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

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First Love (初恋) (Japan, 2019) [BD] - 3.5/5
This turned out to be a pleasant surprise from Miike, who arguably directs his best film here since 13 Assassins (2010). This story of a young boxer diagnosed with a brain tumor getting involved with a girl who's been selected as a scapegoat in a drug war between yakuza, triads and a crooked cop, also feels closer to what got me interested in Miike in the first place than the rampant idiocy of, say, Yakuza Apocalypse (2015). I would have rated it even higher if it had stuck the landing as well but after 95 propulsive minutes the film can't seem to find an ending and keeps going for another 10 minutes. I did love the final shot, though.

Love's Twisting Path (多十郎殉愛記) (Japan, 2019) [DVD] - 2.5/5
85-year-old Sadao Nakajima returns to feature filmmaking after a 20 year absence with this appropriately old-fashioned jidai-geki about a ronin who's given up the fighting and spends his days in a rural village getting shitfaced and painting. Of course that doesn't work out well for him. Nakajima still knows how to direct action, which is especially impressive because this film has a lot of scenes with dozens of extras chasing and fighting our protagonist. Acting is a bit all over the place, with a couple scenes where people are supposed to play drunk being especially cringy. All-in-all, a rather solid late effort from a legendary Toei director. Some of his former colleagues fared far worse.
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Delinquent Boss: Take Your Chance (不良番長 出たとこ勝負) (Japan, 1970) [VoD] - 1.5/5
Part 8. An amusing overload of Nazi drooling in the opening 10 minutes with Umemiya's goofballs dressing and gesturing like SS men, but the rest of the film evades the memory. By the time it was over, I could no longer remember what the plot was about, or if there even was one. Makoto Naito helmed this one instead of Yukio Noda, but you wouldn't know if the name wasn't in the credits. Reiko Oshida appears in a few scenes as "beauty queen" (gets dragged into the competition and wins it instantly). She neither rides a bike nor wears that groovy underwear (bikini?) from the gorgeous hand-drawn poster. Watase appears in the film as well, and is likewise wasted. These films feature some of the only bland performances on his career.

Queen Bee and the School for Dragons (女王蜂と大学の龍) (Japan, 1960) [35mm] - 3/5
Superficial, but fast paced Shintoho street actioner with new queen bee Yoko Mihara as badass yakuza daughter who is also the leader of a scarcely clothed, arse kicking prostitute / townswomen gang whose tops are constantly about to fall off. Word! Unfortunately the plot is less about her and more about daddy Kanjuro Arashi's gang threatened by foreign bastards in the fight for the post-war black market. Enter University Dragon Teruo Yoshida (in the typical Teruo Yoshida hero role), a student kid and street brawler who wants his share of the action. Yoshida is quite energetic here, but it's really Mihara who shines. This film, along with some other Shintoho movies like Female Beast (1960), was very much the 50s/60s predecessor to Pinky Violence, but the time was not yet ripe for fully female dominant action, hence Yoshida and Arashi. Also of note: the English title seems like a mistranslation: there’s no school of any sort, neither concrete nor metaphoric, just a dude who calls himself “The University’s Dragon” because he is supposedly a student.

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

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Hot Springs Pimp Geisha (温泉ポン引女中) (Japan, 1969) [DVD] - 4/5
This may be my new favorite entry in this 7 film series but that's pending a rewatch of my previous favorite, Norifumi Suzuki's Hot Springs Soft-Shell Turtle Geisha (温泉スッポン芸者, 1972). If it ends up in second place, it'll be a very close second, though. The film follows the typical structure of Toei exploitation by starting with a bang - an explosion of TITS in this case! - and then winding down for some exposition and drama for an hour before the grand, excessive finale. It's really amazing how this film was preceded and followed by absolute borefests when it's so deliriously insane. The aforementioned excessive finale starts with an orgy the rivalling geisha house throws for wealthy elites and which is all about erotic-grotesque shenenigans in Argento-esque lighting and women having sex with dogs. When that is over and you figure that must have been it, the bad guys steer a motorboat into the "enemy" geisha's HQ and gut them with the outboard motor. Director Misao Arai previously worked the same year as assistant director to Teruo Ishii on Orgies of Edo (残酷異常虐待物語 元禄女系図, 1969) and it really, really shows.

Hot Springs Konjac Geisha (温泉こんにゃく芸者) (Japan, 1970) [DVD] - 1.5/5
The second worst in the series, only topped by the 7th and final film in terms of the utter boredom it creates for the tortured viewer. A condom facory goes bankrupt, the owner's adopted daugter (Miwako Onaya) strikes out on her own, ends up as a geisha and is eventually tailed by her foster dad, who is absolutely obsessed with konjac, a plant with a root that can be made into some kind of edible jelly. Even the climactic sex competition is overlong and tiresome. A real endurance test and one of director Sadao Nakajima's worst films.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Guro Taku wrote: 29 Feb 2020, 10:43 Hot Springs Pimp Geisha (温泉ポン引女中) (Japan, 1969) [DVD] - 4/5
erotic-grotesque shenenigans in Argento-esque lighting
Tatsumi Hijikata's budoh dancers there, btw.

And yes, my favourite in the series as well.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Call Me Dragon (1974)

Interesting serio-comic basher starring Bruce Liang and Yasuaki Kurarata. Great fights, but a truly bizzare subplot involving the sentient (or haunted?) motor scooter belonging to the comic relief really makes this stand out...as an example of the terminally daft. Probably the only film I've seen Hon Kwok-choi in where he doesn't die!

6/10
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First Love (初恋) (Japan, 2019) [DCP] - 1.5/5
Miike's "return to roots", a dull one-night yakuza/cops/youngsters crash course completely void of the vigour that made his old films cinematic Duracell bunnies. Masataka Kubota and Sakura Konishi make a pair of good looking young leads with zero sparks between them; Shota Sometani gets the laughs by looking absolutely ridiculous as a mad yakuza. There's not one interesting action set piece in the film despite plentiful mayhem during the second half. Even worse, the film opens with a grainy Toei logo, but immediately after reverts to digital dog shit that looks like Japanese TV or a DTV yakuza film. Oddly though, the last 10 min looks very good, and is the only interesting part of the film story wise as well. Other two positives: no CGI blood, and finally there are convincing gun effects (largely MIA from Japanese cinema for the past 10 years).

Version reviewed: 115 min Japanese theatrical. The US/UK version seems to be about 7 min shorter, running 108 min as confirmed by various sources including the BBFC.

The Threat (脅迫) (Japan, 1966) [VoD] - 4/5
Brutal, extremely intense Kinji Fukasaku thriller about a family man (Rentaro Mikuni) forced to help two criminals (Ko Nishimura and Hideo Murota) in a kidnapping/blackmail plot after they invade his house and take his family as hostage. Fukasaku once said he's proud of his filmography from the early 70s on, but closer inspection shows he already directed various small, but highly effective pictures in the 60s. This one is almost as hard hitting as his 70s classics, sharing their editing rhythms and documentary style street cinematography. The cast is terrific, Nishimura (the old priest from Lady Snowblood) in particular as the main bad guy.

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Joshu 701 go - Sasori gaiden – Dai 41 zakkyobo (女囚701号 さそり外伝 第41雑居房) (Japan, 2012) [DVD] – 1/5
Shintoho’s second and last pink Sasori, curiously a much darker film than the 2011 movie. This one pushes the focus more to violence and peril, even featuring some cheap gore effects and boring action scenes, most likely attributable to DTV action director Ken'ichi Fujiwara (Zombie Hunter Rika). But he’s little more than an amateur+ at what he’s doing, and his attempts at playing homage to the original series materialize as ugly digi-video remakes of three scenes from the first three Meiko Kaji films. The storyline is about Nami on the run, till she gets caught by vengeful female guard who throws her back in Jailhouse 41 (which looks like some abandoned school building… you know, Shintoho production values). Being a pink film, Nami is still a nymphomaniac – a nonsensical contrast to her ice cold, speak-none, need-none characteristics. Flavour of the month AV-girl Tsukasa Aoi replaces the previous film’s space monster Asuka Kirara as the lead. Marginally better than the 2011 film.

Female Beast (女獣) (Japan, 1960) [DVD] - 2.5/5
Shintoho crime thriller with police woman Namiji Matsuura infiltrating a dangerous gang whose one lead figure is a cold blooded woman (Kinuko Obata) harbouring female delinquents. Detective Bunta Sugawara (at 27 years old, looking almost like a Nikkatsu youth idol!) provides back-up. Progressive for its era, this still isn't quite as slick as you'd wish, at least compared to what would follow 10 year later. There are quite a few bits pre-dating 70s Pinky Violence, including ruthless women, water torture and a reform school segment complete with an extended girl fight similar to Criminal Woman: Killing Melody. Unfortunately the climax has the women take the back seat again, as typical for the era.

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Scoundrel (極道) (Japan, 1968) [VoD] - 2/5
The 1st in Tomisaburo Wakayama's action comedy series, unfortunately this is 75 minutes of talk with yakuza bumpkin Wakayama doing table conversations with rivals, friends, women etc, followed by a rather satisfying last 15 min of action. There are some out-of-the-blue fine scenes, and the gun/explosives action at the end is better staged than in many other yakuza films, but it's hard to get terribly excited about the film. Bunta Sugawara plays one of Wakayama's men in one of his first Toei roles; Koji Tsuruta does a guest appearance.

Dark Breasts (黒い乳房) (Japan, 1960) [DVD] - 3/5
Nightclub hostess / gangster's woman Kinuko Obata sees a short cut to the riches upon learning from dying mother that she's an Abashiri convict's daughter, while her innocent sister's real father is a wealthy company president (unaware of having a daughter). She tells her sister and the old man the exact opposite of the truth, schemes to marry herself to her new daddy's favourite employee (nice guy Bunta Sugawara) and plots a couple of tactical murders to get rid of people standing on her way. Impressively twisted Shintoho psycho drama with good pacing and slick output, pre-dates similar mid-60s Mako Midori films at Toei. Character psychology remains superficial and borderline offensive (inherited evil/good) though, and the pigment of Obata's breasts unconfirmed. It would still take some time till the nipple was freed in JP mainstream cinema, though Shintoho was pushing the boundaries here, filling the OP credits with hand-drawn boobs and live model side views.

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Death Row Woman (女死刑囚の脱獄) (Japan, 1960) – 2.5/5
Nobuo Nakagawa / Shintoho WiP film with an innocent woman framed for murder and thrown in jail full of foul-mouthed ladies and lesbians. Despite an occasional sensationalist moment, this is mainly a suspense drama, and only the 1st half is spent behind the bars. Not badly made, but not awfully exciting either. The storyline is pretty good.

Return of the Scoundrel (帰って来た極道) (Japan, 1968) [VoD] - 2.5/5
Superior sequel weighted down by a dull opening third. Gokudo has been thrown in jail, which produces rivalry/bonding with fellow hood Minoru Oki + boring comedy routines à la Abashiri Prison. At least you get regular bad guy Bin Amatsu as one of the guards. Once done with the prison, the film gets faster, funnier, better. Reiko Oshida pops up as a cute stripper (who doesn't strip), Gokudo's battle axe wife is back (with a Hong Kong bodyguard), and the ending is a fine machine gun massacre. This would be a 3 star film had the opening been better.

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Scoundrel Soldier (兵隊極道) (Japan, 1968) [TV] - 2/5
Gokudo goes to war, but spends most of his time quarrelling with other yakuza and trying to charm Chinese girl Reiko Oshida. Too lightweight to achieve anything memorable, this is strictly filler material. Bunta Sugawara plays one of the men, but has almost no dialogue at all. Wakayama did a better gangsters-in war-picture called Cockroach Corps (1969), which was a more serious action adventure with death row prisoners sent on a suicide mission.

Female Slave Ship (女奴隷船) (Japan, 1960) - 3/5
Amusing Shintoho concept film with a group of prostitutes behind bars on a slave ship, then thrown into a jungle prison after pirates sink their ship! Bunta Sugawara is a noble soldier shot down and saved from the sea, to emerge as the saviour for the girls. This film actually anticipated the 70s Filipino WiP actioners a great deal. It's a bit repetitive for the 1st 60 min, but the last 25 min is tremendous fun with Sugawara going complete machine gun Rambo on the pirates and arming the girls with grenades and rifles. Tetsuro Tamba plays the pirate leader, Yoko Mihara an evil slave trader's girl always siding with the strongest man in sight.

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The second film was made in 1960?! Bloody hell
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grim_tales wrote: 18 Mar 2020, 02:42 The second film was made in 1960?! Bloody hell
1959, technically speaking. Hit the theatres Jan. 3, 1960.
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Sounds like it was ahead of its time.
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Female Prison: Lynch (女刑務所 ザ・私刑) (Japan, 1978) [VoD] - 1/5
Loving big sister Naomi Oka takes the blame and bails her brother from murder charges, wins herself a prison sex vacation. Cheap Shintoho WiP pinku full of sex scenes and lightweight lesbian nastiness. Minor amusement rises from the prison only employing one guard! Director Banmei Takahashi followed up with three sequels… probably. As per pink film industry conventions, many of them have been re-released under new titles. The sequels should be Female Prison: Pervert (1979), Female Prison: Tight Bondage (1980) and Female Prison: Rape (1981). Assault! Female Prison (1982) is not a sequel, but a theatrical re-release of part 1. Part 2 has at least three different Japanese titles. Also, the series title is “Sukemusho”, an unorthodox reading of the “Onna keimusho” which is what really stands in the poster. They could not possibly have made it more confusing.

Erotic Diary of an Office Lady (OL官能日記 あァ!私の中で) (Japan, 1977) [DVD] – 3/5
An interesting, if cinematically a bit mediocre, socio-political exploration on women's poor standing in Japan’s patriarchal business society. It's ambitious than the hideous title would have one expect, with a solid-enough character narrative for the then-newcomer Asami Ogawa caught between various men, and it dials down the excessive perviness, too. Nikkatsu has been all too keen to take credit of creating "women's cinema" in their retroactive re-branding of the Roman Porno series (particularly since 2012), but this one could qualify. The storytelling isn't always great shakes per se, but director Konuma brings it to an absolutely fabulous 7 min climax that rocks the socks off with some of the best merging of music and images in the Roman Porno series alongside Noboru Tanaka's road movie Pink Salon: Five Lewd Women (1978).

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Delinquent Boss: The Swindlers (不良番長 口から出まかせ) (Japan, 1970) [VoD] - 2.5/5
Part 10. This one has an utterly idiotic opening with Umemiya and the hoods as pirates trying to sail to America, but of course ending up back in Japan. They arrive on an island populated by only women, a fun idea that doesn't produce anything fun... until the gals are tricked into working at a sex club. Things get even more interesting when France returnee beauty Reiko Oshida (in her 3rd and final appearance in the series) enters the pic, gets kidnapped, then does strip tease in a "first to get boner loses" competition between Umemiya and rival gang leader Harumi Sone. The rest of the film is episodic to the point of having little continuity, and often silly, but kind of entertaining. There's a lot of Oshida, Bunta Sugawara does a cool guest appearance and the film moves at a good pace. Not quite "good", but better than most entries in the series.

Tattoo ari (TATTOO<刺青>あり) (Japan, 1982) [DVD] – 2/5
Osaka chinpira Ryudo Uzaki goes around gambling, beating women and running miserable little businesses. 70s Daiei lemon sex starlet Keiko Sekine plays his punching bag, Yuya Uchida contributes a song. Depressing 80s misery porn not unlike Mosquito on the Tenth Floor and Ryuji, two films I have little love for. The 80s fashion disasters in prominent display don't make them any easier to take. Should find its fans, however, and it did. Director Banmei Takahashi picked up the best director trophy at the Yokohama Fest, Uzaki was crowned best actor. A for me, had this been made 5 years earlier with Takuzo Kawatani in the lead, I think it could've produced something quite different and cinematically outrageous.

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Female Prisoners: Demon of Sex (女囚性欲魔) (Japan, 1976) [DVD] – 1.5/5
Tarantino may have made a heist film that doesn’t show the heist, but here we have a prison escape film that doesn’t show the escape - or the prison. The money, you know. This was directed by Seiji Izumi, who’d later go on make some cool mainstream action films like On the Road (1982), Majoran (1983), and South to the Horizon (1986). The desire for action is evident here as well, the three prison escapees running into rapie gangsters, recalling their violent pasts in flashbacks, and one of them being a sukeban type school girl. But none of that ultimately saves this from being a cheap and somewhat amateurish sex flick. Had I seen this in cinema, I might have had the patience to appreciate it as a product of its era and genre. At home, move on to better films.

King of the Girls Cave (女巌窟王) (Japan, 1960) [DVD] – 3/5
Enjoyably frank Shintoho pulp entertainment with two sexy and busty night club dancers (Yoko Mihara & Masayo Banri as sisters) caught in the middle of a drug related gang war. Their brother gets killed after losing the merchandise, and the girls escape into an island cave (!). Thought to be dead, it's revenge time, but not before making bikini out of the shreds of their clothes and finding a way out of the island. Slick and trashy, with a fair bit of visual style, this sometimes feels like it could've been a Teruo Ishii film. The actual director is Yoshiki Onoda, who also did Female Slave Ship.

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The Shining Horizon (地平線がぎらぎらっ) (Japan, 1961) [DVD] – 3/5
A moderately insane Shintoho action thriller with six criminals meeting in prison and conceiving an escape plan to go after hidden diamonds. The first half is old school tough guy cinema behind bars, thankfully free of the dumb humour that plagued Toei's similar mid/late 60s pictures. The second half is where the film abandons all self-restraint. There's a scene where they steal a circus truck but have to stop to sing with children after being surrounded by kids. Later they see some hot women on the countryside road and decide to rape them, chasing the screaming women in forest while still in clown outfits. The six criminals themselves are a miscellaneous bunch: one is a suave playboy, another is a crybaby who is constantly beating people with bats and other sticks, and so on.

Female Prisoner Punisher Maria (女囚処刑人マリア) (Japan, 1994) [DVD] – 2.5/5
Largely idiotic, manga-based DTV junk with a bit of exotism. A Japanese warden in Thailand assigns prisoner Maria (singer / actress / hair nudist Naomi Kawashima) to conduct an assassination outside the prison because her profile says "does karate, is dangerous". She needs to be back on time or they'll kill her irritating idiot son. The target is hanging out with some random girls at his pool till one of them turns out to be an assassin. He immediately replaces her with another stranger, Maria, who turns out to be the 2nd assassin of the day. By the evening, he’s found himself a 3rd new girl! He just doesn't learn, does he? Luckily for him, Maria is just as incompetent, botching every chance she gets by not pulling the trigger fast enough. It sort of makes sense, Maria being the sweetest looking single mother in the world who doesn't look like she'd hurt a fly. Frankly quite inept, and not convincing in the least, but the film does have a sweet lady in a cool outfit (eventually) killing evil men with guns, knives and bare hands, and somehow you can't help but to be moderately entertained by it all. Bad, but in a sympathetic way. Director Jun Furusho was a contributing writer in the Rapeman series, but this film chaste as a choirboy with no nudity other than a few butts.

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Female Prisoner: Caged! (女囚 檻) (Japan, 1983) [DVD] – 2.5/5
Most Roman Porno sub-genres produced artistic gems; WiP did not. The majority of Nikkatsu’s roughly a dozen WiP efforts were barely more representative than the cheap sex films by the smaller pink studios. This Masaru Konuma film is a sleaze fest as well, but directed with impressive professionalism. It’s mean spirited yet with small heartfelt moments, convincingly acted (Mina Asami in particular, but the rest are good too), stylishly filmed, and even ends with bit of a punch. Btw, the writer / assistant director on this one was Osamu Murakami, who later helmed one of Nikkatsu’s best later day Roman Porno films, the superb yakuza thriller Burai no onna (1988).

Prisoner Maria 2 (女囚処刑人マリア2) (Japan, 1995) [VoD] – 3/5
This one does a 180 degree turn on the choir boy policy. Full nude body check, sadistic torture and deflowering a virgin with chopsticks are some of the scenes this incredibly sleazy sequel packs into its first 20 minutes alone! Still to come: the most misogynistic assault rifle execution of all time. Maria's target this time is a foreign diplomat's son, a sex crazy gaijin serial killer who just wants to have good time in Japan. And he's played by some bilingual dude Charlie whose acting rivals the wildest achievements of his Hong Kong gweilo brothers. Always fun to see white people portrayed as second to Satan in Asian film. Maria is this time played by idol / singer / actress Aya Sugimoto who has two facial expressions and does one of the most ridiculously bad karate demonstrations in the history of mankind. Her main merit is her resemblance of Reiko Ike. The film is junk, but fast paced and so gloriously politically incorrect that it's good junk. Of course it lacks all the genuine qualities that comparable 70s Japanese cinema had, but as cheap 90s DTV junk you sure could do a lot worse.

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YA-KU-ZA-Hoodlums (893愚連隊) (Japan, 1966) [DVD] - 3.5/5
Early Sadao Nakajima film detailing the daily activities of young opportunistic hoodlums (Hiroki Matsukata, Ichiro Araki, Ken Sanders and a few others) in Kyoto, a city of bigger, more organized yakuza. It takes a while to get going, but Nakajima does well with a catchy jazz score, effective cuts and cinéma vérité style cinematography de-romanticizing the gang life. One of Nakajima's more personal projects conceived outside the usual genre cinema box, together with Memoir of Japanese Assassins and Aesthetics of a Bullet.

Prisoner Maria: The Movie (女囚処刑人マリア 劇場版) (Japan, 1995) [VoD] – 3/5
Shuji Kataoka's theatrical follow-up to the two DTV films (1994 & 1995). It still feels like video cinema inside out. Busty pop idol (hence the no nudity clause) Noriko Aota takes over the lead role as prisoner assassin for dispatch for the warden (pink veteran Shirô Shimomoto). Her target is a politician's son who's been a bad boy (mainly, cutting open young women's stomachs) and needs to be eliminated before he causes too much embarrassment to his mom. Kataoka was the right man for this, a pink director who wanted to be an action director (often producing hybrids, e.g. SM Hunter and Subway Serial Rape). This is sex and violence a plenty, with rapes, gore, gunfights, martial arts (ranging from bad to alright depending on who's performing) and crazy villains. There's a bit of 80s/90s violence anime vibe as well. It's all cheap, yet heaps above modern digi-video garbage. Had Aota gone topless this'd be an easy three, now I award the rating with some reservations. Just a note: a WiP film this is not, lacking the genre shenanigans and, for the most part, the prison.

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The Terror Beneath the Sea (1966, Japan/USA) Tubi – 3/5
Sonny Chiba stars in this US/Japan co-produced mid-60’s sci-fi horror film (i.e. it’s cheesy), and even though he isn’t the ‘Streetfighter’ here, he still gets to kick a little butt and is far and away the best thing about this movie. I grew up watching these kinda films as a kid, so I have a high tolerance for the lame special effects - really it’s kind of a fun movie if you go along for the ride. Chiba’s given an attractive co-star, in American born Peggy Neal (The X form Outer Space) - the cameraman thought so too, as the underwater scuba scenes are shot mostly looking straight up her rear end.
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chazgower01 wrote: 12 Apr 2020, 02:08 The Terror Beneath the Sea (1966, Japan/USA) Tubi – 3/5
Long time no see. Good to have you back!

I rated Terror 3 as well. Fun little film.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by chazgower01 »

HungFist wrote: 12 Apr 2020, 04:11
chazgower01 wrote: 12 Apr 2020, 02:08 The Terror Beneath the Sea (1966, Japan/USA) Tubi – 3/5
Long time no see. Good to have you back!

I rated Terror 3 as well. Fun little film.
Thanks! Noticing more and more Asian films from the 60's, 70's, 80s, and 90s on the American Amazon Prime, Netflix,Tubi, etc. - was even surprised to see:

Look Out! Officier! (1990, Hong Kong) Netflix – 3/5

Bill Tung plays a ‘supercop’ (no, seriously) who gets killed by some gangsters that stage it as a suicide. He has a problem with this in being able to get in 'heaven’ and is granted the opportunity to go back and clear his name. Police recruit Stephan Chow, becomes his reluctant human help and it leads to the usual Chow goofiness. Stanley Fung is assigned to break Chow in, and he just happens to be Tung’s former partner and Chow’s girlfriend’s dad. Naturally for the movie, Chow's girlfriend is a cutie, this time played by Vivian Chan.
Lots of silliness, and bathroom humor, with minor action. I still find it funny to watch (this may be the best quality version I've had a chance to see), and of course, for me, having an Amy Yip cameo helps. Amy’s part is brief - she plays a highly decorated top-ranking officer in the Police Department (and looks quite fetching in the uniform). When Fung tries to take credit for Chow’s police work (which was aided by Tung’s magic), Tung uses magic to put a lust spell on Amy. She aggressively goes after Fung, as the whole office watches through her office window, exposing her (bra covered) breasts.
When Fung can hold back no more he pulls her down onto the desk and at that point, Tung REMOVES the spell, and Amy lashes out, embarrassed. Amy really delivers here as cameo’s go, and this was a fun one!

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

Post by chazgower01 »

Three Pretty Devils (1970, Japan) DVD - 3.5/5
Junko Natsu arrives in town and hooks up with some bad girls in Reiko Ohara and Yoko Ichiji in this early sukeban film. Cautionary tales of misspent youth and all of that, but extremely light on what would follow in the genre. Mainly just ripping off horny old guys, shoplifting, and drinking.
But like most of these movies, they eventually rip off the WRONG people and get into trouble.
The direction and story flow nicely and it’s easy to watch and even the quiet scenes where Reiko Ohara and Tsunehiko Watase fall in love (they’d marry in real life a few years later) while his mind struggles with his Yakuza given orders before giving in to her are actually pretty well done. It doesn’t work out good for him though.
Natsu and Ohara are the female stars here but Ichiji absolutely steals the show as the one of them who actually LIKES to follow through and have sex with her target and is constantly snacking on something and up for any kind of adventure. Doing some research I found out she was Sonny Chiba’s annoying sidekick in 1974’s ‘Return of the Street Fight’! Small world, Daddy-o.
The fashion, the discos, the music, the cool 70’s Japanese cars and scenery… it’s just a fun movie.
The finale chase and ending is a little bizarre but I found myself laughing through it and really it just fits the theme.
Yumiko Katayama has a brief appearance as one of the background gang members and Akiko Wada makes a hilarious brief appearance where she beats up and scares off some yakuza (and a brief second appearance where she sings a little and proclaims she likes ‘boys sometimes too’, but doesn’t know what to say to them!).
Cross dressing ‘Peter’ makes two brief singing appearances, one on TV and another in the bar, and has a short funny scene ordering a drink.

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

Post by chazgower01 »

Violated Angels (1967, Japan) Fan Sub 3.5/5
One of Controversial Director Koji Wakamatsu's more well-known films, Violated Angels was influenced by the 1966 Richard Speck Nurse killings (and if it wasn't, that's a pretty weird coincidence). The movie is in black and white except for two scenes in bold color to emphasize their horror. It's unsettling in its presentation, from the quick cut pictures of lips and hips and boobs intermixed with cold pictures of the killer at the beginning; to the way he presents the crime scene itself, where the entire movie takes place. Very Matter of fact - cold - the horrified reaction of the girls restrained by the potential for more carnage. It's like being there and peeking around a corner. It gets a bit nerve racking after a while.
There's a lot of nudity - all of the girls are naked at one time or the other - but it isn't really sexy at all. In fact, as much as I liked the idea of a movie where Junko Natsu bares all, I'm not really in a hurry to see this again.
That's not to say it isn't good - it IS - but even at only 56 minutes, that's enough of this type of intensity to last me a while.

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

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Killer Clans (Hong Kong, 1976) [VoD] – 3.5/5
If many of these Shaw Bros. literary adaptations are anything to go by, then Chinese wuxia novels must be complex as motherfuckers. This Chor Yuen film is a pinball mess for its first 40 minutes, then suddenly starts making sense and becomes a really solid action / suspense tale of two clans and a couple of assassins fighting for power. Features a couple pairs of boobs as well!

Bad Angel (ずべ公天使) (Japan, 1960) [TV] – 3.5/5
Toei's first delinquent girl film? Five minutes into it, and we're already treated a massive street brawn between two delinquent girl gangs. Charming chap Ken Takakura is a young intellectual of a modern business oriented yakuza group whose game centre the delinquents populate. Takakura comes up with a plan: take the gals on a hot springs trip and educate them in arts - could rehabilitate them and turn into a profit in the long run. Surprisingly innocent and naïve – Takakura’s group comes out like a bloody social support organization at times – and lacking the more exploitative edge of Shintoho's similar films from the same era. But Shigehiro Ozawa helms it with such energy and breeze, even inserting a musical scene in the middle of the film, that you can't help but to be highly entertained by it. The girls are cute and cool, punching bad guys and doing yakuza greetings when they’re not singing or bathing (in a scene that actually features a brief glimpse of topless nudity!) although as a typical concession of the era it’s Takakura who gets to play the hero of the show.

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