The Toei Pinky Violence thread

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Classique
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Post by Classique »

Reika was just criminally cute.

The August lineup is sick.

Hopefully Exploitation Digital or Discotek nabs a few of those.


Which Fury Bancho is that vhs coverart piece from?

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Post by HungFist »

Classique wrote:Reika was just criminally cute.
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Classique wrote: Hopefully Exploitation Digital or Discotek nabs a few of those.
I don't know if it's very profitable anymore. They would lose the japanese customers and other people who are getting the Toei discs. But of course I wish they would release them.

Btw, subs for the first Sukeban film are available, and in my possession.
Classique wrote: Which Fury Bancho is that vhs coverart piece from?
No 10, 不良番長 口から出まかせ (1970) (1970)

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Post by HungFist »

Half of Toei’s pinky violence movies are still not available on dvd. These include well know films by directors like Ishii and Suzuki, but also films that are practically unknown in the west. I’ll try to list some of them (more posts to come)

三匹の牝蜂 (1970)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1970/ct001510.htm
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/molmot/20070903/p1
http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=19290

This film is directed by Motohiro Torii, who may be better known as screenwriter. He participated in writing Red Peony Gambler 3 and The Street Fighter, among others. The film stars Reiko Ohara, Junko Natsu, Tsunehiko Watase, Nobuo Kaneko and Asao Koike

The next two films are directed by Makoto Naito, who also did 13 Steps (get it on dvd already, Toei!) with Etsuko Shihomi, and several Furyo Bancho movies.

地獄の天使 紅い爆音 (1977)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1977/da003020.htm
http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=18745
http://douga.nifty.com/cs/catalog/douga ... 9001_2.htm

番格ロック (Bankaku rokku) (1973)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1973/cw002930.htm
http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=19979
http://blog.livedoor.jp/n_tko/archives/50829156.html
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/langberg/e/60e24c ... 93b92cf478

Bankaku rokku stars Emiko Yamauchi, Naoya Makoto, Hideo Murota, Takashi Shikauchi and Yumiko Katayama. Romanization for the 1977 film would be Jigoku no tenshi: akai bakuon (could be wrong), and it stars Aiko Morishita, Katsuhiro Fukuda, Masanori Machida, Tatsuya Kameyama and Tadashi Naruse

くの一忍法 観音開き (Kunoichi Ninpo: Kannon Biraki) (1976)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1976/cz000410.htm
http://www.ofdb.de/film/100650,Female-Ninjas
http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=18475

Aka Female Ninjas: In Bed With the Enemy. Directed by Takayuki Miyagawa. Starring Maki Tachibana, Megumi Hori, Keiko Kinugasa, Maki Karusoru and Jiro Okazaki

狂走セックス族 (Boso sekkusu-zoku) (1973)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1973/cw001170.htm
http://www.ofdb.de/film/112023,B%C3%B4s ... kkusu-zoku
http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=19920
http://www.otona-eiga.jp/contents/00000036.php

Directed by Takayuki Miyagawa and written by Norifumi Suzuki and Masahiro Kakefuda. Stars Tsunehiko Watase, Miki Sugimoto, Reiko Ike, Takashi Shirai, Hiroko Isayama and Yoko Mihara
Last edited by HungFist on 30 Apr 2009, 13:29, edited 1 time in total.

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A quick look at pinky violence movies still waiting to be released on dvd: Part 2

女囚やくざ (Josuke yakuza) (1974)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1974/cx000490.htm
http://www.ofdb.de/view.php?page=film_detail&fid=127242
http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=18199

Directed by Masahide Shinozuka and starring Reiko Ike, Tsunehiko Watase, Yoko Horikoshi, Kyoko Naito and Yuriko Mishima.

忘八武士道 さ無頼 (Bohachi bushidô: sa burai) (1974)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1974/cx000260.htm
http://www.ofdb.de/film/101369,Bohachi- ... r-Villainy
http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=18179

Aka Bohachi Code of Honor: Villainy aka Saburai – The Way of the Bohachi. This is a sequel to Teruo Ishii’s Porno jidaigeki – Bohachi bushido. Directed by Takashi Harada and stars Goro Ibuki, Reiko Ike, Emi Jo, Miki Nakai and Bin Amatsu. Toei has released this on vhs, but not dvd.

毒婦お伝と首切り浅 (Dokufu oden kubikiri asa) (1977)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1977/da000080.htm
http://www.ofdb.de/film/101835,Dokufu-oden-kubikiri-asa

aka Decapitation of an Evil Woman. By Yuuji Makiguchi (if Shogun’s Sadism is anything to go by, this is gonna be very splat splat).
Last edited by HungFist on 26 May 2008, 15:11, edited 1 time in total.

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A quick look at pinky violence movies still waiting to be released on dvd: Part 3 – Seifuku Heaven

恐怖女子高校 女暴力教室 (Kyôfu joshikôkô: onna bôryoku kyôshitsu) (1972)
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http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=19796
http://www.ofdb.de/film/126651,Terrifyi ... -Classroom
http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1972/cv002840.htm

Aka Terrifying Girls’ High School – Women’s Violent Classroom. Directed by Norifumi Suzuki and starring Miki Sugimoto, Reiko Ike, Rika Sudo, Ema Ryoko, Nobuo Kaneko and Rena Ichinose. This is the first part in the series

恐怖女子高校 不良悶絶グループ (Kyôfu joshikôkô: furyô monzetsu gurûpu) (1973)
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http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=19971
http://www.ofdb.de/film/126648,Terrifyi ... sion-Group
http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1973/cw002770.htm

Aka Terrifying Girls' High School - Delinquent Convulsion Group. Starring Reiko Ike, Yuko Kano, Hiroshi Nawa, Yoko Mihara, Ema Ryoko, Rie Saotome, Tatsuo Endo and Rena Ichinose. Directed by Masahiro Shimura. Third film in the series.

恐怖女子高校 アニマル同級生 (Kyôfu joshikôkô: animal dôkyôsei) (1973)
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http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=20020
http://www.ofdb.de/film/126649,Terrifyi ... al-Courage
http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1973/cw003660.htm

Aka Terrifying Girls' High School – Animal Courage. Starring Reiko Ike, Nobuo Kaneko, Ema Ryoko, Rie Saotome and Emi Shiro. Directed by Masahiro Shimura. Fourth (final) film in the series.

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A quick look at pinky violence movies still waiting to be released on dvd: Part 4 – Teruo Ishii’s Strange Love

残酷異常虐待物語 元禄女系図 (Zankoku ijô gyakutai monogatari: Genroku onna keizu) (1969)
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http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=22606
http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1969/cs000030.htm

Aka Orgies of Edo. Starring Asao Koike, Teruo Yoshida, Masumi Tachibana, Yukie Kagawa and Tatsumi Hijikata

異常性愛記録 ハレンチ (Ijo seai kiroku, harenchi) (1969)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1969/cs000540.htm
http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=22624

Starring Asao Koike, Teruo Yoshida, Yumiko Katayama, Eiji Wakasuki and Masumi Tachibana.

緋ぢりめん博徒 (Hidirimen bakuto) (1972)
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http://www.ofdb.de/film/101966,Hidirimen-bakuto
http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1972/cv003450.htm
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0142367/

Aka The Red Silk Gambler. Directed by Teruo Ishii and based on the novel by Oniroku Dan (whoa!). Stars Eiko Nakamura, Sanae Tsuchida, Reiko Ike, Asao Koike, Bunta Sugawara and Hiroko Fuji.
Last edited by HungFist on 26 May 2008, 15:08, edited 1 time in total.

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A quick look at pinky violence movies still waiting to be released on dvd: Part 5 - Hot Springs Special Service

温泉あんま芸者 (Onsen anma geisha) (1968)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1968/cr001560.htm
http://www.ofdb.de/film/125054,Onsen-anma-geisha
http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=22455

Aka Hot Springs Massage Geisha. Starring Teruo Yoshida, Masumi Tachibana, Yukie Kagawa, Yoko Mihara. Directed by Teruo Ishii

温泉こんにゃく芸者 (Onsen konnyaku geisha) (1970)
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http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=19328
http://www.ofdb.de/film/101500,Hot-Spri ... ued-Geisha
http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1970/ct002110.htm

Aka Hot Springs Devil-Tongue Geisha. Stars Ichiro Araki, Asao Koike, Hosei Komatsu, Miwako Onaya and Taiji Tonoyama. Directed by Sadao Nakajima.

温泉みみず芸者 (Onsen mimizu geisha) (1971)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/person/p0377040.htm
http://www.ofdb.de/film/101354,Onsen-mimizu-geisha
http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=19554

Aka Hot Springs Mimizu Geisha. With Miki Sugimoto, Reiko Ike and Asao Koike. Third in the series. Directed by Norifumi Suzuki.

温泉スッポン芸者 (Onsen suppon geisha) (1972)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1972/cv002000.htm
http://www.ofdb.de/film/101356,Onsen-suppon-geisha
http://www.walkerplus.com/movie/kinejun ... h&id=19740

Aka Hot Springs Kiss Geisha, with Miki Sugimoto, Yoko Mihara, Nobuo Kaneko and Ema Ryoko. Directed by Norifumi Suzuki. Fourth (final) in the series.

And finally, unrelated to the Onsen geisha series:

驚異のドキュメント 日本浴場物語 (Nippon yokujo monogatari) (1971)
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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0203741/
http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1971/cu000050.htm

Aka Pilgrimage to Japanese Baths. Directed by Sadao Nakajima
Last edited by HungFist on 26 May 2008, 15:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by HungFist »

Discotek's Bohachi Bushido has been delayed a few times, but it seem like the disc is now available from their website. Other retailers mention 20.5 as the release date.

So, everybody who doesn't own the film yet, order it now. It's the best chambara film to come out since Lone Wolf and Cub.

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First reviews:
http://10kbullets.com/reviews/b/bohachi ... ten-eight/
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/33288/bo ... ten-eight/
http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=67896
Last edited by HungFist on 30 Apr 2009, 13:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Classique »

Damn this release is loaded.

Watched the interview with the actress and it was pretty fun.

Spent at least 20-30 minutes reading the manga they included which is a pretty good chunk of it and it's great to see how closely the movie followed it.

Got thru a little bit of the J-Taro interview.He comes off a little bit at first
like a guy who just watches pinky films because he's a pervert :lol:
but as the interview goes further he definately gets in to things alot deeper and shares alot good views and takes on things.

The liner notes/about the film portion is great and informative though the
person who wrote it has the tendency to flex his grammatical muscles
with these ridiculously big words from time to time.

I can't compare on the pq because i'm not too savvy when it comes to
that aspect but from what I remember it looked like a port of the Toei release.

Hooray for Discotek!

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Post by HungFist »

Good to hear. I hope the Beautiful Girl Hunter disc will be as good.

I ran into a film that went totally unnoticed from before; Aesthetics of a Bullet (Teppodama no bigaku) 鉄砲玉の美学 (1973). It’s a ATG film, but with a full Toei crew; Sadao Nakajima, Miki Sugimoto, Tsunehiko Watase, Asao Koike.... Of couse no dvd ever.

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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1973/cw000330.htm
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0324207/
http://www.ofdb.de/film/146786,Tepp%C3%B4dama-no-bigaku

I also edited a few more missing Toei films into the earliers posts. Check if interested.

The some stuff I found from yahoo

6 CD’s. Reiko Ike and Sanda Julien mentioned somewhere

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No, don’t ask. I don’t know.

Another yahoo discovery

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No, I don’t know what this is either. But I’d dare to guess it’s a book!

And finally, lets add a bit to the August Toei hype; still for Sukeban Blues: Queen Bee’s Challenge (1972), out soon on dvd.

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Post by DanielN »

Hi Hungfist, just thought I'd come out of lurking to thank you for the good job you and other posters in this thread are doing keeping us informed on this fun genre of films.

While there are plenty of available titles I have yet to see, I'd like to add this to the "waiting to be released on DVD" list.

????? (1974)
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http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1974/cx002050.htm

Reiko Ike moonlighting at Nikkatsu studio for what looks like a cool movie.

Sorry, it seems I can't post the Japanese title.

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Post by HungFist »

Thanks and welcome. Nice to hear this thread has been helpful :)

Whoa, I totally missed the existence of that film (黒い牝豹M). I didn't even know Reiko ever worked with Nikkatsu. The film is directed by Koreji Kurahara, who did Bad Girl Mako with Junko Natsu (coming to R1 next year)

I'd love to see 黒い牝豹M on dvd. Maybe some US distributor would be wise enough to license it. Sadly it seems Geneon has stopped releasing Nikkatsu films on dvd, so I can't see anyone releasing it on R2J anytime soon. There seems to be an old VHS, though

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Mantis Wife’s Confession (Satsuki Midori no Kamakiri Fujin no Kokuhaku) (1975)

Yuuji Makiguchi started his career as an assistant director in several notable Toei productions (such as Teruo Ishii’s The Joy of Torture and Tai Kato’s Red Peony Gamber 3). He later gained popularity among western cult fans with his hyper violent period splatter Shogun’s Sadism (1976). Mantis Wife’s Confession shares little resemblance to those films. Midori Satsuki stars as a vamp who destroys one poor man’s life after another. Finally she seduces a professional killer, which brings a tiny bit of action into the comedy oriented film. Being a Toei production, Mantis Wife’s Confession looks like real movie rather than a cheap exploitation production. Unfortunately the storyline is running circles, and there’s little to get excited about. A couple of good jokes make you laugh a few times, and one surprise has found its way into the film; Ema Ryoko plays a housewife. She gets into a fight, but her shirt stays on and doesn’t even get ripped. Truly amazing.

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Story of a Nymphomaniac (Genroku (maruhi) monogatari) (1975)

And there goes my unquestioned trust for Toei. Why would the greatest film studio on earth even bother to produce such a worthless soft core romp? This Ikuo Sekimoto film has a non-existent and terribly boring plot, and not a single interesting character. There’s one great line of dialogue, a single scene of good comedy, and some nice music here and there but that’s it. The film doesn’t really even manage to disguise itself as high class production - which is something that many of Toei’s exploitation films have succeeded in – because the smutty content and unambitious storyline neutralize the effect of the random pretty images and decent production values. Teaches you to think twice before you spend 4500 yen on a Ikuo Sekimoto film.

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Ooku ukiyo-buro (Concubine's Palace) (1977)

Ikuo Sekimoto’s previous film (Story of a Nymphomaniac) was so utterly worthless that I didn’t dare to set my hopes very high this time. But Ooku Ukiyoburo isn’t all bad. The most promising part comes around 30 minutes when several moody, audio visually beautiful scenes follow each other. There’s also a bit of storyline and a half-epic shogun’s inner palace setting. But, of course, the endless sex scenes are hard to survive without falling asleep. If 20 minutes of humping was edited out from the current 80 min running time Ooku Ukiyoburo might be a rather decent erotic period drama. Now it’s watchable and occasionally impressive, but takes some effort. The film stars Masaru Shinga and Eiko Matsuda (Ai no corrida).

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Post by HungFist »

All three dvds are typical Toei releases. Good looking, natural transfer. You can spot a tiny bit of edge enhancement in a few scenes if you look real hard. Extras are original trailers and stills. Teaser trailers, if such exist, are not found on the discs.

Note that the running time of Ooku ukiyo-buro is 80:31. Spannick at advdg reported that this dvd (and the old Toei VHS) is not fully uncut. The old German VHS featured footage not found on the Toei print. However, some bits that were not found on the German release are present on this Toei dvd. It seems alternate versions exist, and no one really knows if a fully uncut master still exists.

I’ll try to get the May Norifumi Suzuki dvds reviewed / commented sometime in the summer. I should be receiving the dvds any day now, but I’m quite busy at the moment. I’ll also try to re-watch Ooku jyuhakkei (Dolls of the Shogun’s Harem) and finish that review that I stared writing last summer (d’oh). And maybe do a comparison to the international version of the film (which is missing half of my favourite scenes).

Also, I found this handy site with some info and pics for Toei pink films:
http://www.otona-eiga.jp/list_6.php

And here's another reason to move to Japan:
http://www.laputa-jp.com/laputa/program/zubekou/#top

Finally, found something for Christina fans

https://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums/ ... -cover.jpg
(Journey to Japan, coming from Studio S in August)
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Better late than never, eh?

Horrors of Malformed Men (Kyofu kikei ningen) (1969)

Teruo Ishii’s ill-treated piece of movie history has a reputation as the most notorious Japanese horror movie ever made. This however is not due to the amount of sex and violence but rather because of the politics. Deformation was already a touchy subject in the post WWII Japan and the atmosphere didn’t get any more open minded around the time Horrors of Malformed Men was released. Ishii’s long time dream project didn’t come even close to being politically correct (content and name wise. The original title advices you to be afraid of deformed men) and fell victim to the new policies. A few weeks after its original release Toei themself pulled the prints from circulation. The first international screening wasn’t held until in 2003 in Italy, and Synapse’s 2007 dvd release marked the first time Horrors of Malformed Men was ever made available on home video anywhere.

The film opens in a madhouse where the lead character is harassed by crazy topples women (this is a Teruo Ishii movie alright). Nevertheless, Horrors of Malformed Men takes relatively long before it turns the full on insanity gear on. The first half is dedicated mostly to unfolding the mystery plot. Of course there’s an exploitative moment here and there – like a woman attacked by snakes while bathing – but the low amount of exploitation and shocks may disappoint some of the more impatient shock cinema fans. The storyline is however rather interesting to follow, and the true reward is waiting just behind the corner. In the beginning there’s also a small dose of very silly humour in one scene when Ishii makes fun of priests and doctors. Almost makes you wonder if Norifumi Suzuki visited the set.

Unlike many of Ishii’s late 60’s films Horrors of Malformed Men does not consists of individual episodes but is rather a combination of several Edogawa Rampo stories. A certain western science fiction classic also plays major role in the mix, but to avoid spoilers the title is best left unrevealed. The film stars Ishii reqular Teruo Yoshida. He plays a man who is wrongfully convicted to mental hospital. After surviving a murder attempt and escaping from the institution he becomes obsessed with solving a mystery that will later lead him into a new world of horror, dominated by a mysterious character played by the butoh expert Tatsumi Hijikata.

After setting the story for a good 45 minutes Ishii makes a quick turn from mystery thriller to disturbing horror. What follows is a 20 minute sequence of jaw dropping visual madness and grotesque visions. Although the film is not especially graphic some images could hardly be described as pleasant to look at. Later the film slows down again and goes into dialogue mode for quite some time but it doesn’t take away from the film’s impressiveness. The closing scene for example is legendary. As a whole Horrors of Malformed Men may not be as wild as some people expect it to be but it’s a fascinating film and a real diamond in Ishii’s filmography. Essential viewing for anyone interested in Japanese cult cinema.

Synapse’s R1 dvd is a terrific package. The transfer is on par with Panik House’s work (this being one of the projects they inherited from Panik House when the company went bust). The extras feature not only the usual original trailer and biographies by Chris D but also an audio commentary by Japan Times’ Mark Schilling (with some silent parts but generally pretty interesting to listen to), a 14 minute Ishii at Venice feature, Ishii’s introduction for the film (4 min) and interviews with Shinya Tsukamoto and Minoru Kawasaki (23 min). A Teruo Ishii poster gallery (33 movie posters) is also included, with some hidden trailers. Finally there’s a 8 page booklet with liner notes by Patrick Macias, Tomo Machiyama and Jasper Sharp. The cover art is fully reversible with the original Japanese poster art on the flip side.

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Dolls of the Shogun's Harem (Ooku jyuhakkei) (1986)

Beautiful flower fields, shogun’s luxorous inner palace, young topless women pulling the rope for the fun of one man... Obviously an early 70’s Norifumi Suzuki entertainment piece, a film from the time before he filled the screen with modern day girl gangs, long before he went truck crazy with Bunta Sugawara, or had discovered the cheesy ninja movies of the following decade. But wait, Dolls of the Shogun’s Harem is a 1986 film. What the hell?

Watching Dolls of the Shogun’s Harem may bring up some nostalgic feelings. This is the kind of movie Toei was churning out during the golden years of their pink cinema. Suzuki himself directed a very similar production in 1972, Lustful Shogun and His 21 Mistresses. A few years later Suzuki, the uncrowned king of Toei pink, left the genre to become a highly succesful mainstream director. Dolls of the Shogun’s Harem is his return to majestetic, pink coloured period drama.

The first 5 minutes offer a perfect introduction to the film. The shogun’s rabbit hunting afternoon is interrupted when he spots a beautiful woman bathing under a waterfall. He chases the scared woman through the blossoming flower valley in a colourful scene that is borderline corny, and captures her at the top of the hill. As he takes the woman by force the camera pans back slowly, ultimately to ending up to several kilometer’s distance and revealing the surrounding mountain landscapes. Catchy theme song accompanies opening credits.

Suzuki and Toei always knew how to make grand scale exploitation with limited budget. But Dolls is more restrained – some have even called it realistic, although I wouldn’t go quite that far – than the genre’s classic achievements from the previous decades. Some of the edge has been lost, no doubt. Sex is as plentiful as before. But the director has learnt some new tricks as well. Easily the most impressive element in the film is the terrific soundtrack, heavy on soft rock.

Action is sparse. There is only one brief sword fight in the film, plus a highly stylized torture scene that brought Dario Argento’s art of killing to my mind. It is the sex, talk and dazzling dresses that dominate the film. An decent enough if not overly thrilling mix, but at 115 minutes the film could do with some trimming. This was not left unnoticed by the international distibutor, who managed lose 17 minutes of footage before the subtitles were attached to the print. Good idea, only that the film went from lengthy into shreds; many of the best scenes were removed, continuety problems appeared, and large proportions of the fantastic score were lost.

Toei’s 2007 dvd release features the Japanese version (comparison here) of the film, running 115 minutes. Image quality and extras (trailer, stills) are your standard Toei offering. The excellent original trailer is notable for featuring loads of footage shot only promotional purposes. As all ”recent” Toei releases, the cover art is one sided with no stills on the reverse side (this unfortunate change took place sometime between December 2006 and June 2007). The good looking cover art is a slightly altered version of the theatrical poster.

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Gendai poruno-den: senten-sei inpu (1971)

Can Norifumi Suzuki make a bad movie? Probably not. But a rather modest one, yes. Modern Porno Tale is one of the pink films he directed before the audience started demanding wild action and biker girls. As most erotic dramas, it’s not an overly exciting film. But it does benefit from the talent involved. Suzuki knows how to edit and use music, and of course he’s brought the whole Toei pink cast with him. Reiko Ike, young as damn here, is in the lead. Yoko Mihara plays her mother (suddenly the title makes so much sense), Asao Koike a foolish yakuza, and Fumio Watanabe... ah, I forgot who he played. The French sex kitten Sandra Julien, whose encounter with Reiko didn’t pass the Japanese censorship without heavy cuts, makes a memorable 20 minute visit around the halfway. Oh, and in the opening scene we have Reiko and Miki Sugimoto having lesbian sex. Miki disappears from the film once the opening credits have rolled.

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Tokugawa sekkusu kinshi-rei: shikijô daimyô (1972)

Sandra Julien’s Japan holiday continues, with kimono (un)attached. This time she’s also in for some rougher treatement as director Suzuki has remembered to include some violence in the film. That of course results, in one way or another, from the infamous sex ban suggested by the title. For the most part, however, Tokugawa Sex Ban is an easy going pink comedy with only a few more violent moments. These include the most absurd suicide scene you’ve ever seen. Suzuki’s camerawork and use of music is also guaranteed to deliver enjoyable moments of complete confusion. Little puns at christianity are includes as usual.

Nevertheless, as a whole Tokugawa Sex Ban is far from Suzuki wildest work and also not on par with Lustful Shogun and His 21 Mistresses, but entertaining enough to deserve a one time viewing. The cast is solid. Julien’s extensive role was the main selling point in the film’s marketing campaign, and the ever reliable Fumio Watanabe appears in good supporting role. His character starts out quite nice but later he gets to be his usual evil himself. The Japanese female lead is Miki Sugimoto, but she gets so little screentime that it is be appropriate to label her as supporting actress rather than star.

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Next up is Meiko Kaji x 5, the Stray Cat Rock series. At first I wasn’t sure if I should post them here or in the ”jp cult cinema” thread. None of the movies are as exploitative as almost everything else I’ve reviewed here. However, three of the five films fall under the pinky violence category, so this thread seemed like the most logical home for the series.

I’ve also been meaning to have these Toei and Nikkatsu review waves, and not mix them up like this (the contrast to those Suzuki sex romps is pretty damn high). But since I’ll be reviewing a couple of Delinquent Girl Boss and Sukeban Blues films in the near future - both series heavily influenced by the Stray Cat Rock films – I think it’s best to get the Cats out of the way first.

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Stray Cat Rock: Girl Boss (Nora neko rokku: Onna banchou) (1970)

Nikkatsu studios faced serious financial problems and drifted to roman porno in late 1971, but for the years before that they kept churning out some of the hippiest crime and gangster films in the world. Male super stars like Akira Kobayashi and Jo Shishido had dominated the box office, but now it was time for a more feminine approach. The five part Stray Cat Rock series set the trend for delinquent girl action films. Other studios, especially Toei with their sexed up pinky violence films, would follow Nikkatsu’s example.

Unlike many of the exploitative girl gang films of the 70’s, Stray Cat Rock does not lean on sex and sleaze. Girl Boss contains no graphic sex or nudity whatsoever. Instead the mix is as follows; tough as nails delinquent girls, fast action, fashion, motorbikes and almost non-stop good music, including on screen performances by bands such as The Mops and Andre Candre. A celluloid recording of the early 70’s rock n’ roll feel in Japan in other words.

The storyline kicks off when a new girl (Akiko Wada) rides into the town. She immediately gets in bad terms with the Seiyu gang, and makes friends with a local girl group lead by Meiko Kaji. Things get more complicated when Meiko’s boyfriend (Koji Wada) decides he wants to join the Seiyu gang. He’s given simple terms; to talk over his friend, a boxer played by Ken Sanders, to lose a boxing match. If everything goes well, he will receive a full membership and the gang will make loads money with bets. If not, he will lose his life.

Although often recalled as Meiko Kaji movies, she is not the lead actress but a supporting player in the first film. The real heroine is ’pop star turned actress’ Akiko Wada, who plays her role in the similar fashion as Reiko Oshida in her Toei movies. She’s not quite on par, but good enough to carry the film. Her songs are not quite on par with the rest of the soundtrack, though. Kaji and the other girls – often wearing sunglasses size of a football – give good support. Tatsuya Fuji, the future star of In The Realm of Senses, gives a good villain performance simply by looking arrogant and laughing like a madman.

Another important cast member that needs to be mentioned is the vehicles. These girls don’t walk, they ride a motorcycle. From the opening scenes to the last frames motorcycles are found in almost every outdoor scene. There’s enough ”girls on bikes” shots to make a promotional photobook. Also worth mentioning is the red Daihatsu Beach Buggy that Tatsuya Fuji’s character is crazy about. A classic scene shows Fuji chasing our heroines Wada and Kaji through the underground passages of the Shinjuku Station. Try getting a permission to shoot such a scene today!!!

Girl Boss was directed by Yasuharu Hasebe, who had already been delivering Nikkatsu with several stylish action films in the late 60’s. Later in the 70’s he became know for his violent pink roughies, but Stray Cat Rock remains his most remarkable achievement. Although Girl Boss isn’t as wild and technically cutting edge as some of the later films in the genre, it’s a quite a thrilling piece of pop cinema. Hasebe later returned to helm two more instalments, parts 3 and 4, with the remain two going to Toshiya Fujita (Lady Snowblood)

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Last edited by HungFist on 22 Aug 2009, 12:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo (Nora neko rokku: Wild jumbo) (1970)

The five film Stray Cat Rock series was completed within 6 months. This was made possible by using two directors, Yasuharu Hasebe and Toshiya Fujita, who were both working at the same time. The cast and crew was basically running between the sets. What makes this all the more interesting is that Fujita and Hasebe were making very different kind of films. The original movie, directed by Hasebe, was a girl gang film gone disco mode. Fujita’s follow up Wild Jumbo is an enjoyable youth film with minor crime movie elements introduced during the second half. Three important actors from the first movie return; Meiko Kaji, Tatsuya Fuji, and Bunjaku Han. They are all equal characters, although Kaji’s jeans and white bikini top combination tends to be a scene stealer. Fuji plays his role in similar fashion as in the first film – including the mad laughter – but he’s now a good guy instead of a villain. Akiko Wada is gone, thankfully, apart from some stock footage and songs from Girl Boss which are clearly the film's weakest point. Most of the movie consists of 6 friends – or gang members to be exact although they are hardly involved in any kind of criminal activity – slacking around and riding a green jeep. Finally one of the members (Takeo Chii) comes up with a shortcut to richness.

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Last edited by HungFist on 19 Aug 2009, 19:05, edited 1 time in total.

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Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (Nora neko rokku: Sex Hunter) (1970)

Girl gang swing is back – to some extent at least – in the third Stray Cat Rock film which is considered the best in the series by many. After Toshiya Fujita’s youth oriented Wild Jumbo Yasuharu Hasebe returns the series closer to its origins. The title – Sex Hunter – is of course a marketing gimmic by the Nikkatsu Studios – there are no sex hunters in the film. Instead the storyline is about half-breed Japanese man (Rikiya Yasuoka before he gained weight) caught up between a violent racist gang (Tatsuya Fuji back in a villain role) and a group of tough girls (led by Meiko Kaji). It was quite rare to have such strong and critical racism theme in a Japanese mainstream film in the early 70’s. Furthermore, a large portion of the music heard in Sex Hunter is performed by the girl band Golden Half, which consisted of five members who all had American father and Japanese mother. The music and club scenes create good contrast for the heavier content. For Meiko Kaji Sex Hunter was the first Stray Cat Rock movie in which she played the central character. Kaji’s performance is not among her best, but the character is surprisingly unsympathetic, making it more interesting, or at least original, than many other sukeban heroines. Bunjaku Han, who appears in all other films in the series, is sadly absent from the cast.

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Last edited by HungFist on 19 Aug 2009, 19:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal (Nora neko rokku: Machine Animal) (1970)

The fourth and best Stray Cat Rock film deals with drugs and freedom. Two Japanese men help a Vietnam war runaway to flee from Japan. Their plan is to sell LSD pills to finance their trip to Sweden, but as word spreads different gangs become interested in gaining possession of the drugs, preferably without paying. Director Hasebe’s previous film Sex Hunter strongly criticized racism in Japan. Machine Animal also deals with foreign people in Japan, but this time the approach is almost entirely positive. When the American runaway (played by Japanese actor Toshiya Yamano) arrives Yokohama he’s immediately welcomed and taken to bowling alley to have fun. Even the villains treat him as human being rather than gaijin garbage. This same positive spirit applies to the entire film. The soundtrack is perhaps the best in the series – or at least most even. Zoo Nee Voo’s Hitori no kanashimi – on which Ozaki Kiyohiko’s beloved classic Until We Meet Again (Mata au hi made) was based on – is featured in one of the film’s numerous, psychedelic club scenes. The main star Meiko Kaji also gets to do a little bit of singing, but her main task is to look endlessly cool (or silly, depending on your taste) wearing a white dress and black hat. The supporting roles star Bunjaku Han as the Dragon Gang leader, Eiji Go as evil motorcycle villain, and Tatsuya Fuji as a quiet, spectacled good guy – an exact opposite from his vicious bad guy role in Sex Hunter. Rival studio Toei followed Nikkatsu’s example some months later; their Delinquent Girl Boss: Ballad of Yokohama Hoods (1971) borrows heavily from Machine Animal. Although Toei ultimately won the girl gang battle, they were still a step behind Nikkatsu in 1970 when it came to youthful action films.

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Last edited by HungFist on 19 Aug 2009, 19:04, edited 1 time in total.

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