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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Wife in Mourning: Pubic-Shaved Rope Slave (喪服妻と縄 そっと剃って!) (Japan, 1993) [VOD] - 3/5
Kazumi (Noriko Akikawa) is working as an escort and specializes in roleplay. One of her regular clients claims his wife killed herself because she couldn't deal with his sadistic tendencies. He thinks he's found a soulmate of sorts in Kazumi because she claims that she lost a baby four months into a pregnancy during an S&M session. That's not exactly the whole truth, though. The viewer is kept in the dark for a while which of the seriously damaged characters is telling the truth and who isn't. It's a seriously downbeat film that you need to be in the right mood for. The only minor levity comes from Rio Serizawa's character, a schoolgirl working for the same escort service as Kazumi, and who once correctly refers to Kazumi as a "gloomy bitch". :lol:

This film is currently available from two different streaming sites. I originally watched it on DUGA several years ago and it wasn't until Xces Film put it up on their in-house VOD site (the source for all my recent Sato reviews, since most of these films were completely unavailable until recently) that I realized that the DUGA version is actually cut! It's missing the Xces Film company credit at the beginning and a whopping 2 minutes from the end, including the film's final scene! Sheer incompetence or some odd attempt at getting away with bootlegging? I asked Xces Film and they seem to be as confused about the whole thing as I am.
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HungFist
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Hitozuma kyofu: Jigoku doro (人妻恐怖・地獄道路) (Japan, 1973) [TV] – 2/5
“Housewife’s Horror: Hell Road”. This is another 45 minute TV film in Toei and MBS TV's Suspense Series. Sonny Chiba and Etsuko Shihomi's karate packed Kazuo Koike manga adaptation Modern Witch Tale: Murderous Love premiered in the same series 2 weeks later. This one, helmed by Yasuo Furuhata, is a lot less exciting. Housewife Yoko Nogiwa and her annoying kid are taken as hostage by criminals Rinichi Yamamoto and Nobuo Yana while her husband Tadao Nakamaru is banging another woman. Routine and clichéd all the way to the ultra-conservative ending that tells us women should be grateful to their husbands, even if they are having harmless little affairs while their family gets kidnapped.

Attack (斬り込み) (Japan, 1970) [VoD] – 3/5
Yukihiro Sawada's directorial debut. This is as much a youth film as a yakuza picture. Tatsuya Fuji leads a pack of frustrated youngsters of the Kawasaki Goda gang, whose turf is being invaded by a union of rotten old yakuza bastards, the Kanto Federation. The boys can't stand still while their gang is being humiliated, and it soon escalates into bloodshed. Chris D. praised this film as one of the finest yakuza pictures. I don't think it's quite that good, with plenty of roughness around the edges and poignant scenes followed by routine bits. But it's certainly good, and perfectly evidences the difference to Toei's old fashioned ninkyo films. There are scenes like the one where the boys abuse an innocent girl in turns due to peer pressure that wouldn’t appear in ninkyo films, and in fact their entire quarrel with the enemy seems to spring more from frustration in their own lives and doomed futures than preserving any old fashioned codes of honour. Note that the first billed Tetsuya Watari is actually a supporting character who only becomes a major character near the end.

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

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Police Department Story 13 (警視庁物語 血液型の秘密) (Japan, 1960) [TV] – 2/5
An exceptionally talkative entry with a nasty premise: a mother and a baby are found lying dead on a sidewalk. Relative newcomer director Masuichi Iitzuka (he also helmed part 12, which was one of his first film on a career that did not last long) fails to pump much energy into the film, though it’s decently written and the bittersweet climax is quite good.

* I skipped part 12 since I’ve seen and reviewed it before.

The Monster Bus (ころがし涼太 激突!モンスターバス) (Japan, 1988) [TV] – 2.5/5
A pretty obscure comic book action comedy partly elevated to its minor cult status because almost no one has seen it. Young Riki Takeuchi stars (in his first leading role) as a live action anime buffoon bus driver who will crash through any and every obstacle while chasing his new crush (Naomi Akimoto). The girl, however, is also chased by a mysterious shadow man (Shun Sugata) wheeling a black, armoured monster bus straight out of a post apocalypse adventure. The hero has also made countless other enemies, being an ex-boso zoku and also because he battered / ran over / otherwise hurt them with his bus, usually without realizing it. There's some fun to be had here, from a visual overdrive to constant gags, some family friendly sex and nudity, over-the-top yankii characters, and probably the only bus vs. bus action finale in any film, served in a 97 minute pack that lacks a proper storyline to hold it together. The film then feels longer than it is. Naosuke Kurosawa, who debuted in 1980 with the supremely stylish pink giallo Zoom In: Rape Apartments, helms it in his usual ‘style first, everything else third’ method. The film comes out much like a live action anime, or a Nobuhiko Obayashi film minus the substance.

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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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The Bondage (ザ・緊縛) (Japan, 1984) [VOD] - 3/5
A Yojiro Takita film with a script by Shiro Yumeno and Hisayasu Sato as assistant director that concerns the adventures of a taxi driver, who discovers a key in the broken-off heel of a shoe one of his clients leaves behind one night. That key leads him to a coin locker and a videotape of a woman undergoing some rough S&M play. As he investigates further, he discovers a yakuza gang that gets women hooked on LSD (!) and stages S&M shows for paying customers. Not Yumeno's best script but I'm always down for these noirish stories of someone investigating a sordid underworld. Kind of reminded me of Takashi Ishii's work. I mean, if you changed the names of the leads to Muraki and Nami you'd be mostly there. Some nice shots as well and the print looked great, definitely not a VHS era master but a recent one, most likely even HD. The R15 on the print probably means this was on TV somewhere first and I suspect some additional fogging may have been applied to some of the sex/bondage scenes. No way to be sure, unless I track down the ancient VHS release, though.
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