Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, etc.
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HungFist
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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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Unread postby HungFist » 22 Aug 2007, 22:45

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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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Unread postby HungFist » 02 Sep 2007, 21:05

I wouldn't know about the reviews. I haven't read any of them.

Classique wrote:Didn't really care for Female Yakuza Tale to be honest.


You're weird :D

How about Tokugawa irezumi-shi: Seme jigoku?

**************

Ha, Quentin Tarantino is a Nikkatsu roman porno fan

"I even like — in fact, I'm quite enamored with — the whole Nikkatsu (studio) roman poruno thing ('70s, big-budget adult movies). I almost can't believe that that existed in cinema! The way they did it in the '70s, where they're real movies with real actors. The woman who played the proprietor in "Kill Bill" (Yuki Kazamatsuri), she was a roman poruno actress. I saw a couple of her films and I thought they were fantastic! Even the fact that the genitals were blurred out actually made it work even more!"
- http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ ... 816r1.html

The actress Tarantino is talking about is the woman who played Mayumi in Somai's Sailor Suit and Machine Gun

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Unread postby Classique » 04 Sep 2007, 16:46

HungFist wrote:I wouldn't know about the reviews. I haven't read any of them.

Classique wrote:Didn't really care for Female Yakuza Tale to be honest.


You're weird :D

How about Tokugawa irezumi-shi: Seme jigoku?


I just thought FYT was a bit too much of a mess overall.
I actually liked Sex & Fury more but I still ended up selling them both off.
Both had great endings.May re-aquire S&F someday if I find it cheap.

Haven't seen Tokugawa irezumi-shi: Seme jigoku but I guess I need to. :D


I'm really hoping to aquire Horrors of the Malformed Man locally but getting the stores around here to stock stuff like it is a coin toss.
Whenever i'm hopeful they never have it and when it's something I figure I won't be able to find it pops up everywhere.

Would you say Teruo Ishii is your favorite pinky director?
I'd love to say Tai Kato for mine but did he really do much pink outside of the Sasori films?I may say him anyways just based on how amazing of a debut the first film is.

Yasuharu Hasebe is another pretty good one save for his entry in to the Sasori films he did the amazing Stray Cat Rock series.

Who knows :twisted:

Anywho guess i'm gonna have to break down and order Malformed and Snake Women pretty soon.
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Unread postby HungFist » 10 Sep 2007, 08:35

This comes out of nowhere: Kino is apparently releasing four Masaru Konuma (Nikkatsu) films November 6, 2007. The titles are:

Wife to Be Sacrificed (Ikenie fujin) (生贄夫人) (1974) (+ Sadistic and Masochistic documentary (2000))
Tattooed Flower Vase (Kashin no irezumi: ureta tsubo) (花芯の刺青 熟れた壺 ) (1976)
Erotic Diary of an Office Lady (OL kanno nikki: Ah! Watashi no naka de) (OL官能日記 あァ!私の中で) (1977)
Cloistered Nun: Runa's Confession (Shudojo Runa no kokuhaku) (修道女ルナの告白) (1976)

Kino isn't known for their quality releases but the chances are these will be Nikkatsu/Geneon ports. The remastering of their recent R2J releases is very satisfactory although not on Toei's level. Some of their older releases however have lesser transfers. Out of these titles all are out on R2J. Erotic Diary of an Office Lady was released in 2005, Cloistered Nun in 2007, and the other two in 2006.

Tattooed Flower Vase and Wife to Be Sacrificed will also be released in France by Cinemalta (these are the two films in the Masaru Konuma box set aka Coffret Roman Porno Vol.1). Both films star Naomi Tani. Wife to Be Sacrificed has also been released in the US before (and by Kino) but I suspect that release wasn’t necessarily properly licensed.

http://www.dvdmaniacs.net/forums/showthread.php?t=32222

************************************

On other news, Nikkatsu will be releasing another notorious Yasuhare Hasebe title on dvd: Rape! 13th Hour (Rape! 25-ji bokan) (レイプ25時 暴姦) (1977). The release date is September 21, 2007. Here’s the cover art:

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Unread postby HungFist » 12 Sep 2007, 13:25

After being so impressed with the Miki Sugimoto vs Reiko Ike cd I immediately ordered the next of Hotwax’s treasure collections: Sukeban Guerilla (女番長ゲリラ: やさぐれ歌謡最前線 ). It features 23 songs from the Sukeban and Terrifying Girls’s High School films. Unfortunately I didn’t find this cd nearly as impressive as the previous one. Technically it’s fine, and the poster (with liner notes and pictures on reverse side) that comes with it is a superb extra, but I found the music itself mostly average. There are some really good songs though, like the awesome 冷えた世代 (by Rika Sudo) from the end of Terrifying Girls’ High School – Lynch Law Classroom.

Tracklist:
01. 女番長流れ者(唄:杉本美樹)
02. 女番長 タイマン勝負 テーマ(音楽:広瀬健次郎)
03. 女番長 タイマン勝負 M-17(音楽:広瀬健次郎)
04. ほれてふられてブルース(唄:津和のり子)
05. 女番長 タイマン勝負 M-4(音楽:広瀬健次郎)
06. 女番長 感化院脱走 M-15(音楽:荒木一郎)
07. 恐怖女子高校 アニマル同級生 口笛のテーマ(音楽:鏑木創)
08. 恐怖女子高校 アニマル同級生 M-12 ウエスタン調(音楽:鏑木創)
09. 女番長ブルース(唄:八田富子)
10. 女番長 タイマン勝負 M-21(音楽:広瀬健次郎)
11. 女番長 玉突き遊び M-23(音楽:クニ河内)
12. 恐怖女子高校 女暴力教室(音楽:八木正生)
13. 好きではじめた女じゃないが(唄:太田美鈴)
14. 女番長ゲリラ M-5(音楽:津島利章)
15. 赤色エレジー (作曲:八洲秀章)
16. 冷えた世代(唄:須藤リカ)
17. 恐怖女子高校 不良悶絶グループ M-11&18(音楽:荒木一郎)
18. 恐怖女子高校 暴行リンチ教室 M-6 JAZZ(音楽:八木正生)
19. 女番長 M-2ずらかれ(音楽:八木正生)
20. 地獄の天使 紅い爆音 M-4A(音楽:忠治)
21. 女番長ブルース ENDING(唄:八田富子)
22. 番格ロック M-4(音楽:八木正生)
23. 恐怖女子高校 不良悶絶グループ M-16B(音楽:荒木一郎)

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Unread postby HungFist » 14 Sep 2007, 09:40

This November, Synapse Films goes Pinky – Pinky Violence, that is – and proudly unveils the LEGENDS OF THE POISONOUS SEDUCTRESS female swordplay series. THE THREE-VOLUME SAGA OF A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG SWORDSWOMAN ON A BLOODY TRAIL OF SAVAGE REVENGE. ONE OF THE MOST VIOLENT REVENGE TRILOGIES EVER MADE! THE BLOOD-SOAKED MODEL FOR THE PINKY VIOLENCE EXPLOSION OF THE 1970s!

Connected only by their theme of a beautiful young swordswoman who’s wronged, then seeks bloody revenge on her oppressors, the LEGENDS OF THE POISONOUS SEDUCTRESS series was produced at Toei Studios in the late 1960s, only a few years before the studio revolutionized the Japanese film industry with their “true-life” yakuza films, girl-gang sagas and modern-day violent thrillers. Set during the samurai days, when Japan was isolated from the rest of the world, the POISONOUS SEDUCTRESS series stars the beautiful Junko Miyazono, first as Ohyaku, then as Okatsu, women who endured humiliation and injustice for as long as they could…until they had to strike back with violence!

Each episode forms its own individual story, and will only be available for sale separately.

EPISODE 1: FEMALE DEMON OHYAKU

A quiet actress named Ohyaku is wrongly sent to prison, then pushed by her tormentors to the point of no return. With a demon tattoo splayed across her back and a sword in her hand, she embarks on a crusade of vengeance against all those who have wronged her, laying waste to man and woman alike in her quest for bloody retribution. A gruesome Pinky Violence classic, the film’s merciless parade of action, beheadings, tattooing and torture proved highly influential on later series of sexy action films from Toei Studios in the 1970s.

EPISODE 2: QUICK-DRAW OKATSU

The daughter of a swordplay instructor takes on a power-hungry magistrate in the second entry of the series, joined this time by Rui, a wild young swordswoman (Reiko Oshida). The two sexy avengers embark on a blood-soaked quest for revenge after Okatsu is raped and her father slaughtered by one of his assistants. From fencing schools to small-town brothels to the imperial city of Edo, Okatsu and Rui slash their way through dozens of evil men in order to settle the score with those who wronged them, in this swordplay classic which features some of the best fight scenes of the series.

EPISODE 3: OKATSU THE FUGITIVE

In the final episode of the series, the legendary beautiful swordswoman Okatsu is on the hunt for Judayu, a corrupt merchant responsible for the death of her parents. Betrayed by her fiancé, she finds herself aided in her quest by a handsome stranger (longtime yakuza movie star Tatsuo Umemiya) – who happens to be as handy with a sword as she is! What is the reason for his kindness, and will Okatsu be able to prevail against her nemesis, now a powerful businessman with scores of allies in high places? Whatever the end may be, the restless spirits of her murdered parents drive Okatsu along her crimson-colored road of vengeance.

Episode 1 directed by Yoshihiro Ishikawa (GHOST CAT OF OTAMA POND).
Episodes 2 & 3 directed by legendary filmmaker Nobuo Nakagawa (SNAKE WOMAN’S CURSE, JIGOKU).

The series features an all-star cast of famous faces from the best of Japanese genre cinema, including lead actress Junko Miyazono (ELEVEN SAMURAI, SAMURAI WOLF 2), two-time series co-star Tomisaburo Wakayama (LONE WOLF & CUB, BLACK RAIN), Tatsuo Umemiya (GRAVEYARD OF HONOR,
WANDERING GINZA BUTTERFLY), Kunio Murai (SNAKE WOMAN’S CURSE), Ko Nishimura (SNAKE WOMAN’S CURSE, HANZO THE RAZOR), Reiko Oshida (DELINQUENT GIRL BOSS), Yukie Kagawa (HORRORS OF MALFORMED MEN, FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION – JAILHOUSE 41), and Yoichi Numata (JIGOKU).

Synapse Films’ LEGENDS OF THE POISONOUS SEDUCTRESS DVD Series Include the Following Special Features:

• New, fully restored anamorphic widescreen transfers mastered in high-definition from Toei’s original vault elements
• Japanese language audio with newly-translated, removable English subtitles
• Audio commentary on FEMALE DEMON OHYAKU and QUICK-DRAW OKATSU by Japanese film expert Chris D.
• Original Japanese theatrical trailers
• Poster galleries
• Liner notes and essays on the female swordplay genre
• Reversible covers with original Japanese poster artwork
• MORE!

Look for Synapse Films’ DVD premiere Special Editions of FEMALE DEMON OHYAKU, QUICK-DRAW OKATSU, and OKATSU THE FUGITIVE in stores on November 13, 2007 at a retail price of $24.95 each. Each title is only available separately.


- http://twitchfilm.net/site/view/pinky-v ... cations-c/

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Unread postby HungFist » 27 Sep 2007, 20:15

Tokugawa onna keizu (1968)

Tokugawa onna keizu, released is 1968, marked a turning point on director Teruo Ishii’s career. After having worked for Shin-Toho and Toei for nearly two decades and having recently helmed no less than 10 Abashiri Prison yakuza film instalments, Ishii had started losing his interest for traditional film making. At the same time the audiences were requesting for more daring content and Toei was more than willing offer it. Ishii’s transform into a smut master was however two-part, and and the second half wouldn’t be complited until later the same year with Tokugawa onna keibatsu-shi (The Joy of Torture). Despite the mysterious ’18’ rating Tokugawa onna keizu is a thoroughly unshocking piece of exploitation cinema, not least because of the complete lack any sort of violence, save for one stabbing and some ”forced sexual encounters”. The nudity bank however is exploded all over the harem walls.

This isn’t the first time Ishii more or less defines the movie to follow with the opening credits sequence. A harem full of topples women dancing and singing while the credits roll is something that is hard to follow without a bloody big grin on your face. At the same time it’s obvious this is another monumental glimpse of movie history. With all the gorgeous settings and costumes, high profile actors and first class technical execution mixed with pure exploitation this is something that could simply not be made anymore.

While the minimalistic storyline is more silly than wild Ishii keeps the movie moderately entertaining with the clash of soft-sexploitation and somewhat high profile period movie making. Those with language barrier (no translation available as far as I know) may not get very much out of the movie as it’s quite heavy on (apparently hilarious) dialogue. Genre fans are a different matter of course. Personally I found myself quite entertained till around the 60 minute mark. The last third is a bit less exciting although Ishii more or less saves the ending with a fantastic closing image.

The female dominated cast only features a handful of male actors. The shogun is played by Ishii reqular Teruo Yoshida, who’s role is maybe a bit more obscure than usual (Ishii often casted him as one of the more rational characters in his movies). Another very familiar male actor who appears in the movie, although only briefly, is Asao Koike. Yoshida and Koike would later appear together in several Ishii movies, most notably as the rivalry tattoo artists in Tokugawa irezumi-shi: Seme jigoku (Inferno of Torture). The vast female cast features some familiar faces like the ever cute Yukie Kagawa, and the pinky violence queen Yoko Mihara. Future Nikkatsu starlet Naomi Tani also appears in the movie although I was unfortunately unable to positively identify her.

Being the oldest movie in the Ishii collection the R2J Toei dvds shows a little more imperfections than the others. There’s some minor print damage and scratches every now and then (almost all of them lasting one frame only), and colour shifts appear sometimes at the end of the scene (usually lasting a second or two). I didn’t find these problems distracting at all. The colours are very good and edge enhancement practically doesn't exist. A very pleasing transfer for a 40 year old movie. The sound is fine, too. Original trailer and a picture gallery are included.

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Unread postby HungFist » 11 Oct 2007, 21:26

Love and Crime (Menji, taisho, showa ryoki onna hanzaishi) (1969)

The graphic, maybe even slightly shocking introduction scene of Love and Crime is set in a mortuary. Naked body of a young woman is lying on a table, waiting for an autopsy. A doctor arrives, puts on his gloves and begins his work. Opening credits roll next to the blood spilling images.

What we see during the first few minutes of Teruo Ishii’s Love and Crime is almost like a celluloid depiction of the changes that were taking place in Japanese cinema in the late 60’s. Movie studios were losing their audiences to the television and had to come up with new strategies to attract people into cinemas. Sex, violence and directors like Ishii would be the answer. Starting with his Tokugawa series (kicking off with Tokugawa onna keizu in 1968) Ishii went looking for the limits, seeing how far the studio would allow him to go.

Love and Crime was released in 1969, the year when Ishii directed no less than eight feature length movies. He made brief visits to Nikkatsu studios in form of the Rising Dragon series (which concluded in 1970 with the Meiko Kaji starring Blind Woman’s Curse) but all of his Toei films fell strictly under the exploitation banner. Love and Crime follows the structure of Tokugawa onna keibatsu-shi (The Joy of Torture) (1968) by telling several short stories of love, passion and violence, all narrated by Ishii veteran Teruo Yoshida (Inferno of Torture, Yakuza’s Law).

The first story, which is also my favourite of the bunch, is a dark horror tale set in the early 1960’s. It follows a married woman (Aoi Mitsuko) who hooks up with a young man (Takashi Fujiki) and together they go for a killing spree. The characters are rather interesting and Ishii’s directing is captivating. He doesn’t hurry too much and allows some moody scenes. The use of music, and also the lack of it in certain scenes, creates nice old school horror movie atmosphere. The classic murder weapon, axe, is also used to a memorable effect.

In the second episode Ishii re-imagines the famous, often adapted Abe Sada story, later made familiar to international audiences by Nagisa Oshima in Ai no corrida (Real of the Senses) (1976). Ishii’s take unfortunately suffers in comparison because of the limited running time. The likes of Oshima, Tanaka (Jitsuroku Abe Sada) and Obayashi (Sada) would have the full running time for ”depicting” the famous true life events while Ishii only had 25 minutes to spare. The result is a decent but slightly underwhelming episode that has one rare selling point; a brief present day appearance by the real life Abe Sada. The core of the story however is set in 1930’s, with the lead role played by Yukie Kagawa.

After the Abe Sada story comes a very brief two part episode that runs only a few minutes. I believe Ishii only included this to arouse some conversation as there is not much storyline, just two single events. What follows however is the the longest running seqment in the film. Shot in black & white the fourth episode is a war time set story of a serial killer (Asao Koike). The beginning consist mostly of murder scenes, but the storyline gets notably more interesting when the killer meets a young woman (Yumiko Katayama) whom he doesn’t kill right away. The cinematography in this episode quite very good. The b/w image is used well to create a cold and minimalistic atmosphere and the framing is often impressive. War time stock footage is used to some extent.

The last story runs about 12 minutes and is maybe the most disturbing of the bunch, thanks to the main character’s husband, a seriously sick / deformed man. The storyline isn’t especially impressive but some images and contrasts are effective. Atsumi Hijikata of Blind Woman’s Curse and Horrors of Malformed Men appears briefly as an executioner. Although not one of the best episodes this serves a moderately satisfying ending for a good film that feels maybe a little more than the sum of its parts.

Our host Teruo Yoshida
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The short stories
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Director Ishii makes an appearance in the teaser trailer
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Unread postby Classique » 16 Oct 2007, 21:44

Just watched Fury Bancho 2!

May have one of the greatest Toei endings ever and thats saying something or maybe I just haven't seen anything good since Rica. :twisted:
Not to mention i've come to the realization that if a Toei movie is subpar or just good for the duration their endings ALWAYS leave you satisfied.

Has Chiba and Bunta but they are not in it a whole lot but enough.
More of a Tatsuya Umemiya vehicle which I already knew and is fine by me since he's one of my favorite regulars and he more then carries the movie.
Has a pretty cute girl playing the Junko Fuji/Red Peony role but differentiates herself enought to make you forget that.
She does a better job then Meiko did in Ginza Butterfly 2 emulating the character.


Also caught the first Stray Cat Rock and it was a little underwhelming.
I just wasn't too crazy about the lead playing opposite Meiko in the film and it was basically the same as part 3 save for the racial factor and without as much polish.


Sorry I haven't posted in awhile Shura but i've been having some family/life issues taking up my time but i'm getting back in to the swing of things.
Should have Rica 2 pretty soon!Thoughts/Ramblings to come. 8)


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