What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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chazgower01
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Angel Terminators 2 (1993, Hong Kong) DVD 4/5
This may be Yukari’s best movie, and it features an excellent cast and good performances, even if it does tread some familiar movie tropes.
Yukari is just released from 2 years of jail and her best friend (Moon Lee) and friends are there to pick her up and they celebrate.
Yukari has a policeman father (Jason Pai) who put his wife (and her mother) in jail, where she committed suicide. Yukari has a dislike for him, even though he tries to mend their relationship.
He has a partner, Sibelle Hu, who again plays a sloppy, trigger happy, throw the book out the window HK cop.
Yukari goes to collect from her criminal boss (Wai Naai-Yip), who doesn’t want to pay her for going to jail for him, and when he tries to get Moon to hostess for him, Yukari goes nuts - they beat everyone up - and this sets a chain of events into action. But that’s only the FIRST of what Yukari does to make things worse.

I’m always surprised when I see people rag on this movie - for a pretty big cast, and a lot going on - I LIKE the characters, it’s easy to follow the story, and of course Moon and Yukari are always enjoyable together - here especially so, as they’re best friends and both playing street punks. Yukari does wear these ugly brown baggy sweatpant things with a pattern that says SLUT all over them, seemingly every other scene, but she more than makes up for it with her fighting, her acting, and in one iconic scene - her screaming as she carries two Molotov cocktails that she throws at the bad guy's car…
The finale, despite Yukari’s absence, is really well done, as Sibelle and Moon converge on the Big Boss’ Weapons deal at unknowingly the same time. Sibelle running around with a shotgun and Sophie Crawford firing an M-16 and squaring off with Moon - more Molotov cocktails (really a surprisingly underused weapon in these Hong Kong movies, if you think about it…) - Moon fights both Sophie AND Lee Fai… it has just the right amount of martial arts AND guns.
The way Moon and Sibelle finish the movie is a bit dumb, but overall, I loved this.


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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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chazgower01 wrote: 19 Apr 2020, 06:45 Violated Angels (1967, Japan) Fan Sub 3.5/5
as much as I liked the idea of a movie where Junko Natsu bares all
Junko Natsu?
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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HungFist wrote: 22 Apr 2020, 13:20
chazgower01 wrote: 19 Apr 2020, 06:45 Violated Angels (1967, Japan) Fan Sub 3.5/5
as much as I liked the idea of a movie where Junko Natsu bares all
Junko Natsu?
Yep. That's her in the picture.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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chazgower01 wrote: 22 Apr 2020, 15:06
HungFist wrote: 22 Apr 2020, 13:20
chazgower01 wrote: 19 Apr 2020, 06:45 Violated Angels (1967, Japan) Fan Sub 3.5/5
as much as I liked the idea of a movie where Junko Natsu bares all
Junko Natsu?
Yep. That's her in the picture.
All this time I had though she debuted at Daiei (and kept her clothes on). I stand corrected. Wow.

I guess summer came early for Wakamatsu :D
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Yeah, at a certain point they even do a close up of her and do a pan down shot, that, for 'creative reasons' I decided to put together as one picture... (obviously you can make this a NSFW clickable pic if you think it needs to be...)

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Virgin Breaker Yuki (玉割人ゆき) (Japan, 1975) [DVD] - 2.5/5
Nasty bitch / brothel virgin breaker Masumi Jun gets involved with outlaw revolutionaries and is stalked by dickless hobo Takuzo Kawatani. Early Showa set political Toei Porno isn't really great shakes, and oddly the storyline has more to do with supporting characters than the protagonist. But there's some sadism, a great Kawatani role, and it's quite watchable from the general/technical standpoint. It's worth noting that most of director Yuji Makiguchi's output wasn't as outrageous as his most notorious picture, Shogun's Sadism, and nor was this.

Nakano Spy School (陸軍中野学校) (Japan, 1966) [VoD] - 3/5
Daiei's 5 film take on the famous WWII spy school, with Raizo Ichikawa in the lead. There have been many films covering the subject, including the superb Sonny Chiba noir/commando action Army Intelligence 33 (1968) and the grittier Junya Sato directed Nakano Spy School (1974) at Toei. This one is more of a military thriller, with some dry training and build-up segments with the naive young men, but also a very suspenseful final 30 minutes that really make the film. Bleak, but one can't help but to feel it's lacking the kind rigorous of assault on war, nationalism and the viewer's senses that was present in many of director Yasuzo Masumura's other films (e.g. Hoodlum Soldier, Red Angel).

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Nakano Spy School: Cloud #1 Directive (陸軍中野学校 雲一号指令) (Japan, 1966) [VoD] - 2/5
Part 2. Ichikawa is assigned to investigate who is planting bombs in Japanese cargo ships. Plenty of spy activity, but this sequel loses the darker shades of the original and is essentially void of action to boot. The tension only starts to build up towards the very end.

The Yagyu Chronicles 8: The One-Eyed Ninja (柳生武芸帳 片目の忍者) (Japan, 1963) [TV] - 3.5/5
Part 8 in the Yagyu Chronicles series. Yaguy Jubei tries to curb a revolution against the Tokugawa shogunate after a weapons shipment goes missing. He calls in all the Yaguy ninjas, but among them comes a young impostor (young Hiroki Matsukata). I'm not well versed in classic Toei jidaigeki nor ninja films, so all I can say is that this film is loads of good time, a stylishly filmed ninja suspense tale full of action, including a ninja version of the Battle of Normandy as part of the massive 25 minute action climax.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Yumeno Kyusaku's Girl Hell (1977, Japan) Fan Sub 3.5/5
I believe this is my first Masaru Konuma film, and though I’m no stranger to many of the Japanese movie tropes he waded through here, I was surprised at the style and my interest in this movie. 

Two girls at a Private School, Aiko, a rebel who’s father is the principal and the other, Utae, who the rest of the school thinks is from another planet (thus her nickname Mrs. Mars), become friends and begin to discover socially unacceptable feelings for each other. On top of that, all of the men involved in the school are complete degenerates and secretly rape and sometimes even marry the students. 

The princpal gets Utae pregnant, and she WANTS to have the baby, but he drags her off to his secret medicine woman to perform an abortion (that they display in a fairly graphic depiction). Utae realizes what’s going on partway through it and escapes, but when she tells her friend Aiko about it - SHE tries to abort the baby by ripping her pants off and grinding her foot into Utae’s mons venus. Seems she doesn’t want to be related to it. Finally, Aiko squirms away and begins ramming her vagina into the corner of the piano until a trickle of blood runs down her leg. All of that should tell you if this is the movie for you.

Strangely enough though is that it’s all done in an interesting, straight forward way, with some beautifully artistic touches to it, that despite its exploitation elements, seems like a real movie about people who’re messed up. Yuko Asuka and Asami Ogawa are convincing in their roles, something that gives the film strength and provide one of the most sensual lesbian scenes I can remember. The ending is a little abstract, but overall I liked this.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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chazgower01 wrote: 30 Apr 2020, 21:30 Yumeno Kyusaku's Girl Hell (1977, Japan) Fan Sub 3.5/5
I tried watching this some years, but didn't get past the first 5 minutes. Just didn't seem appealing to me. I've been wondering if I should give it another try, though.

Virgin Breaker Yuki II: Western Licensed District (玉割り人ゆき 西の廓夕月楼) (Japan, 1976) [DVD] - 3/5
An unusual sequel that is essentially a meditative character piece of cruel poetry. This time Yuki falls in love with a man haunted by a complex past. There quite a lot of attention to period detail and more than a bit of arthouse Roman Porno flavour despite being a Toei film. In fact, had Noboru Tanaka or Tatsumi Kumashiro been Toei directors, they might have made with something like this. Well, it was written by Yozo Tanaka who did write several films for Noboru Tanaka and Masaru Konuma (and later even Shinji Somai). The film doesn’t ultimately achieve as much as it could, but it is quite an interesting curiosity in Toei's line-up. Fans of the more exploitative part 1 will be disappointed, but I think this is the better of the two.

Japan's Underworld (日本暗黒街) (Japan, 1966) [TV] - 3.5/5
A superbly stylish gangster / action film with ex-mobster Koji Tsuruta forced back in action when his ill-lucked buddy (excellent Ko Nishimura) gets himself in trouble with the yakuza. The film achieves nothing profound, but it's got a great, unmistakably 60s swing (probably attributable to comedy / musical director Masaharu Segawa) and even a bit of spy film influence. There's an excellent jazzy score, superb cinematography and spot-on performances / characters that are loving caricatures of the kinds of tough guys and beautiful women that populate these sort of noirish gangster tales. Koji Tsuruta in particular is at his Humphrey Bogart best here. Very enjoyable.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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chazgower01 wrote: 17 Oct 2017, 03:41 Hot Springs Earthworm Geisha (温泉みみず芸者 Onsen mimizu geisha) Blogstream (Japan, 1971) 3/5
As I seem to be watching this series backwards, this is apparently number 4 of the 5 in the group (no dvd box set?) - it's basically a silly comedy based around the idea of a pretty girl who gets in financial difficulties, becoming a geisha for money, and (at least in the two I've seen so far) having a vagina of special abilities that she eventually uses to 'defeat' her boss who doesn't want her to leave the business after she falls in love.
This one features a reportedly just under the legal age Reiko Ike running naked in the opening credits, as our featured rookie Geisha, and she of course plays the part like a pro. It's hard to believe this is a first movie for her, as she plays the focal point of the camera like she's been doing it her whole life.
Playing her kid sister, and 'practicing' on a banana in a short scene made just for those lips, is Miki Sugimoto, who LOOKS younger (she is by 5 months), and thus, keeps her clothes on throughout. Still, in a school girl outfit, or rockin some hot pants, she looks amazing. She does get dragged into a love scene near the end, but, once again, she is covered, and only has a smaller role - this is definately Reiko's movie.
It's a fun movie, I guess, and certainly a departure from what they would end up playing regularly, so it's worth a look.
Thought I'd update this as I finally got to watch a fan sub copy of it:

ONSEN MIMIZU GEISHA (Japan, 1972) DVD - 3.5/5
Reiko Ike and Miki Sugimoto in their first roles are sisters who are the descendants of a great, revered octopus fisherman (Zembei Tako) in a small fishing town. Their mother makes money from her special ‘octopus’ vagina that men can’t resist, much to the disgust (yet curiosity) of her daughters. Miki (while eating a banana!) spies on her mom with a customer, while Reiko charges guys at a disco for 5 minute sessions of feeling up her breasts.

When the mother is ripped off by a regular lover of all of their savings they have to borrow money from the bank and Reiko decides to go to Tokyo and make some real money with her vagina. Of course, she’s an immediate sensation, but her ‘Octopus’ vagina ends up giving the owner a heart attack. Her mom sends her a message to go to an Onsen on the Izu Peninsula. Turns out her mom got ripped off again and she can’t pay the resort back, so Reiko goes to work as a Geisha to cover it.

Reiko Ike looks fresh-faced and as cute as she ever would and Miki Sugimoto was perfectly suited to play her little sister. Reiko’s nudity during the opening credits is legendary - it was a great introduction to the world - and if you keep your eyes open during the opening credits, you can catch a glimpse of Miki’s first nude scene as well, as they dance in what looks to be a greenhouse. Director Norifumi Suzuki makes good use of showing us all of the politicians who frequent the Onsen, including one who boasts he ‘created the Child Welfare Act’, as he undresses the young Reiko!

This was my first time seeing this with subtitles and it was actually kinda funny.

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Trap Of Lust (1973, Japan) DVD - 3/5
Called a reimagining of Seijun Suzuki's 'Branded to Kill', it's more like, the writer of 'Branded to Kill' took some of the bare bones story and crammed it into a Roman Porno. But whereas Branded to Kill had its own quirky charm to it, THIS has more of a sinister quirk to it, and that's not a bad thing.
Our protagonist isn't likable at all, except when you see what he's up against - a creepy guy in a weird make-up and oversized trench coat that carries around a midget sized life-like doll (with a weird mask), who kill and rape in not so pretty ways. We first see these two - I mean - we THINK it's two people at first - you're not sure - as you see them through a keyhole from the protagonist's point of view - as they torture and rape some girl.
I have to admit, I was intrigued by it, despite being a little creeped out. You WANT to watch, because you're not sure what weird shit is going to happen next.
A pleasant surprise as a part of my ARROW Branded to Kill Blu-ray!
Well, maybe pleasant isn't the word I was looking for...

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Girls Junior High School - Too Young To Play Like This (1971, Japan) - 3/5
Obviously not something that would go over today… JUNIOR High School girls who seem even hornier than the boys - looking at nudie mags, spying on the couple next door having sex, pondering the penis size of historical figures, minors working the hostess bar… this film doesn’t pull any punches… little boys without their pants on, junior high lesbians, junior high girls showering while junior high boys peek (yep, THAT scene)… junior high boys wearing panties (that was a funny scene)… Junko gets kidnapped and stripped down to her underwear by the leader of the female gang, but that seems tame compared to some of the earlier stuff.
If none of that offends you, especially considering it’s ‘of age’ actors and actresses playing these roles (other than that pantless little boy..ugh), then some of its actually funny at times.
There’s plenty of mainstream hijinks as well - tricking a male and female faculty member into meeting each other privately, drugging the teacher’s food, some silly Yakuza hood getting fooled into thinking Junko is a boss’ daughter… you know… it’s like a bizarro world female Porky’s. Mildly humorous, but nothing special beyond one infamous scene.
Humorous for how UN PC it is today.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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'Yojimbo (1960)' [DVD] 4/5
Never saw the Kurosawa classic before, but I've seen the dozens of works based on the same setup. Lone wolf enters town, where he plays the two sides of gangs against eachother. Great performance from Mifune, as the flea-ridden ronin. Nice costumes as well. Really gave the two gangs a character. Perfectly paced.

'Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart At The River Styx (1972)' [Blu Ray] 3/5
The second installment took me by suprise as I was kind of left unimpressed by the first entry of the series even with the ultra basic setup. A member of the I believe Aiwa Domain was planning to sell the secret of indigo dye to the Shogun. The lone wolf (and cub) get hired to off the snitching fecker. But along the road a colourful cast of assassins threatens to end their mission early. And not mentioning the Hikari Brothers guarding that snitchin' fecker. This one is well paced, much better as the previous entry. Some banging tunes help. An example for how not too make an annoying kid sidekick. Have him push a button or two of asskick once in a while, but have him act like Keanu Reeves for most of the journey (he kept his mouth shut, even when being imprisoned. Good lad)...

'Savage Wolf Pack (1969)' [DL] 2.5/5
A group of juvenile delinquents rape the sister of big game hunter Tetsuya Watari, she commits suicide, Tetsuya Watari doen't take a liking to this situation. So he starts a private war with the gang of delinquents. Suprisingly violent with a western feeling. Gang characters sport some groovy costumes, Tetsuya Watari however has the charisma of a cinder block in this flick particular. Very enjoyable tho, thanks in part to the unexpected cup of blood splatter and limbs going south and west.

'Angel Dust (1994)' [DL] 2.5/5
Setsuko, a shrink, is called in by the local police to help solve the murders occurring in the tokyo tube station during specific time and date.
Atmospheric, i love the scene where the police enacts one of the murders with everyone who was in the tube pretending to be in the tube. Some flat performances here and there. A slow burner, but engaging.
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Welcome! It's been a few years since we had a new member, I think :lol:

Modern Porno Tale: Inherited Sex Mania (現代ポルノ伝 先天性淫婦) (Japan, 1971) [VoD] – 2/5
Can a film that starts with Reiko Ike and Miki Sugimoto in bed be dull? Yes, it can. Modest sexploitation entertainment with teenage nympho Reiko Ike going from one sugar daddy to another until she fall's for a yakuza's son. Director Suzuki films it with so much idolization for his recently discovered teenage star that you can almost see the drool falling on the camera lens. But the charm wears off Suzuki he relies too much on Ike's sex appeal and the film is void of action or even comedy content. But there are some worthwhile bit: the "soon to be blood rivals Ike and Sugimoto" in bed scene, a 10 minute Sandra Julien visit during which she dreams of being gang raped by tattooed yakuza... what else would a French girl fantasize of?, and the always great Asao Koike as love-sick yakuza. The "Inherited Sex Mania" aspect was a last moment thought by writer Masahiro Kakefuda, the "Modern Porno Tale" title marketing genius by Toei producer Shigeru Okada who shamelessly pushed titles like this into mainstream cinemas. It seems to have paid off financially.

The Scoundrel Takes a Trip (旅に出た極道) (Japan, 1969) [VoD] – 3/5
Gokudo goes Hong Kong. Junya Sato took helm of this entry, part 5 in the series. It's not up to his usual level, but as a harmless time waster it's not too bad. Gokudo tries to take down the Hong Kong international drug syndicate to save the daughters of China (whom he's been shagging), bonds with Chinaman gangster Minoru Oki and does less comedy stuff than in some other entries. Sugawara, Oshida, Yusuf, old battle axe wife are in, Yumiko Katayama appears briefly, too. But what really saves the film is a single stunning scene of characterization for villain Watanabe that director Sato seemingly pulls out of nowhere 15 minutes before the film ends. Some decent location work, too but also the irritating action cliché where machine gun shooters don't shit no matter how many bullets they spread. Anyway, the best of the seven Gokudos I've seen.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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HungFist wrote: 12 May 2020, 04:43
Modern Porno Tale: Inherited Sex Mania (現代ポルノ伝 先天性淫婦) (Japan, 1971) [VoD] – 2/5
Can a film that starts with Reiko Ike and Miki Sugimoto in bed be dull? Yes, it can. Modest sexploitation entertainment with teenage nympho Reiko Ike going from one sugar daddy to another until she fall's for a yakuza's son. Director Suzuki films it with so much idolization for his recently discovered teenage star that you can almost see the drool falling on the camera lens. But the charm wears off Suzuki he relies too much on Ike's sex appeal and the film is void of action or even comedy content. But there are some worthwhile bit: the "soon to be blood rivals Ike and Sugimoto" in bed scene, a 10 minute Sandra Julien visit during which she dreams of being gang raped by tattooed yakuza... what else would a French girl fantasize of?, and the always great Asao Koike as love-sick yakuza. The "Inherited Sex Mania" aspect was a last moment thought by writer Masahiro Kakefuda, the "Modern Porno Tale" title marketing genius by Toei producer Shigeru Okada who shamelessly pushed titles like this into mainstream cinemas. It seems to have paid off financially.
The thing I remember most from this is Ike's 'devirginization' scene, where the mom's creepy boyfriend rapes her in the shower -a perfect example of Suzuki taking something like that and making it stylish - instead of just slogging through it like most low budget film directors might. But yeah... definitely lacking something...
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The Scoundrel Returns from Kawagasaki (極道釜ヶ崎に帰る) (Japan, 1970) [VoD] - 2/5
Part 6. Gokudo goes home only to find his hometown occupied by Americans and terrorized by Chinese gangsters. Orphan kids are there too for the melodrama factor. A dull post-war entry, hopping back in time after the present day set Scoundrel Goes on a Trip, and solely lacking its exotism and artistic touches. Supporting cast provides some minor delight: Tomoko Mayama, Takuzo Kawatani in a blink twice and you'll miss him role, and Osman Yusuf doing double shift acting one role and dubbing another. The English title is a mistranslation: it should be The Scoundrel Returns to Kawagasaki.

The Karate (ザ・カラテ) (Japan, 1974) [VoD] – 4/5
A batshit insane martial arts film with Tadashi Yamashita, the unholy crossbreeding of Goofy and Charles Bronson. Yamashita plays a man hoping to attend a martial arts tournament in hopes of winning $50 000 for his foster mother. When he gets turned down by karate authority Masafumi Suzuki, he joins the yakuza as their representative. Director Yukio Noda helms this with the same aura of madness as Soul of Chiba, but with even more action. Yamashita looks like a Sister Street Fighter villain who somehow landed a movie of his own. His accent and ridiculous moustache alone are priceless. But as a martial arts film performer he is superb, doing excellent choreographies in much longer takes than was commonplace in Japanese cinema. The opponents are top notch as well. The whole film is tons of fun, even Shingo Yamashiro is hilarious. Released in the US as Bronson Lee, Champion, which is probably cut based on the reported 79 min running time and the PG rating (the Japanese print is 86 min, and features some violent bits like ripping off a man’s arm). The UK distributor and BBFC then snapped another 2 minutes from that already-cut print, bringing the runtime to only 73 minutes ('15' rated PAL video).

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Account of a Showa Era Scoundrel (昭和極道史) (Japan, 1972) [VoD] – 1.5/5
Unimaginative yakuza programmer with Tatsuo Umemiya. It's a ninkyo film set in modern milieu, lacking both the old fashioned charm of the 60s films and the brutal edge of the emerging 70s jitsuroku violence. Most characters are chatterboxes, but there is no reason to care about what they say. Tetsuro Tamba, Tsunehiko Watase and Mariko Kaga are all wasted in their supporting roles. The first and last 10 minutes are alright. Screenwriters Isao Matsumoto and Hideaki Yamamoto were in charge of the Delinquent Boss series at the time, and this is about what you'd expect from them minus the comedy. There is no reason for this film to exist other than as a programmer.

Song of the Night: Woman (夜の歌謡シリーズ おんな) (Japan, 1969) [VoD] – 4/5
Part 8 in the Night series, a hugely atmospheric nocturnal drama about bar girl Yumiko Nogiwa coming across night hustler Tatsuo Umemiya. The film opens with devastated Nogiwa pulling a knife on Umemiya. "Go ahead, stab me. I'll give you a present, a worthless life" he says with tired voice, before the film cuts back to show how things came to this. Turns out Nogiwa used to be working in as a hostess for a mean mama Yasuko Matsui and Umemiya, then light headed little sister (Teruo Ishii muse Masumi Tachibana) arrived the town to further complicate things. This is visually intoxicating, remarkably well written and atmospheric film with great performances. Umemiya in particular is excellent as impulsive and tragic sociopath who is not in full control of himself. He is, in fact, keeping up appearances while being too weak to leave Matsui. Director Ryuichi Takamori deserves credit for not fucking this up; in fact he does really well. The only weakness is the films 2nd half which, while good, doesn't quite have the momentum of the 1st. But this is still a very good film.

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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chazgower01 wrote: 03 May 2020, 20:51 ONSEN MIMIZU GEISHA (Japan, 1972) DVD - 3.5/5
Director Norifumi Suzuki makes good use of showing us all of the politicians who frequent the Onsen, including one who boasts he ‘created the Child Welfare Act’, as he undresses the young Reiko!
Suzuki wrote in his book that scenes like that were one of the reasons why he was so worried about people finding out Ike was 16. He was expecting The Ministry of Education to raise hell about the film, and THEN he found out that his new star was 16... :lol:
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Did someone have to be 18+ to appear on film like that?
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grim_tales wrote: 26 May 2020, 10:10 Did someone have to be 18+ to appear on film like that?
Not really. It was a bit of a grey area. There was underage nudity in magazines and youth films, and no one made a big deal about it. But Hot Springs Earthworm Geisha was a sex comedy about a girl who has an amazing vagina :lol: And it was a big mainstream release that even kids could see ("by begging and kowtowing" was Suzuki's answer as to how he managed to avoid the "adults only" certification for this and Girl Boss Blues :lol: ). I don't think it would've gotten Toei into any legal trouble, but it could have caused a media fuzz that could've cost the studio.

Toei did in fact get in trouble in 1973 when Yukio Noda directed a "semi documentary" sex flick featuring a 16 year old actress. It caused a fuzz on TV, and Toei chose to cancel the release... until in 1975 they released it anyway, and the theatrical poster said "The Youngest Porn Star Ever" :lol:

(I should mention "porn" had a softer meaning in Japanese than in other languages. It basically meant "sexy" and was used as a synonym for "pink". It did not refer to hard-core.)

In any case, Ike's age didn't remain a secret for too long. I don't know when it became common knowledge, but at least in in Jan. 1972 she was posing nude in Heibon Punch with "SEVENTEEN" written in capital letters next to her photo. Maybe before, too, but that's one case I know for certain.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Friday Bedroom (金曜日の寝室) (Japan, 1978) [DVD] – 2/5
A middle aged salaryman has woman trouble (wife, lover, and unknown caller threatening to expose latter to the former) in Masaru Konuma's dull Roman Porno Daisaku (a Golden Week release with Pink Hip Girl). This one doesn't know what it wants to be: a thriller or a human drama, a kinky flick or a mainstream movie, ending up being a bit of everything and not a whole lot of anything. It feels like a 80s TV film with 15 minutes of added sex scenes. It remains somewhat watchable, but is unlikely to be anyone's favourite Konuma film. See Erotic Diary of an Office Lady (1977) and Bed-In (1986) for similar but better Konuma efforts.

Flower Cards Chivalry (花札渡世) (Japan, 1967) [TV] - 4.5/5
Astonishing art house ninkyo yakuza film by Masashige Narusawa. Wandering gambler Tatsuo Umemiya runs into a young swindler woman Haruko Wanibuchi working with old man Junzaburo Ban. They are both arrested by detective Ko Nishimura. A year later Umemiya is staying with gangster Tatsuo Endo when he comes across that woman and her partner again. Endo lusts for both her and his own daughter, while Endo's looney yakuza brother Toru Abe has a thing for Endo's daughter, who in turn has her eye on Umemiya, and is willing to annihilate people standing on her way. And here lies one of the film's remarkable departures from the standard ninkyo efforts: it doesn't have a third party villain, nor a clear distinction between good and evil. It's bursting with romantic emotion and wrenched with gritty realism, shot with striking black and white compositions, and explodes into shocking carnage. It has lengthier, more detailed gambling scenes than any other yakuza film I've seen. And it has a heartbreakingly beautiful score. You could call it the Ashes of Time of ninkyo yakuza films. A masterpiece!

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Don't know if any of you Jackie Chan fans have the Criterion Channel membership (I'm a charter member - love it), but this month they've added a bunch of Jackie Chan movies - including Police Story, Police Story 2, Fearless Hyena, Half a Loaf of Kung Fu, Spiritual King Fu ( started with this - here it looks AMAZING and it's widescreen - and subtitled!), Young Master, Fearless Hyena 2, and My Lucky Stars.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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A cool picture I found during my research behind the scenes of 'Onsen Mimizu Geisha'

メッチャ楽しそうw『温泉みみず芸者』(’71)撮影スナップ。左から小池朝雄、女屋実和子、名和宏、殿山泰司、葵三津子、古谷伸(撮影),杉本美樹、池玲子、松井康子、鈴木則文、土肥温泉は最高。魚ウマいで!

Translated: Mecha looks fun w "Onsen Mizumizu Geisha" ('71) photo snapshot. From left to right: Asahi Koike, Miwako Onya, Hiroshi Nawa, Taiji Tonoyama, Mitsuko Aoi, Shin Furuya (photo), Miki Sugimoto, Reiko Ike, Yasuko Matsui, Norifumi Suzuki and Doi Onsen are the best. Fish a horse!

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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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I've been asking people if they know where the hell that photo comes from (because I want to buy the source to get a better quality version) but no luck so far.

lol at the machine translation quality.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Song of the Night Night: Even if I Die (夜の歌謡シリーズ 命かれても) (Japan, 1966) [VoD] – 2/5
The first “Song of the Night” film. Although this came from the same writer / director pair Ryuchi Takamori & Masashige Narusawa as the later, wonderful “Song of the Night: Woman”, this is nowhere near as good. To be honest, it’s been a few weeks since I watched the film and can no longer remember what the storyline was about, which should be quite telling of the film's (lack of) quality. Not awful, just thoroughly unremarkable. Now, getting back to the series, Toei’s DVD release acknowledges this as the 1st film in the “Song of the Night” series, however the original Erin summary calls it the 3rd film in “the series”. The theatrical poster for "Woman" is consistent with the latter, since it was advertised as the “8th film in a hit series” although it was only the 6th film with “Song of the Night” in the title. The explanation is that Umemiya also starred in Bad Women of the Night (1964), Nocturnal Nights (aka Glowing Red Vermin) (1966), Bitches of the Night (1966) and Night Guy (1968) before this film, and two of the fore-mentioned were counted in the “Song” series by Toei marketing back in the day. But which two? Who knows?

Red Handkerchief (赤いハンカチ) (Japan, 1964) [DVD] - 4/5
Young detective Yujiro Ishihara quits the force after gunning down a drug ring suspect and orphaning pretty girl Ruriko Asaoka. Years later police chief Nobuo Kaneko finds him in the snowy north working as a construction worker and a wandering guitarist! The chief needs help with the old case which remains unsolved and somehow landed Asaoka in Ishihara's ex-partner Hideaki Nitani's amorous hands. Beautifully atmospheric and visually poetic mood action with a great use of metaphoric winter and fall scenery, which reminds of matatabi films. Of course, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to see Ishihara's character as a modern matatabi hero. Though my knowledge of the genre is limited, there is doubt this film is rightfully considered one of the cornerstones of Nikkatsu Action.

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