Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, etc
Post Reply
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11316
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by HungFist »

Here's one from Synapse / Impulse to the fans. A film that has never been transferred from the original film prints before! No videos, no dvds, no VoDs, no nothing anywhere in the world. A film that most of us probably know by reputation: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979).

This film, directed by one of Nikkatsu's best and most stylish filmmakers, Koyu Ohara, was Nikkatsu's return to ultra-violent pink. The genre bloomed in the mid 70's, but after the controversy created by Rape! 13th Hour Nikkatsu ordered their directors to tone it down. Zoom Up: Rape Site changed that, and is considered by those few who have seen it as one of the nastiest films in the genre.

I've been dying to tell people about this for a long time already, and I guess it's ok now since Jerry mentioned it in a podcast (51:50). I was slightly involved in getting the film to Synapse's release list, but all credit goes to Synapse who went an extra mile with it. This was a title even Nikkatsu wasn't sure if they had it. But it was in their vaults, and Synapse decided to go for and do all the work from the scratch because they knew fans would love to finally get their hand on it.

I hope everyone will support Synapse's releases, but I especially hope people will support this specific title. It's one for the fans! No release date yet, but it's certainly coming!

Image
Guro Taku
King of Beggars
Posts: 589
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by Guro Taku »

Am I being recklessly optimistic if I consider this a likely candidate for a Blu-ray release? Not that I wouldn't buy a DVD release as well but a Blu-ray would certainly be the cherry on top of this amazing announcement.

This second batch of Nikkatsu titles is coming together nicely. Looks like I'll be picking up a lot more titles than with the first one.
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11316
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by HungFist »

I don't know if there will be a BD, but it's possible since Synapse is making a new (well, first ever) transfer for this. I think I read somewhere that many of the earlier titles couldn't be released on BD because the source material was not in HD.
Guro Taku
King of Beggars
Posts: 589
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by Guro Taku »

My impression was that if Nikkatsu had already done a SD transfer for their own DVD release, then that's what they sent Synapse for their release. In case of titles with no existing DVD release in Japan (like FAIRY IN A CAGE) Nikkatsu sent them the original negative and they did their own (HD)-transfer.

Interestingly, in that box of received masters that showed up on rockshockpop a while ago, there are 2 HDCAM masters (the ones in the black boxes) for FLOWER AND SNAKE '74 and LOVE HUNTER. It would seem Nikkatsu has been starting to do their own HD remasters!
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11316
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by HungFist »

Oh, and I'm the "kid from Iceland" Jerry refers to in the podcast at 42:05, although I've never been to Iceland :lol:
http://projection-booth.blogspot.jp/201 ... s.html?m=1

Not that I'm offended, not at all. Finland should be called Iceland anyway. We've got more ice :lol:
PhantoPulp
Jackie Chan's Little Toe
Posts: 3
Joined: 18 Aug 2014, 17:31

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by PhantoPulp »

Truly some of the best Nikkatsu-related news for a very long time.

To contemplate the imminent (English) subbed releases of WHITE ROSE, RAPE 13TH HOUR, and ZOOM UP: RAPE SITE is a wonderful thing.

I'd certainly love it if Synapse went Blu with RAPE SITE. Hell, I'd buy Blu's of them all. :clap:

Update:

According to the projection-booth blog, Jerry Chandler from Synapse, who was interviewed, said they're committed to a ZOOM UP: RAPE SITE Blu. They are also re-mastering STAR OF DAVID (possibly Blu), and are putting out RAPE 13TH HOUR and WHITE ROSE CAMPUS.
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11316
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by HungFist »

Lolita Vibrator Torture is coming out, too. Obviously they'll have to think of a new title for that film :lol:

Lolita Vibrator Torture is a film I'd love to see in a small, dirty underground pink theater :lol:
Guro Taku
King of Beggars
Posts: 589
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by Guro Taku »

I don't know about LOLITA VIBRATOR TORTURE but quite a few of Sato's films have been re-released in recent years by Xces Films (http://www.shinnihoneizo.co.jp/). I know they re-released Sato's HORSE, WOMAN, DOG (1990) in 2003 because I have the re-release theatrical poster rolled up in a box somewhere. Would have gotten it framed a long time ago but I'm worried the place where I usually get my posters mounted and framed would call the cops on me. Now that is a film that would be... interesting to watch with an audience. LOLITA VIBRATOR TORTURE is a gnarly little film to be sure but I think the title is its most scandalous aspect. The actress doesn't look any younger than your average pink film actress.

Speaking of scandalous, what's the basis for ZOOM UP: RAPE SITE's reputation? Is it just a few lines written by (the not always 100% reliable) Thomas Weisser somewhere or are there Japanese reviews as well?
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11316
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by HungFist »

I doubt Weisser has ever seen the film, so his review must be based on some Japanese source(s) (probably print).

Nikkatsu said the movie has never been transferred from film to any format before. Also, it seemed like they were not even sure if they had the prints at first, so it must have been out of circulation for a long time. I've never seen it screened in any roman porno series during the past few years either (although I could be mistaken). I would guess that the original theatrical run, and possibly a few re-screenings later, have been the only ways anyone could ever have seen it.

What's scandalous about Lolita Vibrator Torture, aside the title, is just how good a film it is. The sex (torture) nearly puts me into sleep, but the soundtrack and cinematography are breathtaking. The ending is amazing, too, and oddly feminist. And for a film distributed by a mainstream studio (Nikkatsu), I think it is pretty smutty overall.
PhantoPulp
Jackie Chan's Little Toe
Posts: 3
Joined: 18 Aug 2014, 17:31

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by PhantoPulp »

HungFist wrote:Lolita Vibrator Torture is coming out, too. Obviously they'll have to think of a new title for that film :lol:

Lolita Vibrator Torture is a film I'd love to see in a small, dirty underground pink theater :lol:
In the interview, Chandler discussed Amazon's distaste for the word 'rape', which explains why ZOOM UP-RAPE APARTMENTS had a title change. All future releases with 'rape' in the title (I'm looking at you, Hasebe!) will be "adjusted".

I also find LVT boring from an erotic standpoint, but an interesting film, nonetheless. More a study of a psycho's inner workings.

A Japanese friend did see a print of RAPE SITE about a decade ago in Tokyo and had positive things to say about it.

***

Beyond these titles, I'd like to see a Blu (or English-subbed, at least) of SECRET CHRONICLE-SHE BEAST MARKET, one of my favorites of all time.

You a fan of that, Hung Fist?
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11316
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by HungFist »

PhantoPulp wrote: Beyond these titles, I'd like to see a Blu (or English-subbed, at least) of SECRET CHRONICLE-SHE BEAST MARKET, one of my favorites of all time.

You a fan of that, Hung Fist?
Funny you brought that up, I'm gonna see it on 35mm next weekend!

Yeah, it's a good film. I have it on DVD and have also seen it on TV in Finland about 5 years ago...
PhantoPulp
Jackie Chan's Little Toe
Posts: 3
Joined: 18 Aug 2014, 17:31

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by PhantoPulp »

I'd love to see a 35mm presentation.

Very underrated.
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11316
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by HungFist »

No release date yet, but here's my review of the film.

Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979)

Koyu Ohara legendary violent pink film has been missing in action for decades. A lot has been written about it, with some reviews calling it the most brutal and misogynist film ever made, and others guessing it's a lost film. Of course, none of those critics had ever seen the film as it was buried in Nikkatsu's vaults all this time.

Truth be told, in terms of graphic detail and amount of violence it may not be quite the most repulsive film ever made. In fact, Nikkatsu had already made a couple more violent movies before, such as Rape! 13th Hour (1977). However, that's not saying it isn't a mean little film. Not only are there some classic, disturbing kills, the film also offers pitch black view on humanity.

The storyline kicks off with a serial killer lurking on women in the night. The opening scene sees the killer brutalize a woman, stick a light bulb between her legs, and finish the job with a strong kick. The killer then dumps the body in an elevator shaft full of rotting corpses in an abandoned building.

The film then shifts focus to a housewife (Erina Miyai) who is being hit on by her stepdaughter's home teacher (Takeshi Shimizu). The couple end up seeking private space from the same abandoned building where the killer's corpse stash is. A moment later another couple arrive. The man accidentally strangles his partner to death during sex, and ends up dumping the body in the fore mentioned elevator shaft. The housewife and home teacher, who saw it all from behind the window, are convinced he must be the killer the media is reporting about, but she's hesitant to go to the police because that would reveal her affair to everyome.

Rape Site is well made exploitation smut, with a solid thriller structure, some pretty decent cinematography, and an entirely misfit, laidback 70s score which in some ways makes the film less shocking and less "horror", but at the same time all the more "wrong" in a good sense. Also, the film sports a view on women that can be summarized with one classy line uttered by the main character:

"Be so kind, rape me again!"

Director Ohara keeps the film moving at pretty decent pace despite plentiful (also consensual) sex; indeed, this is easily one of his better movies, and also one of the better violent pink movies in general. What's most interesting about the film, however, is how all other characters seem to lose their mind because of the fear and paranoia caused by the serial killer, and end up committing almost as many crimes and murders as the actual killer. The ending is also very effective.

Screenwriter Chiho Katsura should be given special attention. He specialized in violent pink films in the late 70s and early 80s, and wrote most of Yasuharu Hasebe's films, as well as the film's sequel, Rape Apartments (1980). He also write films like House (1977) and Futari (1991). Katsura was clearly above your standard genre writer, constantly opting for different approaches which ranged from satirical to psychological and from romantic to plain brutal and bleak. Rape Site may not stand out as his most intelligent film - in fact there seems to be quite a few lapses in logic - but it's another fine addition to his body or work.

Overall, Rape Site is pretty lovely smut, and quite interesting from a historical perspective as well, but obviously not for all viewers. Look forward to Synapse / Impulse's upcoming DVD (and maybe BD?), which will hopefully be announced soon. Violent pink fans should love it.

Note: the following screencaps are not from the Synapse / Impulse release. These are just to give you an impression of what to expect from the film.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11316
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979) coming from Synapse

Post by HungFist »

Post Reply