Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby Varrick » 05 Apr 2017, 20:24

HungFist wrote:In case anyone is interested, I finally translated and slightly abbreviated my Finnish reviews of the two Kazuhiko Yamaguchi films I saw a few years ago:

Oh Wonderful Utamaro (1974)
https://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/ ... l-utamaro/

A Haunted Turkish Bathhouse (1975)
https://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/ ... bathhouse/

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Here are links to the pictures and info I posted in the Retro Cinemas thread in 2015-2016

Oh Wonderful Utamaro (1974)
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6739&start=50#p176440

A Haunted Turkish Bathhouse (1975)
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6739&start=25#p176190
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6739&start=50#p176531


good reviews, I was curious of Oh Wonderful Utamaro... I seem to remember Sharon Kelly also appears in Russ Meyer's Supervixens ......and I wonder what happened to that Norifumi Suzuki interview. :roll: . the people at TOEI read this board? :D

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 20 Apr 2017, 07:03

Ahead of the Teruo Ishii retrospective that starts next month, I bought myself Inferno of Torture (1969) poster.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby Guro Taku » 20 Apr 2017, 19:35

How much did you pay? I only own one Teruo Ishii poster but I made mine HORRORS OF MALFORMED MEN. Bought it before ever being able to see the film. It set me back 13.000 Yen. I had it mounted and framed and it hung in my living room for a couple years but I moved and now I don't have any wallspace for it so it sits in a corner collecting dust. SAD!

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Last edited by Guro Taku on 10 Jun 2017, 13:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 21 Apr 2017, 03:08

I only paid 1000 yen for it. It's the small スピード model (26x73 cm).

The Malformed Men posters are much more expensive indeed. Toei must have only produced a small number of them since the movie only played for a week or two...

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 28 Apr 2017, 15:25

Angel Guts Artworks

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- http://www.nikkatsu-romanporno.com/topi ... 04/bd4.php

Can't say I'm impressed. And seeing how Nikkatsu's recent RP transfers have turned out, I'm fearing the worst for the transfers too...

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby Guro Taku » 28 Apr 2017, 15:58

Those covers are absolute masterworks compared to what Happinet has churned out until now. And at any rate I expect the transfers to be better than the ones Artsmagic used for their old DVD box.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby Guro Taku » 02 May 2017, 11:17

HungFist wrote:Angel Guts Limited Edition Blu-Ray box with four of the films (because the first one will never be seen again...)

What's the deal with the 6th ANGEL GUTS film, RED LIGHTNING 天使のはらわた 赤い閃光? I know it was produced by a different company than Nikkatsu but is that reason enough for it to have disappeared since its release on VHS 23 years ago?

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 03 May 2017, 04:43

No idea what's going on with Red Lightning.

Btw, Nippon Connection will be holding a small Roman Porno retro with 9 titles.
http://www.nipponconnection.com/retro-en.html

Nice, but I'm not terribly impressed with that line-up. In addition to quality, the cool thing about Roman Porno was its diversity. There could be anything from a pink giallo to a cop thriller to a rock band docu-drama... That diversity is very much missing from Nippon Connection's selection which consists of 9 dramas from 2 directors...


Speaking of Roman Porno, I achieved another life goal: watched a Roman Porno (*) with my girlfriend. As I had planned, I chose Delicate Skillful Fingers (1972). She seemed to like it more or less, certainly didn't hate it.

For me it was the second time seeing it. Some poor acting by Hiroko Isayama and Hajime Tanimoto aside, it's such a good film. So many fantastic scenes (the shower room party, Isayama and Araki's first meeting, all the pick pocketing scenes, the vivid early 70s Tokyo footage...), absolutely wonderful score and a cool as hell Ichiro Araki performance. Wow!

* We did see Wet Woman in the Wind in theatre, but that's a Reboot film, a bit different hence...

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby Guro Taku » 03 May 2017, 11:05

HungFist wrote:Image
30. Trap of Lust (Atsushi Yamatoya, 1973) (genre: action / thriller / WTF)
Atsushi Yamatoya, one of the screenwriters on Branded to Kill, and a cult figure on his own, directs this bizarre professional killer / spy film satire that is sometimes considered a remake of Branded to Kill. Entertaining, although sometimes a bit too confident of its own odd appeal.

So I finally watched this, thanks to Arrow Video including it as an extra on their Branded to Kill BD. I admit to being fairly bored for the first 25 minutes or so. Then Saigo and Mario show up and the whole thing becomes pure, unadulterated nightmare fodder. Some much-needed comedic relief happens in the form of the medulla oblongata shootout and the prostiture/impotence shenenigans. Then Saigo and Mario show up again. Fuck! There went my good night's sleep.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 07 May 2017, 11:56

I recently rewatched a whole bunch of Pinky Violence. Anyone who's been reading the other thread has already seen these, but I thought might put the new mini-reviews here as well.


Girl Boss Blues: Queen Bee's Counterattack (Japan, 1971) [DVD] - 3/5
The first film in the series. This was a bit of a turning point for girl gang films, which had started out light and breezy (Stray Cat Rock, and Delinquent Girl Boss). From here on they would get darker little by little as they'd go down the same path with male yakuza films. A new generation of meaner, sexier and dirtier girls lead by Reiko Ike (still underage here) and Miki Sugimoto would take over the screens from the previous generation (here represented by Yukie Kagawa, who gets her ass kicked by Ike). For these girls survival mattered more than honour. This film contains a whole bunch of iconic genre scenes like malfunctioning clothes in girl fights that would be later seen in countless other films, as well as some unique ideas like the "sex on motorcycle" competition . Yet, the film is uneven. It still includes large doses of silly comedy and a frustratingly strong focus on male supporting characters - both influences of the 60s yakuza films. It seems the filmmakers were not yet entirely confident with the girl gang formula - something that would change soon enough.

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Girl Boss Blues: Queen Bee's Challenge (Japan, 1972) [DVD] - 3/5
The second film in the series, with (the still underage) Reiko Ike continuing in the lead. Although the film lacks memorable scenes, it’s well made, with good looking visuals, decent characters and a milieu that feels surprisingly real despite some outlandish elements. There are also some quite funny scenes with the girls cheating horny men out of their money. The tone is still relatively light despite the genre already reaching towards the nihilism that would begin to dominate many Pinky Violence films from mid-1972. There are, however, a couple of harsh torture scenes, of which evil sister Chiyoko Kazama sticking shaken Coca Cola bottles to Sugimoto’s you-know-where leaves a bit of a nasty aftertaste. Tatsuo Umemiya makes a cameo as the “Delinquent Boss”, a character he played in his own film series that ran 17 instalments. Miki Sugimoto has a small supporting role again: she was playing second fiddle to Ike in all her early roles until Onsen Suppon Geisha (1972).

Girl Boss Guerilla (Japan, 1972) [DVD] – 3.5/5
Reiko Ike announced her retirement from film biz in 1972, which lead to Miki Sugimoto being cast in leading roles in this film and Onsen Suppon Geisha a month before. Ike's decision didn’t last more than a month or two, and she was back in time to land a “quest star” role in this film. Some say Ike regretted her decision when she saw Sugimoto crowned as the new queen of Toei Porno (yep, that’s how they were known back then). In any case, this film started Ike and Sugimoto’s silver screen rivalry. From here on Toei would often cast one of them as the heroine and the other as (friendly) nemesis. The film is one of the better ones in the series, a breezy biker girl flick shot in and around the beautiful Kyoto. There’s quite a bit of comedy, most of it funny, as well as some sadistic beatings. A better plot would have improved the film, which, it its current state, barely has any. Worth mentioning is the film has the best topless scenes in the series: these girls walk around with their tattooed breasts out if they feel like it cause they just don’t give a damn.

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Girl Boss: Revenge (Japan, 1973) [DVD] – 2.5/5
The 4th and weakest entry in the series. Despite the usual genre charm, this one suffers from suffocating sexism that leaves a nasty aftertaste. Now, someone might point out that hasn't the genre always dwelled in gratuitous exploitation of the female beauty? Of course it has, that why they are called exploitation movies. What makes the difference, however, is how women are portrayed within that context: as weak, disposable pieces of meat, or as bare-breasted amazons kicking ass. This film too often falls to the former category, as best evidenced by the scene where Ike and Sugimoto’s brawl is brought to an end by the former’s boyfriend who slaps Sugimoto in the face and drags Ike into the car. So much about strong women. Throughout the film women are constantly slapped, beaten and raped by the wimpiest of yakuza because, apparently, the gender is at fault. This approach is not only unfortunate but also very anti-climatic. See the 7th film in the series for a prime example of exploitation, with just as much nudity and even all the rapes, done with a genuine sense of female empowerment and ass kicking.

Girl Boss: Escape from Reform School (Japan, 1973) [DVD] – 3.5/5
Sadao Nakajima took over the directorial duties here, which was probably for the best as Norifumi Suzuki seemed to be running out of steam with the series. This is one of the best films in the series; a fast moving entry with only cool girls and not much in terms of frustrating comic reliefs. It's also a stylish one with solid cinematography, some cool action and a badass score that is played on repeat. As the title suggests, Sugimoto and her pals escape from a reform school, which gives the film a slightly road movie kind of structure. Ike also hooks up with small time goon and relatively nice guy Tsunehiko Watase. The nasty sexism of the previous entry is thankfully absent here. However, there is something that keeps the film just short of excellence. It's well made and entertaining, but ultimately not quite as catchy, stylish and anarchic as the very best pinky violence films.

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Girl Boss: Diamond Showdown (Japan, 1974) [DVD] - 3/5
Ikuo Sekimoto helmed the last two films in the series. This one, the 6th film in the series, plays it safe. Reiko Ike is a delinquent girl who once stabbed a gangster boss (Toru Abe) and is now being released from reform school. She’s soon back to her old habits. It’s an entertaining enough, but forgettable entry in the series. Occasional sadistic violence is mixed with comedy, and the soundtrack includes songs like “Funky Monkey Baby”. Bad girl Ryoko Ema, who gets a bit more characterization here than usual, seems to be wearing the same dress that Ike had in Lynch Law Classroom. Tsunehiko Watase plays a cool gangster always wearing sunglasses. This was the last film in the series with the original cast; neither Ike nor Sugimoto (absent here as well) returned for the final entry.

Girl Boss: Crazy Ball Game (Japan, 1974) [DVD] – 3.5/5
The final film in the series, done without its original stars Ike and Sugimoto, is perhaps the best. Yuko Kano is the new sukeban and although she was not a star of Ike or Sugimoto's calibre, she still owns the film. She’s got enough looks and attitude to convince and charm. It’s also a well made film with an energetic supporting cast, a groovy score, and a fast-paced script largely void of silly comic reliefs. The film is also enjoyably pro-women within its exploitation context: girls kick ass, nudity is often cheerful (wait for the ridiculous and awesome topless beach scene) and rapes only happen when the girls are outnumbered by yakuza gorillas, rather than women being at the mercy of any male by default. Any wrong doings are of course brutally avenged in the over the top final massacre that might have felt out of place in a more realistic entry, but was a perfect way to retire this series.

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Terrifying Girls' High School: Women's Violent Classroom (Japan, 1972) [DVD] - 3.5/5
A surprisingly mean spirited first film in the series with Miki Sugimoto as a nasty school gang leader. This film was remarkable not so much for being a side product of the Girl Boss series, but for being one of the movies that brought the Pinky Violence genre to darker grounds in 1972. Although the film is not terribly graphic, it is genuinely disturbing, not least because the heroine herself is a ruthless bully. A naive new male teacher tries to calm this down, but his attempts are futile with students greeting new teachers with knives and dead cats. The audience has to wait a good while for supporting star Reiko Ike to appear to find anyone to side with. Over-the-top action scenes are mostly missing, except for an iconic scene with two small school girl armies facing each other. The film also ends with one of the genre's defining moments as the girls burn their school uniforms at the school gate. Occasional silly humour does little to soften things; in fact it only makes the film feel dirtier. Masao Yagi's groovy score, on the other hand, ups the kick-ass factor.

Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom (Japan, 1973) [DVD] - 4/5
One of the finest films in the Pinky Violence genre, an anarchic, supremely stylish, erotic-grotesque end-of-the-world high school film. It is also, for its over-the-top nature, an easier movie to stomach than the first film in the series. Miki Sugimoto and her three pals (all brought into the film with ultra-cool introduction scenes) are bad girls coming to a new school to find who murdered Sugimoto's former gang boss. Turns out Ryoko Ema's gang is responsible; they've set up a torture lab in a classroom where they are draining poor victims out of their blood. The film's ending, where the entire school is demolished by the rioting students, is a dream come true to anyone who's ever felt frustration towards the educational system. However, the finest proof of director Norifumi Suzuki's talent is that he manages a handful of genuinely touching and beautiful scenes in the midst of all the chaos.

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Terrifying Girls' High School: Delinquent Convulsion Group (Japan, 1973) [DVD] - 2.5/5
The 3rd film in the series is a letdown after the supremely anarchic Lynch Law Classroom. This film doesn't really know what it wants to be. There's a bit of serious mother-daughter drama with Reiko Ike and Yoko Mihara, silly perverted high school teachers, the usual sukeban fights between rival gangs, and as a new addition, lots of gaijin raping high school girls. It all works alright as modest exploitation entertainment, but none of it packs too much punch. Director Masahiro Shimura seems to be to blame. He took over the directorial duties from Norifumi Suzuki for this and the following film, which remain his only directorial efforts. He also worked for Toei as an assistant director and contributing screenwriter. As a director he lacked the style, energy and kick ass factor that Suzuki was able to vent into the first two films.

Terrifying Girls' High School: Animal Courage (Japan, 1973) [DVD] - 2/5
The last and the least in the series. This one is a notch more realistic than some of the earlier films in the series, but in Masahiro Shimura's direction that only translates to increased dullness. The film lacks both the groove and the nastiness of the first two films, and adds very little of its own. Reiko Ike is a new student who enters a school where two girl gangs are fighting while the corrupt management enjoys exploiting the students. Old stuff. Minor genre charm aside, probably the most enjoyable thing about the movie is comedic relief Akira Oizumi as a horny English teacher. Oh, and Ryoko Ema is basically a good (bad) girl here for once. I guess that counts for something. The ending is rather good as well, but that comes too late and offers too little.

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Criminal Woman: Killing Melody (Japan, 1973) [35mm] - 4.5/5
This is the most feminist of all the Pinky Violence films, in addition to being one of the best. Reiko Ike is the daughter of a murdered man, sent to prison after she fails to kill the yakuza boss responsible. She makes friends with a miscellaneous bunch of girls (each given the coolest introduction scenes since Lynch Law Classroom) who team up with her after they're out of the slammer. It's a relatively simple story told with impeccable style, superb pacing, functional plot and likeable characters. Especially notable is how the heroines are handled by the filmmakers with worshipping rather than sleazy hands. That's not saying the film is lacking it in the nudity and sex department, even featuring the infamous chainsaw intimidation scene and the longest girl fight ever filmed (with malfunctioning garments, of course). However, the approach is quite different compared to some other films in the genre. These women are goddesses, and the sleazy guys are doomed from the start. The men ain't got nothing on these girls.

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Sex & Fury (Japan, 1973) [DVD] - 4/5
Most foreign viewers fail to put this film into a context. As much as a Pinky Violence film, it was also a late descendant of Toei's 60s gambler/yakuza movies. Once a hugely popular genre, Toei was still trying to keep it alive in the early 70s. After their biggest female star Junko Fuji retired, Toei tried finding a substitute. All attempts failed, and each new female yakuza film came out sleazier than the previous. Sex & Fury was the film that essentially burned all the bridges as it wholeheartedly crossed to the exploitation side. No more straight female gamblers were to come. Reiko Ike stars as a female yakuza on a mission of vengeance, while Christina Lindberg (drafted by Toei during a flight from Paris to Stockholm!) is a British (!) spy whose boss is trying to start an opium war in Japan. The storyline is messy with political aspects that director Norifumi Suzuki has no patience to develop; however, the film is visually stunning. Nowhere is that better evidenced than in the scene where Ike, attacked by enemies while taking bath, takes out the whole gang with a sword while in the nude in a snowy garden. The hypnotically choreographed carnage makes that one of the greatest scenes in exploitation film history.

Female Yakuza Tale (Japan, 1973) [35mm] - 3.5/5
Fun but hastily made sequel to Sex and Fury. Teruo Ishii directed the film, but it seems he didn't have much of a script to work with - more like a plot draft written in a hurry. There's a lot of incoherent nonsense between the opening and ending scenes. Ishii makes up for it with colourful images, a plot that revolves around a yakuza gang using girls who smuggle drugs in their vaginas, and a number of fantastic set pieces including the apocalyptic final massacre with two dozen naked ladies slaying yakuza with swords, nails, guns and hand grenades. There's a certain charm to seeing trash like this done with relatively amazing production values, something that would never happen in modern cinema.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 11 May 2017, 16:57

Foreigner's Mistress Oman: Falling Autumn Flower (Japan, 1972) [VoD] - 2.5/5
The 2nd film in the Rashamen Oman series is better than the first. This one is groovier, slightly better paced, and feels more like a real yakuza film, albeit a porno hybrid one. It can't entirely decide what it wants to be, though. There's the usual ninkyo premise with a wandering gambler (Sally May) whose sister (Yuri Yamashina) gets abused by an evil gang, but also a modern twist with a supporting girl gang straight out of a 60s Nikkatsu action film. We also get rope torture, sadistic young yakuza boss, and blind dice master Akira Takahashi. The action at the climax is actually pretty decent and more stylishly staged than those in some of Toei's lesser ninkyo films. Takahashi goes full on Zatoichi with a sword, and the yellow haired May in her beautiful white yukata make a genuinely memorable and unusual sight in the midst of the carnage. There's an evident Seijun Suzuki influence to the scene. One only wishes the film had a bit more plot and a bit less sex as even at 65 minutes it comes with some boring moments.

Takahashi and May
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Still in the ninkyo realm
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This is when it starts shifting towards 60s / 70s Nikkatsu action
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Yep
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Before Uma Thurman there was...
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Major Seijun Suzuki vibes
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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 19 May 2017, 16:03

Fujunna kankei (Japan, 1984) [DVD] - 4/5
It often happens with Roman Porno that when the film is good, you know it from the very first shot. Shogoro Nishimura nails it here with a man (Akira Sakai) sitting on a fence by the road on a cold night, with neon lights out of focus in the background, breathing warm air to his hands and waiting for a taxi that brings a young girl to him. She (lovely Natsuko Yamamoto) is hopelessly in love with him, and he takes her home while his wife is away. Next day just when he has brought a friend home for an after-party the wife doing laundry finds a stain and hair that doesn't belong to her in the bed sheets. Terrific scene! Former yakuza film director gone prolific but half-steam one man porno factory Nishimura delivers a major surprise with this well written, superbly directed relationship drama with exceptionally good characters that you really care for. The real stand out is the wife, played by the beautiful, underrated, eccentric Ako whose career was a mixture of Roman Porno, Arthouse Guild, Toei, Shochiku, and Toho films. The film's soundtrack is terrific as well. This is the beauty of Roman Porno: just when it starts to wear your out you'll stumble across a hidden gem. This currently ranks as my favourite Japanese film of 1984.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby Guro Taku » 10 Jun 2017, 13:09

July 4th DVD releases from Happinet:

White Skin Glimmering In the Darkness 闇に浮かぶ白い肌 (dir. Shogoro Nishimura, 1972)

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Wait... What the actual FUCK is happening on that cover?! Do I have to buy this DVD?! Somebody explain...

Bawdy Tales of Edo: Octopus & Sea Shell 江戸艶笑夜話 蛸と赤貝 (dir. Atsushi Fujiura, 1974)

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Onsen Geisha: Yubune de Ippatsu 温泉芸者 湯舟で一発 (dir. Atsushi Fujiura, 1982)

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Maruhi onsen: iwaburo jōji (秘)温泉 岩風呂の情事 (dir. Isao Hayashi, 1977)

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Blue Lagoon: A Summer Experience ひと夏の体験 青い珊瑚礁 (dir. Toshiharu Ikeda, 1981)

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 10 Jun 2017, 13:23

Guro Taku wrote:Do I have to buy this DVD?!


Yes! Then you can tell me if I have to do the same.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby Guro Taku » 17 Jun 2017, 18:34

The long interview with Yuuji Makiguchi published in the Japan Cult Film Collection series' volume on Torn Priestess/Nuns That Bite is a real treasure trove for great behind-the-scenes stories.

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Talking about SHOGUN'S SADISM, Makiguchi relays a story about the scene in which the Shogun (played with sadistic glee by Akira Shioji) tortures a woman who is trapped in a glass cage by pouring snakes in with her.

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Makiguchi says it was 100 Japanese rat snakes (Elaphe climacophora) and he was wrecking his head trying to figure out where he'd find an actress willing to agree to such a scene. Then producer Tatsuo Honda brought a woman all the way from Tochigi Prefecture who he had seen on TV in a report about people who like snakes. The woman told Makiguchi she keeps 3 or 4 big snakes at home and rolls around with them before bedtime in order to cool down. So he had found a woman who had no problem with the scene but he struggled to get a terrified performance out of her. Apparently most of the time her face looked more aroused than scared. After filming was completed, she actually asked Makiguchi if she could take the snakes back home. He allowed her to keep an "unnoticeable" amount and she selected the ones she thought were the cute ones and went home with a big smile.

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Re: Classic Japanese Exploitation (pinky violence & pink)

Unread postby HungFist » 18 Jun 2017, 02:40

Hah, awesome story!


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