lots of screwing takes place, and most of the Sukeban content is limited to brief flashbacks. But there's no denying the film actually manages to flesh out its characters with bits if solid drama, humanity, and stylish images. Director Yoshihiro Kawasaki seemed to possess this kind of ability, often bringing just a little bit of extra life and energy to films that could have been abysmal. It also helped that his eye for erotica was a notch above his colleagues, making the compulsory sex scenes more watchable than usual.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 24 Sep 2017, 11:37

Roman Porno Treasure Hunt - Part 2.

Carousel Maki: Yoru wa watashi o nurasu (カルーセル麻紀 夜は私を濡らす) (Japan, 1974) [VoD] - 2/5
This is one of the oddest entries in the Roman Porno series for it stars Maki Carousel, a famous transsexual actress. He first got himself castrated at the age of 19, then later travelled to Morocco for a sex change operation that nearly killed him, after which she spent some time working in bars in Paris, which is something she also did in Japan before finding a career in movies. That she would be cast as the lead of a relatively high budgeted mainstream erotic film in the year 1974 in Japan is a bit surprising indeed. In any case, curiosity value aside this Shogoro Nishimura film is nothing special; just another standard tale of a singer/hostess and her troubled (thanks to a tattoo she has on her leg) love life. It is a bit curious though that there is an apparent disparity between the film's inner reality and the filmmakers' approach to filming it. The storyline treats Carousel's character as just an ordinary woman, but the camera hardly shies away from showing the actress's unusually masculine features, which can only be deemed intentional.

Maki
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Blazing Bondage Lady (団鬼六 縄炎夫人) (1980) [VoD] - 1.5/5
Revenge story and an atmospheric score make this Oniroku Dan film almost watchable. It's about a couple who accidentally run over a yakuza bondage master's wife, and pay the price when the tough guy abducts his wife and her sister. Unfortunately character depth is nil and Katsuhiko Fujii's directing is terribly TV film like, only with excessive sex and SM thrown in. Still, it could've been worse.

Love Beast: Hunt (愛獣 猟る!) (Japan, 1983) [VoD] - 2/5
The next most unusual thing in the Roman Porno catalogue after a film starring a transsexual actress (Carousel Maki: Yoru wa watashi o nurasu, 1974) was this tale of Japanese girls hitting on black US navy soldiers around the Yokosuka base. The tagline could as well have been "The most black men you'll ever see in a Japanese movie!" Consequently nearly all of the film's male characters are American and a large portion of the film's (frequently terrible) dialogue is spoken in English. Director Yasuaki Uegaki was known for tackling trendy topics (e.g. his Pink Curtain trilogy) and this film certainly fits the bill. He was also an over-rated filmmaker who sometimes used trendy topics to hide mediocre storylines and unremarkable filmmaking. This movie fits that bill as well. It's a curiosity with some stylish scenes, but ultimately a bit pedestrian.

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Zoom Up: Graduation Photos (ズームアップ 卒業写真) (Japan, 1983) [VoD] - 3/5
This one, at first, comes a bit out of left field. It's the zillionth entry in the Zoom Up / Zoom In series, which started out as violent pinks but then turned into standard smut, often with photography theme. This one begins with a girl auditioning as a photo model and learning that the job involves posing nude. From there on the film starts developing unexpected quality with bits humanity mixed with biting black humour, tender characterization, and of course sheer voyeurism. It even turns critical on its very own existence, which I cannot remember witnessing in any other Roman Porno, in a wonderful scene where a school girl raped by boys she accidentally caught touching themselves while reading a porn magazine, walks into the studio and starts yelling what the hell are they doing publishing smut like that? Unfortunately the film then begins to devolve to cruder paths, undoing some of its earlier accomplishments. Nevertheless, it remains an oddly pleasing piece of 80s Japan.

Beauty Rope Cosmetology (団鬼六 美女縄化粧) (Japan, 1983) [VoD] - 1.5/5
Standard SM junk with one point of interest; the professional abductor who kidnaps wealthy daughter Miki Takakura and begins to discipline her for a new buyer is played by Miike/Kitano regular Ren Osugi. Even at the age of 32 he looked old, and with a moustache made a suitably sleazy villain. The rest of the film is unremarkable and a bit boring unless you're a major SM fan, though it does feature the pretty Takakura and due to its somewhat restrained nature it's not as disgusting as most of director Katsuhiko Fujii's films.

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Ren Osugi (right)
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Osugi
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+ 1 spoilerific review

Beautiful Sisters: Seduced (美姉妹 犯す) (Japan, 1983) [VoD] - 1/5
Miserable loser of a man moves in with a family that comes with two beautiful sisters. He spends most of the movie raping the older one, then later the younger one too, eventually both at the same time, and then they fall in love with him. Meanwhile his friend rapes his nasty female boss. She falls in love with him also. Happy end! Dear God. Sorry for spoilers.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 24 Sep 2017, 14:07

Roman Porno Treasure Hunt - Part 3.

Female Teacher: In Front of the Students (女教師 生徒の眼の前で) (Japan, 1982) [VoD] - 2/5
A female teacher is raped in school by a masked assailant. She decides to find out who was it. More sex and rapes ensue in a relatively standard narrative that gains some psychological interest towards the end. I must say I laughed a bit in the scene where a girl is having sex with a guy and eating banana at the same time. Other noteworthy points include a male teacher's cool moustache and a very warm looking sweater worn by a rapist. There was another film in the series later called Twice Raped. This one could've been called Raped Six Times.

Beauty in Rope Hell (団鬼六 美女縄地獄) (Japan, 1983) [VoD] - 3/5
This film epitomes the romantic approach to abducting beautiful women, as seen in Japanese films from time to time. Capture and discipline, but do it gently. Right. The film stars Miki Takakura as a rural beauty abducted by a wartime mailman who turns out to be a bit of a romantic dreamer who wishes to live happily ever after with her. Although an SM film, it more closely resembles the 90s and 2000s Perfect Education films which also had a dubious romantic undertones. They are all boyish fantasies, notably softer than the sleaze fests that usually resulted from Oniroku Dan stories, and as such, this film has proven less popular with certain audiences. As a film, however, it is better written, filmed and acted than most, and features the 23 year old Takakura at her most beautiful (I guess I must admit I've been having a slight crush on her). This and Ikuo Sekimoto's Rope Torture (1984) are her best films. This film's biggest flaw is a bunch of unnecessarily long SM scenes that take place in a brothel and feature neither one of the main characters.

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Miki
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Bed-In (ベッド・イン) (Japan, 1986) [VoD] - 3/5
This is one of Masaru Konuma's underrated small films, a tender relationship drama about a Tokyo woman in love with a pretty nice guy who happens to have a wife and kid. I was quite reserved at first, figuring this would be another dull 80s human drama, and wondering why should I care, but little by little the characters and the actors won me over. There are also some small funny moments, such as the scene where the guy is standing in traffic lights with his family and suddenly notices his girlfriend, who was there by chance, standing next to him with a jealous look on her face, and even a romantic bit that skip over the sex scene. Speaking of which, lead Miki Yanagi is the only woman getting naked in the film; there is no "supporting character sex" at all in the film that is very much a one woman character study. I did not realize until the ending credits that the film was scripted by screenwriter extraordinaire Haruhiko Arai (Rape Ceremony, Rolling on the Road, Distant Thunder, Vibrator, Kabukicho Love Hotel). That explains something.

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Sex Dynamite: Madonna no shizuku (SEXダイナマイト マドンナのしずく) (Japan, 1988) [VoD] - 2/5
This was one of the last Roman Porno films as adult videos were killing the franchise. It is then perhaps not surprising that the borders had already blurred to some extent. Here we have a pink film director helming a second party production for Nikkatsu distribution, with popular baby faced big boob AV actress Eri Kikuchi as the lead. Co-star Yui Maisaka was an AV performer as well. Indeed, although Roman Porno was a soft-core series (except for some Roman-X releases in the mid 80s that may or may not have been hard core), the sex scenes in this film don't really differ from (censored) hard core. The film is basically a theatrical, story driven AV shot on 35mm. The good news is, Eri Kikuchi is cute as a button, and director Kin Ishikawa has some talent as a filmmaker as the movie is often funny, even adorable at times. It is just too bad the film ultimately doesn't do much with its characters other than engage them in sex scenes long enough to make even Roman Porno fans blush. One feels there was potential for more. The male lead, btw, is played by the highly successful modern pink director Kazuhiro Sano, and his colleague Yutaka Ikejima makes a brief appearance as well.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 25 Sep 2017, 12:18

Roman Porno Treasure Hunt - Part 4 (last).

Blue Lagoon: A Summer Experience (ひと夏の体験 青い珊瑚礁) (Japan, 1981) [VoD] - 1.5/5
Director Toshiharu Ikeda famously said he was forced to direct this film as a penalty for Sex Hunter (1980), which the producers found too dark. He didn't object too much as he didn't mind a "free Okinawa vacation" as he described the filming experience. Anyway, the film is about a girl (Mayumi Terashima) who goes to Okinawa to lose her virginity and meets a couple of people who like sex. Not much interesting happens - even Ikeda called the script "stupid". Oddly enough, it was written by Haruhiko Arai. Perhaps he was being punished for something as well? In any case, the film is at least technically accomplished, with beautiful Okinawa landscapes expertly captured on film. I suppose this served as better travel advertisement than Toei's Okinawa Yakuza War.

Orgasm Mariko (オーガズム・真理子) (Japan, 1985) [VoD] - 2/5
This bloody revenge film has one of the most ridiculous premises in recent memory, courtesy of writer Chiho Katsura (Assault! Jack the Ripper, House, Zoom Up: Rate Site). A girl is proposed by her boyfriend by the highway while they're having sex, and seconds later he's already is dead thanks to a truck driver who threw a glass bottle out of the window as he passed. She turns into a vengeful Charles Bronson on her period (no kidding, there's menstruation blood in every sex scene) who seduces truckers and other sleazy men and stabs them to death during sex. Also, there an odd sex scene where she and her partner keep squeezing grapes throughout the sessions. It is a shame that ultimately the film isn't better despite pairing Katsura with the visually talented Fumihiko Kato. There are enough odd and bloody moments, plus potential for all kinds of interpretations about menstruation and female psyche, to keep you moderately entertained, but the film isn't especially well made or stylish. Director Kato is best remembered for two unusual SM films, the psychological neo-noir Girl and the Wooden Horse Torture (1982) and the occult horror influenced Exotic Mask in Hell (1988), both of which are better films than this. Still, Mariko is obviously of some interest to genre buffs.

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Subway Serial Rape: Office Lady Hunting (地下鉄連続レイプ OL狩り) (Japan, 1986) [VoD] - 1/5
The original Subway Serial Rape (1985) was a bit of an odd for an 80s Roman Porno because it was a hybrid between pink and action film. Director Shuji Kataoka seemed to have been influenced by Charles Bronson flicks. This sequel throws in even more gangster stuff but somehow completely misses the target. The film plays out like Z-grade gangster film with no style or no punch to speak of, and even the score is lame as mineral water (unlike the in the 1st film). The only fun bit is when a girl takes a shower with sunglasses on. The rest of the film is a bore. The title refers to a gangster's girlfriend who, of course, meets the promised fate. The series later continued with an equally dull third film before climaxing with the ballsy, media critical 4th film that was surprisingly the best in the series.

Bu-ra-i no onna (BU・RA・Iの女) (Japan, 1988) [VoD] - 4/5
There's that extremely rewarding feeling when, after countless by-the-numbers Roman Pornos, you sit down for one more and suddenly you're witnessing a young talent directing with a crazy inspiration, completely ignorant to low expectations, transcending the whole genre. Nowhere is this more evident than in the scene where two people who know they have no future meet in a hotel room, in what is the best love scene in the history of Roman Porno, and he is so hesitant that they end up spending most of the time just looking at each other. It's magical. The storyline is about a young yakuza chinpira (Hitoshi Ozawa) sent to his native Okinawa to carry out a hit ordered by his boss (Hideo Murota). Not up to killing another man, he ends up spending desperate hours lying alone in his hotel room and listening to live music in a bar. He also hooks up with two old pals who are considering getting married (though he also always had feelings for her). Meanwhile his superiors are starting to get impatient about the assassination. Though namely a Roman Porno production, it would be wrong to call this anything but an extraordinary gangster drama. Hitoshi Ozawa (you may not know the name, but you know the face; he's the most recognizable DTV actor after Takeuchi and Aikawa) wasn't necessarily the greatest actor but here he gives his everything to portray an interesting character.

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Hideo Murota scolding Ozawa
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Hitoshi Ozawa
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Local, completely spycho superiors
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This band provides the film's soundtrack which is quite cool despite dumb lyrics.
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I've watched the first 4 minutes (that's before they get to sex) of this scene half dozen times already. Magical scene.
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Ozawa trying to keep his cool
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Alright, treasure discovered, hunt completed. And subscription ran out too. I managed to watch 31 films in 31 days. The rest I can't be bothered to review.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby Guro Taku » 08 Oct 2017, 18:18

January 6th covers:

Female Teacher: In Front of the Students 女教師 生徒の眼の前で (dir. Yasurou Uegaki, 1982)

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Crazy/Crazed Fruit 狂った果実 (dir. Kichitaro Negishi, 1981)

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Slave Contract 奴隷契約書 (dir. Masaru Konuma, 1982)

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Dark Room 暗室 (dir. Kiriro Urayama, 1983)

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Uniform Girls: The Fruit Is Ripe 制服体験トリオ わたし熟れごろ (dir. Shogoro Nishimura, 1981)

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Hōru in rabu: kusamura no yokujō ホールインラブ 草むらの欲情 (dir. Isao Hayashi, 1979)

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Waisetsuna Onna: Kuroi Hada ni Naku ワイセツな女 黒い肌に泣く (dir. Seiji Izumi, 1985)

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Sex Rider: Wet Highway セックス・ライダー 濡れたハイウェイ (dir. Koretsugu Kurahara, 1971)

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Lady Kamakura: Cherry Boy Club 鎌倉夫人 童貞倶楽部 (dir. Isao Hayashi, 1975)

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 18 Nov 2017, 15:25

Guro Taku wrote:January 6th covers:
Slave Contract 奴隷契約書 (dir. Masaru Konuma, 1982)

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Nikkatsu announced a week ago that this release has been cancelled for "various reasons" (none of which are explained).
- http://www.nikkatsu-romanporno.com/topics/2017/11/hpxn33.php

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby Guro Taku » 18 Nov 2017, 17:44

Another case of an actress deeply regretting her decision to appear in roman porno? That'd be my first guess. Anyway, let's be thankful it's a mediocre flick that got cancelled and not one we were really looking forward to getting a BD.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 19 Nov 2017, 14:40

Guro Taku wrote:Anyway, let's be thankful it's a mediocre flick that got cancelled and not one we were really looking forward to getting a BD.


Makes me all the more grateful that we got Red Violation (even if the transfer left something to be desired). I didn't dare the celebrate until the day it was out as I feared some music copyright issues would surface...

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 02 Dec 2017, 12:22

I had a dream a few nights ago. It was 1983 and I was at the Nikkatsu studios, possibly as an actor or advisor. They were filming a Finland themed Roman Porno. Jun Miho arrived the set, looking sick. She had caught cold. I told her that she should go home to rest. I said I'd tell Nikkatsu I'll be available for a few more weeks so there's no hurry and they should give her a few days off before we start filming.

Pretty cool! :lol:

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