Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, etc.
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Unread postby HungFist » 24 Feb 2008, 22:24

Secret Chronicle: Prostitute Market (Maruhi: joro ichiba) (1972)

Nikkatsu talent Chusei Sone’s happy go lucky pink comedy is about as far from the studio’s later ultra shockers as possible. The rather non-existent storyline kicks off when a mentally challenged girl is sold to a brothel. The problem is that she doesn’t quite understand the situation, let alone know what a prostitute is supposed to do. The results are nothing short of hilarious. The three blind idiots scene alone makes the film worth a watch. The comedy aspect also more or less eliminates the problems usually caused by the hight amount of sex in these films. If there is a flaw in the film, it’s that it ultimately doesn’t offer much other than laughs in a single house setting. The ending is also a bit less exhilarating than the rest of the movie. The film later received two sequels, Torture Hell and She Beast Market, both directed by Noboru Tanaka.

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Unread postby HungFist » 24 Feb 2008, 22:30

Noble Lady: Bound Vase (Kifujin shibari tsubo) (1977)

I’m starting to believe I’ll never come across a Naomi Tani classic that I would enjoy. In Noble Lady she plays the same character as some many times before and after, a housewife with too much shame. Time for the husband to begin the usual punishment procedure. Despite being set in a beautiful rural mountain area the filmmakers have opted to use indoor setting for most of the film. Hated almost every sceond. Smut legend Masaru Konuna directs.

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Unread postby HungFist » 24 Feb 2008, 22:32

Beautiful Teacher in Torture Hell (Bikyoshi jigokuzeme) (1985)

As far as ’straightening up office ladies and housewives’ genre goes I have hated everything I’ve seen. Until now. Beautiful Teacher in Torture Hell has a promising start with an interesting main character (female teacher and a kendo expert) and even some effective horror movie esque moments. Later the movie falls into the expected and somewhat boring punishment/torture cycle but as a whole it’s still one of the better efforts in the (sub) genre. The original use of music and a burning hot high school girl as a supporting character are some of the film’s biggest strengths. The film is not as disturbing as some of Nikkatsu's other s&m pieces, although this isn't exactly light weight entertainment either. Genre enthusiasts ought to take a look.

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Unread postby HungFist » 24 Feb 2008, 22:37

Sex Hunter (1980)

Nikkatsu’s film titles have never been a good indicator of content, and it’s not the case here either. Sex is spot on, but who the hunter is remains a mystery to me. The film opens with a ballet sequence that gives little clue of what’s to come. After the first 15 minutes (which is nearly one fourth of the total running time) Sex Hunter reveals it’s true form; it’s another s&m schooling film. However, this time the lady that must be converted into a shameless man eater is not a noble house wife but a young and innocent ballet dancer (Ayako Ohta). A good move, if you ask me.

Director Toshiharu Ikeda, who was also responsible for the Angel Guts instalment Red Porno, does his best to create a balance between the numbening sex overload and real cinematic storytelling. The camerawork manages to keep many scenes alive, and the weird jump cuts make audience wonder if they’re intentional or not. Using classical music to create contrast between audio and images is not the most original trick but does the job every now and then. The shocking, and by far greatest, Coca Cola product placement scene of all time made me question not only the film-makers’s sanity but also their understanding for gravity and human biology. I’m no expert on either, though, and will leave the judgement to scientist and gynacologists.

Despite Ikeda’s efforts the studio was not compeletely happy with the outcome. They blamed him for forgetting to insert the romance part in the film. The genre is called roman – as in romantic – porno after all. The accusation feels a bit weird considering Nikkatsu had just revived their less than tender (ultra) violent pinku sub-genre, and Sex Hunter in fact does have a minor love story hidden in there somewhere. And I’m not referring to the male lead’s love for s&m either. Nobuyuki Inoue’s little brother character, trapped in wheelchair and isolated from the surrounding world thanks to her dominating sister, is a genuinely likable character. The scenes between him and his long lost love have both emotional and psychological impact. Thin, perhaps, but effective.

The best of these scenes also differs from the rest of the movie in terms of setting. The three room mansion, where most of the film takes place, is typical Nikkatsu, but occasional outdoor visits allow the film to breathe a bit. The mansion’s stylish surroundings are, as weird as it may sound, slightly redolent of medieval European landscapes. But, as all good things in Sex Hunter, this strength also is under-used in the long run. Little is however better than none, and when you calculate all the numerous positives the film has, Sex Hunter ultimately lands on the posive side.

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Unread postby HungFist » 17 Mar 2008, 10:18

Painful Bliss! Final Twist (Monzetsu: Donden Gaeshi) (1977)

Tatsumi Kumashiro has been known as ”Nikkatsu’s most consistently successful director”, but nothing could’ve prepared me for this manical pink yakuza flick which feels like a combination of Miike, Almodovar and Tanaka. If you thought the genre couldn’t surprise you, think again, every 5 minutes. Still, beneath all the madness there’s a real screenplay that even places the sex scenes somewhat ”logically”. Perhaps most importantly, Kumashiro’s skill with editing and music is exhilarating. He uses pops and ballads, even wedding and funeral music throughout the film and merges them with images flawlessly. Artistic skill; a lot, entertainment value; even more, how much drugs; I don’t know.

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Unread postby HungFist » 17 Mar 2008, 10:32

Geneon’s artwork sucks most of the time, but occasionally they manage to create something that pleases the eye. Below are some examples.

1. Watcher in the Attic. Beautiful cover art that is also in line with the film’s style. Directed by Noboru Tanaka
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2. Shinjuku Midaregai: Ikumade Matte, by Chusei Sone. I haven’t seen the movie, but the cover art alone has made me interested.
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3. Yasuhare Hasebe’s notorious Rape! 13th Hour. This one should catch your attention. And if not, read the IMDB synopsis: ”A serial rapist takes on a young protégé to his craft as he is pursued by a homosexual gang seeking vengeance for an attack on their leader.”
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4. Secret Chronicle: She Beast Market. A very good and artistic film by Noboru Tanaka, with intoxicating audio and visuals. Funnily, the cover art reminds me of Sofia Coppola’s excellent Marie Antoinette
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5. Retreat Through the Wet Wasteland. Review coming in a moment.
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Unread postby HungFist » 17 Mar 2008, 11:18

did a bit of content editing after re-thinking the logical order, see "new" post two posts back. Sorry for the confusion

In 1988, when Nikkatsu’s roman porno line came to its end, they created a ”documentary film celebrating their 17 years of pink”. The film is called That's Roman Porno: Smile Of Goddesses (ザッツ・ロマンポルノ 女神たちの微笑み). It features clips from 78 Nikkatsu films. It was first released on dvd in 1999, and re-released in 2006.

However, all I've said above is ”I think”. Wikipedia claims it features clips from over 100 films. Yeasia says 78 (for both editions). Neowing thinks 76 (new edition). Some people call it trailer compilation. Weisser says ”clips that are often distractingly short”. And while most sources think it runs 95 minutes, some say over 100 min. And of course the new and the old dvd have different cover arts. Go figure...

Below is the cover art for the old dvd (the new one is totally different, but I can't find a very good pic of it)

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Unread postby HungFist » 17 Mar 2008, 11:20

Retreat Through the Wet Wasteland (Nureta Koya O Hashire) (1973)

Retreat Through the Wet Wasteland was a problematic production from the beginning. In 1973 Nikkatsu had already taken a full dive into the ’pink only’ strategy, however roman porno was not what director Yukihiro Sawada had on mind. He and screenwriter Kazuhiko Hasegawa (The Man Who Stole the Sun) had crafted an uncompromising tale of police corruption with little emphasis on the typical pink film elements.

Reportedly the studio executives were less than willing to see the film completed, but the strong willed production crew kept their heads and only gave in to the studio’s requirement to camouflage the film by adding the word ”wet” into the title. As unfair as such compromise may feel, it was a small price to pay for director Sawada. After all, he did not deliver a harmless sex flick but a political hand granade that could have caused a scandal.

The film opens with five men breaking into church, stealing the charity funds and raping the churchwarden’s daughter. Later these men, who turn out to be police officers, return to the scene of crime to cover their tracks. Being above the law and able use their position to get away clean from any situation, there seems to be no stopping this group. Not until a former colleague of theirs escapes from a mental institution and forms a possible risk factor. Two cops set out to capture and take out this new threat.

Retreat Through the Wet Wasteland lives up to its reputation. The storyline is dark but well written, and doesn’t play only for shock value. The main character, excellently played by Takeo Chii, is a sort of anti-version of the typical noir hero. He is the villain and a beast, but his appearance is the definition of cool. The audience’s sympathy lies with the man he is hunting. This character, who is given a notable amount of screentime during the second half, brings the more humane side into the movie.

Sawada’s film is not without flaws, but most of them are minor and don’t have much affect on the overall quality. The music for example features one or two misses, but works fine most of the time. The cinematography is impressive throughout. The way Sawada often uses long, handheld takes and brings the camera extremely close to the characters to achieve more depth feels ahead of its time. The film is typically short, 73 minutes, but it feels just about right. Somehow the director even manages to avoid the usual genre pitfall; hardly any of the running time is wasted on unnecessary sex scenes. What is found here, is mostly there for a reason.

Geneon's dvd is a rather unsurprising package. Good, if not quite pristine progressive transfer. Audio features no problems but as usual, subtitles are not included. Extras are limited to the original trailer. No other dvds are available, and as as far as I know, the film has never been released english friendly.

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Unread postby HungFist » 19 Mar 2008, 20:52

Female Demon Ohyaku (Yôen dokufu den: hannya no ohyaku) (1968)

Junko Miyazono stars in this stylish and surprisingly story driven revenge film. Labeled as ”the original pinky violence film” by the US distributor Synapse Female Demon Ohyaku doesn’t feature much more nudity than Miyazono’s tattooed back, but the violence is strong and bloody. The amount of action is small but the main point of the film lies undeniably elsewhere. As a female action film Female Demon Ohyaku could be considered a sort of early pinky violence film, but the lack graphic sex and nudity sets it appart from "true pinky violence films". The themes however are there. While the film never gets boring it feels like it could be a bit more exciting than it is now. The legendary Tomisaburo Wakayama has a small supporting role as a local yakuza boss. His role does not feature any action.

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Unread postby HungFist » 19 Mar 2008, 21:18

Quick Draw Okatsu (Yoen dokufuden: Hitokiri okatsu) (1969)

This sequel to Female Demon Ohyaku is where the heaven begins. Quick-Draw Okatsu is the cream de la cream of violent female swordplay movies. Junko Miyazono returns in different role as a woman raving for revenge. Although she gives a very solid performance she’s actually the weakest link in the cast. The first super delighter is Reiko Oshida, Toei’s purest gift to the female action genre. Appearing in one of the early roles of her career, she plays the mysterious samurai girl character with her trademark energy and delinquent attitude. Both girls handle the sword well, but are naturally overshadowed by the sword god Tomisaburo Wakayama. This time he’s not casted as the comic relief or respected yakuza boss but his own badass himself. The lone wolf, a one man army.

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Unread postby HungFist » 19 Mar 2008, 21:42

Okatsu The Fugitive (Yoen dokufuden: Okatsu kyojo tabi) (1969)

The final part the trilogy feels almost like a remake of Quick-Draw Okatsu. The storyline starts from the beginning, just like last time, with Miyazono playing a new lead character. While the trick didn’t hurt the second part, third time is starting to feel a bit too much already. The basic concept – Junko with a sword – works of course, but quality has gone down from the terrific previous intalment. The last 25 minutes offers a satisfying conclusion, though, and the supporting cast features some good actors such as the charming Reiko Oshida (doesn’t kill anyone this time) and Tatsuo Umemiya.

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Synapse presents all three films nicely. The first film shows edge here and there, but it’s not terribly distracting. Otherwise I can’t really find anything to complain about. The sequel even avoid this problem, and looks just amazing. The same applies to the third film. All transfers are very sharp. Audio is clean on all films as well. As mentioned before, the covers are fully reversible with the original poster arts on the reverse side. Extras are sparse but okay; Chris D commentary for the first film, and trailers, poster galleries, biographies and 4 page booklets for each film.

Note: while the first film is more or less pinky violence - although not quite as we know the genre - the sequels are pure chambara. Basically these reviews are in the wrong thread.

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Unread postby Classique » 20 Mar 2008, 13:43

I thought the first film was good but not anything amazing.

From your review it looks like i'm gonna have to order the second one and could probably live with skipping the third.


Have you watched Blossoming Night Dreams?Reika isn't so pure :wink:


Hopefully we hear something on the Ginza Watadori films soon.

Once Bohachi comes out next week their won't be any new subbed pinky violence on the horizon. :|

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Mar 2008, 14:07

Classique wrote:From your review it looks like i'm gonna have to order the second one


Oh definitely. It is pure greatness. You can't live without it.

Classique wrote:and could probably live with skipping the third


Well, I thought you might want to see it because of Umemiya? And of course Reiko is in it, too, but her role is very small. But yeah, the film is only good, not amazing or anything.

Classique wrote:Have you watched Blossoming Night Dreams?


Yes, I have. I just thought three reviews was enough for last night... And I didn't want to post any Reiko pureness earlier in the middle of the Nikkatsu sleaze...

Classique wrote:Reiko isn't so pure :wink:


I Love her.

Classique wrote:Hopefully we hear something on the Ginza Watadori films soon.


yeah...

Classique wrote:Once Bohachi comes out next week their won't be any new subbed pinky violence on the horizon. :|


That's very sad. Hopefully Exploitation Digital will announce something soon...

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Mar 2008, 14:17

Delinquent Girl Boss: Blossoming Night Dreams (Zubekô banchô: Yume wa yoro hirakua) (1970)

Kazuhiko Yamaguchi is slowly but unsurely becoming one of my favourite directors. I’ve enjoyed every film I’ve seen from him, and Blossoming Night Dreams is no exception. While not as good as Worthless to Confess, this opening part in the series is an enormously entertaining girl gang pop film. The cast is excellent with Toei’s crown jewel dynamo Reiko Oshida playing the lead role, and reliable genre actors such as Yukie Kagawa and Nobuo Kaneko giving support. The most impressive supporting performances are given by Tatsuya Umemiya and Junko Miyazono, who plays her role as the leader of the gang with charisma that reminded me of Junko Fuji.

Exploitation Digital’s dvd is okay. Soft, definitely, but no other major problems. Colours are quite alright, even if a bit reddish at times, and edge enhancement doesn’t exist. Progressive, too. Of course this could’ve been better, but I don’t really see reason to complain too much. Exploitation Digital is one of the few companies in the world that care enough to even release these great films on dvd.

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Unread postby Classique » 21 Mar 2008, 16:02

HungFist wrote:That's very sad. Hopefully Exploitation Digital will announce something soon...


Yes.You know things are getting a little dried up when you have to go for Nikkatsu stuff. :(

Good point about Umemiya in the third Okhatsu film.Him and Miyazono have pretty good chemistry together so i'll probably get it eventually just not gonna rush out.

Enjoyed the Blossoming review.I'm still gonna stand by my original feeling that that it's overall better then Worthless To Confess except for the ending.
So much quality fanservice in Blossoming Night Dreams.Reika riding that bike in the beginning.I need to rewatch it again tonight :twisted:

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Unread postby HungFist » 21 Mar 2008, 16:37

Classique wrote:
HungFist wrote:That's very sad. Hopefully Exploitation Digital will announce something soon...


Yes.You know things are getting a little dried up when you have to go for Nikkatsu stuff. :(


hehe, true, although lately I've managed to find a couple of Nikkatsu movies that I've really enjoyed (Retreat and Painful Bliss). I also have high hopes for pop director Koyu Ohara's Pink Hip Girl, which I have on order.

Classique wrote:Enjoyed the Blossoming review.


Thanks. Good to hear there's still at least one person reading my writings. I probably angered all the Nikkatsu fans already, lol.

Classique wrote:So much quality fanservice in Blossoming Night Dreams.Reika riding that bike in the beginning.


Oh yeah, and a glorious panty shot, too (didn't want to "spoil" that with a creencap. But that bicycle shot in in the beginning is definitely my favourite).

btw, the film crew must be huge Ken Takakura fans since in the first film Reiko is doing the girl gang greeting in front of a Takakura movie poster, and in Worthless to Confess they're watching Abashiri Prison... which remided me of: In Nikkatsu's Painful Bliss not only is there a Takakura poster, but the film also features the theme song from Worthless to Confess at the end.

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Unread postby Classique » 21 Mar 2008, 18:52

HungFist wrote:
Classique wrote:
HungFist wrote:That's very sad. Hopefully Exploitation Digital will announce something soon...


Yes.You know things are getting a little dried up when you have to go for Nikkatsu stuff. :(


hehe, true, although lately I've managed to find a couple of Nikkatsu movies that I've really enjoyed (Retreat and Painful Bliss). I also have high hopes for pop director Koyu Ohara's Pink Hip Girl, which I have on order.

Classique wrote:Enjoyed the Blossoming review.


Thanks. Good to hear there's still at least one person reading my writings. I probably angered all the Nikkatsu fans already, lol.

Classique wrote:So much quality fanservice in Blossoming Night Dreams.Reika riding that bike in the beginning.


Oh yeah, and a glorious panty shot, too (didn't want to "spoil" that with a creencap. But that bicycle shot in in the beginning is definitely my favourite).

btw, the film crew must be huge Ken Takakura fans since in the first film Reiko is doing the girl gang greeting in front of a Takakura movie poster, and in Worthless to Confess they're watching Abashiri Prison... which remided me of: In Nikkatsu's Painful Bliss not only is there a Takakura poster, but the film also features the theme song from Worthless to Confess at the end.


It's funny how iconic Ken Takakura really is/was.He's probably been referenced in more movies then he's been in and more then any actor ever.
From Delinquent Girl Boss to even Postmen Blues his image is still present to this day.

Considering how small the amount of toei pv fans their are i'd warrant a guess their are even less Nikkatsu fans to offend. :lol:

Btw speaking of the bike riding how about Reika up against that rock on the beach in Blossoming Night Dreams?
Pretty hot scene.Much better then Miki digging her feet in a pile of dirt in Girl Boss Revenge.

While were waiting i'm gonna get off my butt and post some caps from the first Gincho Watadori film this weekend.
Meiko spends most of the second movie in a kimono but in the first she gets to wear alot of cool outfits. :)

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Unread postby HungFist » 21 Mar 2008, 19:35

Looking forward to those caps.

Reiko in bikini was hot, yeah. I also loved the car scene.

Okay, I'm gonna go watch Red Peony Gambler 3 now :D

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Unread postby Classique » 21 Mar 2008, 20:48

HungFist wrote:Looking forward to those caps.

Reiko in bikini was hot, yeah. I also loved the car scene.

Okay, I'm gonna go watch Red Peony Gambler 3 now :D


Nice!

I have a hard time picking a favorite out of the series.

I love 1,2,3,5 and enjoyed 4 and 6 but felt they paled a little in comparison.

I do remember the third having one of the better Wakayama appearances.

Part 5 would have had his best appearance if they woulda showed him wielding a sword in all his skilled glory a bit more.

Btw is you avatar from Taifu Club?I need to finish watching that one of these days.
Botched the sub alignment for the custom I made and could only take it for about half the movie.Gonna get off my arse and re-do it again one of these years. :lol:

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Unread postby HungFist » 21 Mar 2008, 21:42

Taifu Club, yes, but don't say another word of it in this thread. That kind of purity should not even be mentioned in a thread that features Nikkatsu reviews...

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Unread postby Classique » 26 Mar 2008, 18:40

HungFist wrote:Taifu Club, yes, but don't say another word of it in this thread. That kind of purity should not even be mentioned in a thread that features Nikkatsu reviews...


:lol:


Anyways better late then never.

Little warm up for synapse to release this hopefully sometime this year.

If you like Kazuhiko Yamaguchi I don't think you should even begin to wonder if you will enjoy this movie.

First is the must have girl gang greeting being performed in a familiar setting.

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Heres the rest-

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Hopefully these came out all right.

The source is nothing to write home about and I had to use a ghetto builtin windows vista dvd player with print screen. :lol:

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Unread postby HungFist » 03 Apr 2008, 22:02

Sukeban (Girl Boss Revenge) (1973)

The fourth film in the seven part Sukeban series is also the last one directed by Norifumi Suzuki. Although not quite as good as Sukeban gerira (Girl Boss Guerilla) but it’s another highly enjoyable exploitation piece. Suzuki serves his usual mix of action and silly humour, this time spiced with some sadistic violence. The cast is quaranteed to make any genre fan cheer; Miki Sugimoto, Reiko Ike and Ema Ryoko all leading a girl gangs of their own, and Toei’s number one bad guy Bin Amatsu as the treacherous villain. Tatsuo Endo and Yoko Mihara and also make brief appearances.

Exploitation Digital’s has given the film a satisfactory release. The image not very sharp but looks rather pleasing and doesn’t feature any major problems (except the sides. Look at the caps and you’ll see something weird going on. But unless you have a zero overscan TV you won’t be able to notice anything). However, what makes this dvd a must buy (aside from the film itself) is the new 14 min Norifumi Suzuki interview. Although not as indepth as it could be it’s still a great pleasure to finally hear the director speak. I believe this is the first time ever Suzuki appears on dvd extras. The disc also contains a nice photo gallery. The trailer is not original, but a disappointing new promo.

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Norifumi Suzuki interview
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Unread postby HungFist » 03 Apr 2008, 22:05

HungFist wrote:Sometimes pink comes from the weirdest of directions; this time from 150 km to west from me. The Swedes are releasing Sadao Nakajima’s Journey to Japan (1973), starring Christina Lindberg. There’s even a good change it will be released in Finland, too (Nordic dvd releases are rarely limited to just one country). But even a Swedish disk with Swedish subtitles only would be a notable step up from unsubbed R2J's (which for this film does not excist, as Studio S Entertaiment's release is a Världspremiär på DVD!).

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They are also releasing Sex & Fury. Both discs are coming in Summer 2008

http://www.studiosentertainment.se/


I don't know how final this is but the site is now showing this pic:

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I wish they had used the orig poster instead. Journey to Japan will be released 27.8.2008.

If you want more info about the film (in japanese) and a few stills see this site:
http://www.otona-eiga.jp/contents/00000080.php

Music from the film was featured on Hotwax's Sadao Nakajima CD.

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I believe there's also an article about the film in their magazine

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Vol. 4
151 Pages
A5
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Unread postby HungFist » 07 Apr 2008, 13:18

Beauty’s Exotic Dance: Torture (Hakkinbon Bijin Ranbu Yori: Semeru!) (1977)

The review on NY Times website calls Beauty’s Exotic Dance: Torture an immoral masterpiece. That is exactly what this concluding part in Noboru Tanaka’s Showa Era trilogy (preceeded by A Woman Called Abe Sada and Watcher in the Attic) is. Each film in the trilogy inspects the themes of obsession and insanity, and this one is the strongest of them. The storyline, based on autobiographical writings by Shuu Ito, is about an artist who finds his inspiration in torture. After his wife leaves him he hooks up with a former prostitute (Junko Miyashita).

Tanaka ignores all the opportunities for cheap shocks and sleaze, and instead plays strong on a psychological level. This makes the film 10 times more powerful than the childish sm fares directors like Konuma and Nishimura keep churning. Tanaka makes every attempt to avoid easy solutions and typical genre twists. There are no caricature characters in this movie. Tanaka was one of the most audio-visually talented Japanese directors of his time and it shows here.

The weakest part of the film is the beginning. Tanaka uses flashbacks to show the past events, while at the same time building the relationship between the main characters in present day. It works but doesn’t have too much emotional effect. This changes after the first 30 minutes when characters have been thorougly introduced and Tanaka can advance to the next phase. He moves the film very slowly, paying great attention to details. There are several scenes with long takes and almost no dialogue at all. Music is only used in key scenes, and even then ir could be a song hummed by one of the characters. The result is hypnotic.

The cast is well chosen. Hatsuo Yamaya is believable as the obsessed artist who is starting to lose his touch of reality. But, more importantly, this is a standout movie for Junko Miyashita. She's already proven before that she’s possesses some acting skills, and here her performance is decent to say at least. The physical requirements of the role are also extreme; she has to lie in snow half naked for long periods and endure icy water in some of the film’s lengthy torture sessions.

Geneon’s dvd features a typically good transfer no notable problems. Audio sounds good, too. And, for once, they’ve also managed to design a stylish cover art. Original trailer and 4 page booklet are the only extras.

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Last edited by HungFist on 09 Dec 2008, 00:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 07 Apr 2008, 13:24

Pink Hip Girl (Momojiri musume: Pink Hip Girl) (1978)

This is the movie you thought Nikkatsu would never be able to produce. Koyu Ohara’s Pink Hip Girl is a serious contender for the ’cutest youth film ever’. First of all, it’s got the rarest of things; a good screenplay. Not only does the storyline make a lot of sense, the dialogue is often terrific. No less impressive is the acting. While nobody gives bad performances the young lead, 19 year old Kahori Takeda, is simply perfect. Ohara’s direction is highly enjoyable and he manages to avoid practically every problem that typically plagues the genre. Even the sex, which is not dirty at all this time, is formatted into the story perfectly. As a final touch the film’s pop soundtrack and especially the theme song is exhilarating.

Geneon’s dvd is the only dvd available till the end of times. Thankfully the guality is not bad. The transfer looks a bit messy in the beginning but it soon gets better. Sharpness in never that good, but it’s not distracting either. Basic transfer that gets the job done. Audio is fine. Geneon’s usual extras are included; trailer and a 4 page booklet. It’s a real shame they haven’t released the two sequels on dvd.

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