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

Film Reviews and Release Comparisons
Guro Taku
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Guro Taku » 08 Feb 2019, 12:23

Liverleaf (ミスミソウ) (Japan, 2018) [BD] - 3.5/5
Another over-the-top manga adaptation from Eisuke Naito after Litchi Hikari Club (2016). Those looking for a serious and realistic drama about bullying will be sorely disappointed as a 40 minute first third spent on character introductions and the heroine's mistreatment gives way to 80 minutes of splattery carnage and absurdity. The teacher's backstory (and her demise) had me almost drop to the floor laughing. Rena Otsuka as Rumi is easily the cutest tween psychopath in recent memory. And I remain impressed that Naito is somehow managing to keep finding projects that have similar themes in today's Japanese film industry.

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

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 09 Feb 2019, 09:02

Story of Drunken Master (1979)

Tame but pleasant enough starring role for Yuen Siu-tien (looking considerably older and frailer then he did in Dance of the Drunk Mantis, released a mere two months earlier), which is much in the vein of the old Wong Fei-hung films, and Yuen is essentially playing Wong (patrician, stern, respectable figure in the community) rather than the nomadic Beggar So of the earlier films. There's a pretty decent supporting cast, and some good fights, but it never feels like much is at stake, and ultimately it plays more like an episode in an ongoing (if non-existent) serial then a distinctive movie. The tedious Vaughan Savidge dubbing (think Fearless Hyena or any number of Godfrey Ho movies) doesn't help, though I should count my lucky stars I spared myself the re-dub…
6/10


The Thunder Kick (1974)

Interesting basher with a good supporting cast and some pretty vicious fights somewhat held back from first class appeal thanks to poor choices for male lead (Larry Lee) and main villain (Yukio Someno). Early on, James Nam has a fight with Bolo, and they would have made better lead characters. Mars also turns up. The end fight goes on for ages!
7/10

The Magnificent (1978)
Above average Godfrey Ho film set in the early years of the founding of the Republic. Carter Wong and Lung Chun-Ehrr team up to defeat Manchurian agent Chen Sing, with supporting roles provided by Casanova Wong and a gurning Dragon Lee, the latter intruding somewhat on the generally straight-laced film with his goofy Bruce impression. Impressive use of locations and settings, good fights, and a refreshing absence of OTT humour make this worth checking out, especially as it is available in a widescreen Mandarin print.
7/10
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by saltysam » 09 Feb 2019, 18:14

Ivan Drago wrote:
09 Feb 2019, 09:02



The Thunder Kick (1974)

Interesting basher with a good supporting cast and some pretty vicious fights somewhat held back from first class appeal thanks to poor choices for male lead (Larry Lee) and main villain (Yukio Someno). Early on, James Nam has a fight with Bolo, and they would have made better lead characters. Mars also turns up. The end fight goes on for ages!
7/10
This was one of my first exposures to the genre, back in the late 70's my dad had a super 8 projector, i watched the condensed version of this endlessly. Larry digging out his tonfus stayed with me. German DVD is good but it must have been shredded there, as the amount of inserts to make it uncut is distracting.
Ivan Drago wrote:
09 Feb 2019, 09:02
The Magnificent (1978)
Above average Godfrey Ho film set in the early years of the founding of the Republic. Carter Wong and Lung Chun-Ehrr team up to defeat Manchurian agent Chen Sing, with supporting roles provided by Casanova Wong and a gurning Dragon Lee, the latter intruding somewhat on the generally straight-laced film with his goofy Bruce impression. Impressive use of locations and settings, good fights, and a refreshing absence of OTT humour make this worth checking out, especially as it is available in a widescreen Mandarin print.
7/10
Where's this available in widescreen?
working class blu-ray fan

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

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 10 Feb 2019, 01:15

MAGNIFICENT got a widescreen DVD from Crash Cinema nearly two decades ago. I hope the print is still around as it would make a good source for a BD, even with its burnt in theatrical subs.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 10 Feb 2019, 01:47

Devil Woman (1974)

Hong Kong/Fillipino co-production that sounds like it should be a awesome combination of horror and kung fu, but mostly feels like two seperate films stuck together. There's a girl with snakes for hair killing people off (that's meant to be a shocking twist, but since it's all over the posters and trailer, I don't think I'm blowing anything), whilst a visiting Chinese kung fu expert (Tung Li, dressed in white so that he resembles Bruce Lee) gets into fights and enjoys the scenery. Disapointingly low on exploitation thrills, and boring dubbing, but the Code Red BD at least lets you enjoy in OAR and HD.

4/10



Dragons Never Die (1974)

Sadly not another Bruceploitation flick, but instead a goofy and underwhelming buddy movie with Alex Lung and Hon Kwok Choi travelling the land seeking challenges. The action is decent but the story choppy and uninvolving, not helped by the awkward dubbing. It is, however, VERY interesting to see debutant director Chen Chi-Hwa trying out several gimmicks (a fights with eggs, a dream sequence where a comic bufoon imagines himself a kung fu master) he would re-use note-for-note 4 years later in the Jackie Chan veichle Half a Loaf of Kung Fu. So much for that being "the first kung fu comedy"...

The master on the Code Red BD is SD but looks OK and is OAR.
4/10

Check out this funky trailer for the US double bill release!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TL5kML04-w
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 11 Feb 2019, 13:44

Ichi the Killer (殺し屋1) (Japan, 2001) [Netflix] - 3.5/5
Never been a huge fan of this, but I've grown to like it. Miike has always been good at location work and this, too, captures the threatening 90s anguish Tokyo much like Shinya Tsukamoto's earlier films. The violence seems surprisingly tame by today's standards; in a world where Hostels and Saws pass for mainstream entertainment, Ichi could almost be downgraded to a 15.

Alley Cat (アリーキャット) (Japan, 2017) [Netflix] - 3.5/5
A failed boxer (Yôsuke Kubozuka) and a punk (rock star Kenji Furuya) try to help a woman blackmailed by obsessive ex with revenge porn. They are soon way over their heads as they run into her old acquaintances. Surprisingly good neo noir built on a socially aware blue collar indie drama. There are some very well acted and directed low key segments, as well as impressively realistic violence. In one scene the boxing hero's encounter with two gangster-like bodyguards leaves him lying on the ground nearly dead after receiving "only" a couple of hard punches and kicks. The storyline gets convoluted towards the end and struggles to find an entirely satisfying closing, though. Director Hideo Sakaki is best known as the main villain in Ryuhei Kitamura's Versus; he's also a competent director this movie proves.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 13 Feb 2019, 14:50

Kôkôsei burai hikae: Kanjirû Muramasa (高校生無頼控 感じるゥ~ムラマサ) (Japan, 1973) [VoD] – 2/5
Part 3. The last and least of the three Muramasa films. This time Muramasa saves a girl from drowning herself, then proceeds to demonstrate the beauty of living by making love to her (he forgets to ask permission). Moments later he's selling school girl panties and agrees to molest one while being photographed to trick a clueless parent (yakuza baddie Toru Abe!) to pay abortion money! Great opening half hour, naughty and perverted to the bone, yet plays out like a cheerful family film. These kinds of boys' fantasies would be impossible to film in Western countries. Too bad from halfway on the film completely loses its steam. One problem is the plot - there isn't one. Basically Muramasa has shagged too many girls and there's trouble with boxer/kendo kid Eiji Go & the silly gang who are protecting the honour of one of Muramasa's conquests and intend to propose another one. At the end there is a bad car chase and some fighting, all of it purely comedic.

Pretty Devil Yoko (非行少女ヨーコ) (Japan, 1966) [DVD] - 3/5
Easily bored, but still innocent and naive countryside girl Mako Midori discovers partying in Tokyo is a ton of fun. Yakuza-to-be Ichiro Araki is an acquaintance who tries to rape her, and the typically bland but very-good-here Hayato Tani the first boyfriend. Director Yasuo Furuhata (his first picture) lets his camera roll in trendy clubs amongst partying youngsters in a way that could've been out of 60s England or a Nikkatsu film if it wasn't shadowed by dated 60s Toei conservatism. The resulting film is a bit confused, either a rebellious youth tale chained by moral concerns, or something conceived as a morality tale trying to break free from its chains. It's notable that this, like most Midori films, got slapped with an 18 rating despite featuring nothing graphic, as if out of fear of how it might influence the teenagers. Lavishly filmed with striking B&W compositions, the film retains its visual cool even during the more moralizing moments. For a superb 70s counterpart, see Tooru Murakawa's Delicate Skilful Fingers (1972), also with Araki.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 24 Feb 2019, 06:20

Tattooed Ambush (いれずみ突撃隊) (Japan, 1964) [DVD] - 2.5/5
Regrettably low budget war tale with tattooed yakuza Ken Takakura and other hoods finding themselves in front line in China. Unfortunately the film doesn't do anything too interesting with the concept. The best handled aspect is actually the men interacting with a unit of women assigned on double duty as both nurses and prostitutes (one of them Yoko Mihara, who else). Occasional noirish bits and a decent climax deliver additional entertainment, but the action is low key for the most part. One would expect more from director Teruo Ishii. There was a film called Military Comfort Women made 10 years later by Ryuichi Takamori from an Ishii script that expanded the women sub-theme into feature film, and re-used the "pissing on a machine gun" joke from this one. It wasn't terribly good either. For a more poignant yakuza x war film, see Masumura's gruesome black comedy and military critique Hoodlum Soldier (1965) with Shintaro Katsu.

Organized Crime 2 (続組織暴力) (Japan, 1967) [TV] - 4/5
Superb proto-jitsuroku type yakuza film by Junya Sato. Fumio Watanabe (in his best role) is a wonderfully untypical crime boss who says he hates the yakuza but acts like one, actually cares for his men, and is the first one to barge into a fist fight when rivals come knocking on the door. Powerful political figure Eijiro Yanagi becomes his consultant, after which short tempered boss Ryuhei Uchida starts feeling the fire under his arse, especially after Watanabe takes a Ginza gambling joint from Chicago mafia with the assistance of machine gun happy lone wolf Noboru Ando. Add Tetsuro Tanba, Hideo Murota and Rinichi Yamamoto (wonderfully cast against type) as a detective squad in desperate battle against red tape while trying to bring the gangs down. The story is fictional, but the film feels like a jitsuroku movie. Like Fukasaku in many of his films, Sato draws an entire underworld map with cops, gangsters and political players all placed on the chess table. The film is talkative, but never boring, feels extremely matter of fact.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 26 Feb 2019, 15:19

New Abashiri Prison Story: Duel in the Forest (新網走番外地 大森林の決斗) (Japan, 1970) [DVD] - 2/5
Part 4. Another summer-set by-the-numbers entry with one distinctive feature: Takakura spends the entire film on a prison camp as opposed to being released after the first reel as usual. Little of interest happens (aside Nikkatsu refugee Joe Shishido being one of the prisoners). But once again, when you hear the fabulous theme near the end when Takakura rides to enemy headquarters to whop ass you almost forgive the long road that took you there. The climax also features two of the most brutal kills yet, the latter one downright absurd as Takakura pushes a full size freight train car over a wounded enemy.

Circuit of Sorrow (哀愁のサーキット) (Japan, 1972) [TV] - 3.5/5
Extremely interesting, if slightly ham-fisted 2nd follow-up to Tôru Murakawa's landmark Roman Porno Delicate Skillful Fingers (1972). Based on real life Toyota race driver and fashion model Sachio Furusawa (Tôru Minegishi) who tragically died on track in 1969 and pop singer Tomoko Ogawa (Kei Kiyama), the film depicts their brief romance in the shadow of media pressure. Like Delicate Skillful Fingers, the film is essentially a Nikkatsu youth film conceived under the Roman Porno reign. There are fast cars, a bunch of Sun Tribe youngsters who challenge the protagonist to a bike race, and absolutely shitloads of catchy pop music (enough that they released an LP). But the title oversells the film: there's little sorrow on the circuit as the protagonist is only behind the racing car wheel in the opening and closing scenes. There's potential for great melancholic poetry which comes thru occasionally (their departure from a seaside motel on a rainy day is soaked with movie magic), but the protagonist is superficially written and portrayed. Murakawa's touch likewise isn't as sharp and dynamic as in Skillful Fingers, even if he claims to have had the actors have real sex in the camera. The film nevertheless remains highly entertaining, extremely stylish and thematically fascinating, and is yet another example of Nikkatsu Roman Porno’s incredible versatility.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 02 Mar 2019, 06:08

New Abashiri Prison Story: A Wolf in the Blizzard (新網走番外地 吹雪のはぐれ狼) (Japan, 1970) [DVD] - 2.5/5
Part 5. Alright but pretty silly entry with Takakura joining the church after making friends with a charismatic prison priest, then struggling with the “Turning the other cheek” idea! He usually punches back right away! Chris D. praised this as "one of the best in series... with skillful, patient handling of the narrative" but I'm really not seeing that in the film. For the first 90 minutes winter landscapes and the lack of overt goofiness is what it's got going for it. Fantastic, bloody ending makes it all feel worthwhile, however.

Shameless: Abnormal and Abusive Love (異常性愛記録 ハレンチ) (Japan, 1969) [DVD] - 2.5/5
Mediocre Abnormal Love entry with the most perverted villain yet: a homosexual! Sweet Masumi Tachibana is a Kyoto girl being harassed by pathetic/psychotic ex Eiji Wakasugi, who is not only a momma's boy who wants to see women pee, but also a cross dressing okama! The film is a mix of early giallo elements (possibly coincidental, only a few like Death Laid an Egg had been released in Japan) and overwhelming mondo doc influence (they’d been coming out in plethora in Japan, even leading to domestic productions), especially evident in the club and orgy scenes. But the film is hopelessly dated with conservative woman-is-weak-and-motherly portrayal and homophobia that ceases to be amusing as the silliness goes on forever. In fact, Sadao Nakajima's mondo Twisted Sex (1969), from which Ishii copies an SM scene (with Maki Carrousel) was far more open minded! The best thing about Abnormal is the romance between hero Teruo Yoshida and every-boy's-dream Tachibana. Ishii films it with charming 60s pop romantics and colourful aesthetics that have aged wonderfully. And then he throws in an occasional roaring giallo shot. Also, kudos for split personality (?) villain whose BOTH personalities are perverts!

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

Unread post by HungFist » 08 Mar 2019, 10:54

Gang vs. G-Men: Safecracker Gang (ギャング対Gメン 集団金庫破り) (Japan, 1963) [TV] – 2.5/5
Part 6 in the Gang series, with Koji Tsuruta in familiar role as an ex-con sent to infiltrate a safecracker gang. A bit dull first half hour, but the rest is pretty good with an execution often as precise as the gang's work. Tetsuro Tanba stands out most as tuberculosis gang member. Typical early 60s Teruo Ishii, but not as exciting as the similar Gang vs. G-Men (1962) by Fukasaku, which was an earlier entry in the same series.

Organized Crime: Loyalty Offering Brothers (組織暴力 兄弟盃) (Japan, 1969) [DVD] - 3/5
Back-from-WWII hoodlum Sugawara and street crook Ando team up and form a gang. Fairly routine first half, after which both Ando and Sugawara mature into genuine psychopaths. The film turns correspondingly ultra-violent. Ando especially pulls no stops at torturing info out of his victims in scenes that would be at home in a Teruo Ishii film. The climatic shootout is just as bloody. Good stuff. Director Junya Sato parallels the brutality with Japan’s post-war social and political situation, though the allegory could be stronger. The large scale depiction of underworld dynamics that made Organized Crime 2 so impressive is mostly absent here. The films are only related in thematic and marketing sense.

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

Unread post by Guro Taku » 09 Mar 2019, 12:32

Girls' Junior High School: Too Young to Play Like This (女子学園 おとなの遊び) (Japan, 1970) [DVD] - 3/5
Directed by Akira Kato with Noboru Tanaka serving as assistant director, this third entry in the series is easily the sleaziest of the bunch, while still very much a youth film/comedy. No real plot to speak of but rather a series of episodes. One involves a trio of boys getting sent by a rival gang to rape the girls only for them to end up their slaves for a while. Another is about the girls playing a prank on two teachers by making them believe the other has the hots for them. Also, Junko Natsu's father is back from America and fails to react in the desired manner when she tells him she lost her virginity in a gangbang. It's politically incorrect as hell by today's standards and as such quite amusing.

Narcotics/Prostitution G-Men: Terrifying Flesh Hell (麻薬売春Gメン 恐怖の肉地獄) (Japan, 1972) [TV] - 3/5
I haven't yet seen the other films in this "series" but this one certainly seems to stand on its own. Sonny Chiba gets sent to Okinawa to investigate how a girl could trip balls on heroin (clearly nobody involved in the film had any actual experience with drugs) and jump to her death and runs into the usual assortment of drug dealers, discriminated-against hafus and sleazy American Army scumbags. Despite the lurid poster, sex and violence are pretty standard for a Toei exploitation film.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 09 Mar 2019, 12:52

Guro Taku wrote:
09 Mar 2019, 12:32
Girls' Junior High School: Too Young to Play Like This (女子学園 おとなの遊び) (Japan, 1970) [DVD] - 3/5
Directed by Akira Kato with Noboru Tanaka serving as assistant director, this third entry in the series is easily the sleaziest of the bunch, while still very much a youth film/comedy. No real plot to speak of but rather a series of episodes. One involves a trio of boys getting sent by a rival gang to rape the girls only for them to end up their slaves for a while. Another is about the girls playing a prank on two teachers by making them believe the other has the hots for them. Also, Junko Natsu's father is back from America and fails to react in the desired manner when she tells him she lost her virginity in a gangbang. It's politically incorrect as hell by today's standards and as such quite amusing.
Was it this film that had an on-screen text something like "only 14 years old, and she's got such big..." in the shower scene? :lol: Or was that part 2?

I quite agree with your assessment. I had the DVD set but sold it. Alright films, but not essential. I think I liked the 1st one best.
Guro Taku wrote:
09 Mar 2019, 12:32
Narcotics/Prostitution G-Men: Terrifying Flesh Hell (麻薬売春Gメン 恐怖の肉地獄) (Japan, 1972) [TV] - 3/5
I haven't yet seen the other films in this "series" but this one certainly seems to stand on its own. Sonny Chiba gets sent to Okinawa to investigate how a girl could trip balls on heroin (clearly nobody involved in the film had any actual experience with drugs) and jump to her death and runs into the usual assortment of drug dealers, discriminated-against hafus and sleazy American Army scumbags. Despite the lurid poster, sex and violence are pretty standard for a Toei exploitation film.
Again, agree with your review. However, you really need to see the first film which is not only more atmospheric, stylish, better written and better scored, but even has more boobs. One of Chiba's best films, I'd say. The sequel is alright on its own, but quite disappointing compared to the first.

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

Unread post by Guro Taku » 09 Mar 2019, 13:08

HungFist wrote:
09 Mar 2019, 12:52
Was it this film that had an on-screen text something like "only 14 years old, and she's got such big..." in the shower scene? :lol: Or was that part 2?
It was "Middle School, 3rd Year, 15 years old" but yes, that was in this film. The only one in the series that had actual (topless) nudity.

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The second film was a real bore. All I recall about it is that it was clearly a promotional tie-in with a popular 70ies female singer.

I'll get around to the other films in the Narcotics/Prostitution series eventually.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 10 Mar 2019, 00:06

Tai Chi Master (1993): 3.5/5

Period adventure is certainly entertaining enough, the sound on the Dragon Dynasty BD is sometimes very odd with unnatural impact sounds on the mono (?) soundtrack. The opening montage looks soft too, with a flickering image.

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

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 10 Mar 2019, 12:40

Yes, I believe the DD was a downmix
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by RFL » 12 Mar 2019, 20:30

Destruction Babies (Japan, 2018): 3.5 (maybe 4)/5

Called "the most extreme 108 minutes in japanese cinema history". I beg to differ. Maybe if "most extreme" means realistic street violence, but ... on to the movie!

Brutal, nihilistic movie that tackles things like lost youth, violence and it's effects, how violence can spread almost like a virus and both effect innocent people and make them complicit/agents of violence themselves, how violence is condemned but at the same time exist s in cultures and traditions in various forms.

The violence is realistic, no choreographed fighting here only raw, sluggish, and ugly violence. Well made.

This movie could have been trimmed a bit, it's a little long and thus loses momentum (it has a certain kind of rhytm which is disrupted when it goes semi-arthouse roadtrip). I thought I would forget this movie pretty fast, but instead it grew on me and I thought a lot about it's themes in the days after watching it.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 13 Mar 2019, 06:17

I had similar impressions except I don't seem to have liked it overall. I had to check my records because I had completely forgotten...

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

Unread post by HungFist » 16 Mar 2019, 16:26

Mumon: The Land of Stealth (忍びの国) (Japan, 2017) [DVD] – 2/5
Modern jidai geki drama/comedy/action with an irritating schmuck of a protagonist and fucking Denden (the world would be a better place is he hadn't overwhelmed everyone in Cold Fish). Still not unwatchable as the storyline kind of wins you over and there are some inspired bits - gotta love the wooden figure diversion and the ending - but this kind of "clever" / "trendy" /" funny" / "touching” / GCI enhanced mainstream bullshit is really quite sad when compared to the 60s and 70s glory days.

Outlaw Corps (ごろつき部隊) (Japan, 1969) [TV] - 3/5
Toei's Where Eagles Dare / The Dirty Dozen mash-up with a squad of lifetime and death row prisoners (Tomisaburo Wakayama, Minoru Oki and a whole load of regular Toei villains) sent behind enemy lines with sarge Bunta Sugawara to free Osman Yusuf (gets killed before he manages to say a single line) and another prisoner of war. The limited budget and locations pale in comparison to the Western counterparts, but the concept and characters are pretty cool and the gunplay action not as haphazard as in some 60s Toei films. One of the film's charms is that although the characters are turned into heroes, they still retain a bit of their bad guy grit throughout the film. Quite an entertaining time waster.

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

Unread post by Guro Taku » 16 Mar 2019, 20:44

Love Disease (愛の病) (Japan, 2018) [DVD] – 2.5/5
Kota Yoshida's latest is one of those everybody's-a-piece-of-shit adult dramas. Saori Seto stars as a young woman who runs away from her deadbeat boyfriend with her newborn daughter. She moves back in with her less-than-welcoming family and starts working for a dating scam website to pay for food and rent. She starts using a pathetic factory worker for money and falls in love with a construction driver who almost ran over her daughter. Unfortunately for her, the guy's not free because he has to take care of his sister 24/7. Things get increasingly complicated and culminate in murder and suicide. Based on the Ayako Harada/Kentaro Aki case of 2002.

Dogfight: Stray Dogs' Elegy (DOG FIGHT 野良犬たちの挽歌) (Japan, 2000) [DVD] – 3/5
Solid V-cinema flick slickly directed by Atsushi Muroga (Score, Junk, Gun Crazy) and starring Sho Aikawa. The plot involves a cocaine deal between yakuza and Hong Kong triad gangsters and a small time porn peddler used as a mole by a dirty cop. Real squibs and explosions during the shootouts. No CGI bullshit. Sho Aikawa being cool. Delicious shots of seedy locations in that shot-on-video look that made me cringe 20 years ago but now fill me with nostalgia.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 18 Mar 2019, 19:37

Bad Girl Mako (Japan, 1971) fansub 3/5
Mako (Junko Natsu) is a.. bad girl, running around smoking weed, cheating people for money with a gang of girls...despite the fact that she carries around a teddy bear for the first half of the movie (or at least until she finally has sex). Tatsuya Fuji plays her older brother, a young yakuza trying to win favor in the ranks. (Jo Shisido in a small role plays the big boss)
Jiro Okazaki leads a gang of young street hoods, and Mako falls in love with one of them, despite the fact he cheated over the Yakuza her brother is involved with. You can probably figure out what that leads to. 
Junko Natsu had a pretty busy 1970 and after the final installment of the High School series in January of 1971, she found herself graduating BACK to the bad girl real world of urban Japan with this Nikkatsu film.
As skinny as you can be, but with her gang of girls, tough enough to strong arm anyone from local horny dudes to little school children, Mako doesn’t take no shit. Not as hip as the Stray Cat movies (though all of the elements are here - cool clothes, rock bands, drugs), but not as raw as what would follow, the camera DOES however love Junko, and her pretty face is regularly close upped for reaction.
Very watchable, moves along at good pace, and Junko is cute as a button.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 19 Mar 2019, 01:37

Black Panther Bitch M (Japan, 1974) fansub 3/5
Lots of Japanese regulars take part in Reiko Ike's only Nikkatsu film, giving it some substance, but not enough to make it rise above the titillation of her previous work or the quality seriousness of the three Kinji Fukasaku movies she'd follow up with.
Still, she wouldn't be the focal point of those three, whereas here she takes center stage. Nikkatsu makes her run and jump all over the place in this movie, primarily in and around and up and down industrial buildings, all while wearing clogs! It's entertaining, and she looks great of course.
And even though the first 20 minutes drag a bit, it sets up the ending which has a great deal of eyebrow-raising tension to it and makes it one worth seeing.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 20 Mar 2019, 01:18

Shameless School: Physical Examination (Harenchi Gakuen: Shintai Kensa no Maki) - (Japan, 1970) fansub - 2/5
Based on a manga, this must be some Japanese cultural thing… A Girls’ Junior High School is run by three quirky characters - a Caveman, a Clown, and some weird looking demented Samurai. Their sole purpose it seems is to get the under age girls out of their clothing. They fail at it and then the class of girls attacks them and rips all of THEIR clothing off.
When they come up with a scheme for a ‘health inspection’ (to get them out of their clothes), a local perverted doctor takes over with the same idea (and an equally perverted staff of male students), but when the girls figure it out - again they attack and tear off the men’s clothing.
Then Jo Shisido shows up as a cowboy. What the hell…
Cute Miyuki Kojima (18 at the time, as I’m sure they all were) leads the students, and there are poop jokes and… towards the end they end up on a deserted island, and it almost seems like a normal kids movie, if you can forget about the moderate inappropriate nudity earlier in the film, and the nuns getting stripped to their underwear and…

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 22 Mar 2019, 11:29

Bamboo House of Dolls (Hong Kong, 1973) DVD 2/5
dir: Kuei Chih-Hung
Gleefully over the top Women in Prison flick featuring the Japanese as sadistic, horny savages (including a lesbian female guard), played by an all Chinese cast. Except with the prisoners, who seem to be made up of a few white women, including Danish import Birte Tove.

The women fight at every possible chance, tearing clothing and jiggling about, except in the shower, where they take their time to clean every inch of their body. Strangely enough, this film is absent of any full frontal nudity and actually goes out of its way to avoid it.

Nevertheless, there’s plenty of other exploitation on display here, non-stop in the first hour, but by the time it gets around to trying to tell us a story, you’re just ready for it to end, and yet it runs on for another 45 minutes. Considered a cult classic, there's much better Shaw Brothers films, much better WIP films, and much better exploitation films than this.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 22 Mar 2019, 16:36

Agreed about Bamboo House. All I remember is that it was pretty underwhelming.

Shishiotachi no natsu (獅子王たちの夏) (Japan, 1991) [VoD] – 2.5/5
Slow-burn, very 90s yakuza tale of a young hood (Sho Aikawa) and a family man gangster (Koji Matoba) belonging to rival gangs. Their stories parallel and influence each other but the characters barely even meet. A theatrical production that could've been a DTV film, the film is extremely typical to the era in that it trades excitement for an everyday tale that we are supposed to find interesting for some reason. And yet, it works if you have the patience. Aikawa is good, the girl she falls for (Miyuki Kosaka) kind of interesting, and there is certain 90s ambience captured in a way that feels valuable from today’s perspective. But the film is unbalanced (Aikawa getting much more attention than the other guy) and the storyline is no great shakes. Based on a script Shoji Kaneko (whose “Ryuji” I never liked despite its widespread acclaim) wrote before his death (1983).

Blow the Night (“BLOW THE NIGHT ! " 夜をぶっとばせ) (Japan, 1983) [DVD] - 4/5
Incoherent, yet fascinating youth docu-drama from Japan's golden era of educational problems. The film opens with live recording of The Street Sliders performing their rock hit "Masturbation" and then proceeds cut back and forth between two tales for the rest of the movie. The first features a band-affiliated girl exploring the ambivalent Tokyo in a strictly specified 24 hour timeframe in mid November, the other a transfer student (real delinquent Namie Takada) being a bully bitch in different, loosely specified place and timeframe spanning about one year. There's a bit of director Chusei Sone's own rock film Red Violation here, then there are youth doc style parts that actually resemble Shinji Somai's divine Taifu Club (1985). It's realistic and bleak with an unsympathetic lead, challenging partly because it's so confusingly told in places, and yet utterly fascinating in its documentation of youth, era, and location. It feels like the flawed work of a genius who wasn't in full control of his device. Sone produced this via his own company Film Workers as their first picture, following the thematically close but far more high flying sun tribe modernization The Young Ramblers (1981) for Toei Central.

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