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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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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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) [VoD] – 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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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Female Prisoners: Brutal Treatment (女囚残酷私刑) (Japan, 1984) [VHS] - 3/5
Shuji Kataoka, clearly a director who loves the action genre, directed a lot of pink films where he just managed to squeeze in a single scene of that sort. He must have had a blast directing this film, then, because it's pretty much a 50:50 mix. The plot is quite simple and concerns a yakuza clan member who tries to pressure the police into finding and handing him a rival gang boss so he can avenge his own boss's assassination. His questionable methods include tying up a woman in an apartment building with a plastic explosive/vibrator device and eventually hijacking a police vehicle that's transporting the titular female convicts. There's just as many car chases and shoot-outs in this film as there are sex scenes, which makes for an entertaining mix.

By the way, if you look this film up anywhere online, you will find a plot summary and cast info that originates from Thomas Weisser's Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films and which goes like this:
Dirty Mary matches wits with a psycho killer who eventually hijacks a female prisoner transport bus. While the madman terrorizes the inmates, Dirty Mary and Yukijiro figure out a way to stop his reign of terror.
Of course there is no character called "Dirty Mary" in this film, with Usagi Aso actually playing a character introduced as "Detective Tate". There is also no character called "Yukijiro", though there is an actor named Yukijiro Hotaru, who plays a character called Inspector Kazama. That there is no "psycho killer" either should be obvious from what I wrote above. The only thing Weisser got right is that someone terrorizes inmates on a bus. Everything else is made-up bullshit. Not the first time he's made up plots and character names for his "reviews", obviously, since almost all the erroneous information about Japanese pink films on the internet can be traced to his abominable publication. The worst thing is that I've come to find it impossible to correct any of those errors after actually watching the films. If you correct a wikipedia article, someone will change it right back. If you contact IMDB, they will ignore you. Because obviously a print source must be irrefutable truth.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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I've seen a few of Kataoka's films and I always enjoyed the action aspect most. The first Subway Serial Rape had some nice "Charles Bronson touch" and the 4th one is a fine media satire. I do recall parts 2&3 sucking, though.
Guro Taku wrote: 08 Dec 2021, 12:42 Of course there is no character called "Dirty Mary" in this film, with Usagi Aso actually playing a character introduced as "Detective Tate". There is also no character called "Yukijiro", though there is an actor named Yukijiro Hotaru, who plays a character called Inspector Kazama. That there is no "psycho killer" either should be obvious from what I wrote above. The only thing Weisser got right is that someone terrorizes inmates on a bus. Everything else is made-up bullshit. Not the first time he's made up plots and character names for his "reviews", obviously, since almost all the erroneous information about Japanese pink films on the internet can be traced to his abominable publication. The worst thing is that I've come to find it impossible to correct any of those errors after actually watching the films. If you correct a wikipedia article, someone will change it right back. If you contact IMDB, they will ignore you. Because obviously a print source must be irrefutable truth.
This has annoyed me for years. The amount of made-up crap in that book is unbelievable. Here's an example I once wrote down:

Afternoon Affair: Metamorphosis (1973)
"Jun (Akira Takahashi) works as a delivery boy for a flower shop."
- Jun is played by Morio Kazama, not Akira Takahashi.

"He's secretly infatuated with a store salesgirl named Ryoko (Miyoko Aoyama)."
- Ryoko works for a company, she's not a salesgirl.

" At night, she secretly works as a prostitute to support her young child."
- She doesn't have children.

"The incensed young boy tells everyone at work about Ryoko's outside activities. "
- The boy doesn't tell anyone.

"She ' s fired from the job."
- She isn't fired from the job.

"And when her fiance hears the truth about his angelic bride-to-be, he cancels the wedding ."
- No wedding is cancelled.'

It's common his reviews have more errors than sentences!

There's also stuff like claiming Yuya Uchida plays the lead role in Red Violation (in reality he has a 60 second cameo in the film), giving movies fake titles (he added quite a few films into the Angel Guts series by making up new Japanese titles for unrelated films), or claiming Yoko Hatanaka was a popular singer in the early 70s and had a big hit with Ushiro kara, mae kara in 1974 before turning to Roman Porno in the 80s (in reality she didn't debut as a singer until 1978 and release the song in 1980... hell, she was still in elementary school in the early 70s)...
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Maybe we should start a website called "weisseriswrong.com" and fact-check his reviews one by one. :lol:
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Kanto Fight Challenge (関東果たし状) (Japan, 1965) [TV] – 2/5
Talkative, rather uneventful fourth entry in the Kanto series. The first 4 of the 5 films came out in 1965, making it one of the notable early works in the ninkyo genre. But you might argue the films were quite simplistic compared to some of the later, better pictures that had a more interesting obligation vs. humanity conflict in their core. This film goes some way in the right direction, with honourable clansman Tsuruta's closest friend Hiroyuki Nagato working for another gang under an evil oyabun. But not much comes out of it. Other highlights include blinded-by-dynamite Junko Fuji spending half of her scenes in black sunglasses and looking cool and ridiculous at the same time, and a dynamite packed clan-war action finale.

Flakes of Snow (ひとひらの雪) (Japan, 1985) [TV] – 3/5
Another Kichitaro Negishi x Haruhiko Arai collaboration. This is a high brow Toei literature film, an adult audience production, and a women’s film all in one, originally meant to be brought to the screen by Kinji Fukasaku and Keiko Matsuzaka before they abandoned the project. What it really amounts to is a more tolerable than usual piece of 80s greyness. A divorcing, middle aged architect (Masahiko Tsugawa) takes turns banging his semi-lolita secretary (Naomi Oki) and a noble lady ex (Kumiko Akiyoshi) while none of them seem to be having a clear idea where their lives are heading. It’s all meant to say something profound about… lives that have little profound or cinematic about them. The very essence of 80s Japanese cinema that is! This remains moderately interesting nevertheless, thanks to the Arai x Negishi pairing. But one feels they were limited by the topic matter and source material (a Junichi Watanabe novel). Negishi in particular was at his best depicting the dysfunctional youth; his films about the corporate type adults lacked the same spark. The Japanese audience and critics disagreed: the film was a financial and critical success, particularly among women.

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

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Revolver (リボルバー) (Japan, 1988) [TV] - 3/5
Toshiya Fujita's last film. A lazy-ass Kyushu cop (Kenji Sawada) loses his gun to a thieving salaryman head-butted by love life, triggering a chain reaction where the gun travels from one character to another and causes misery. But you'll have to wait 35 minutes for the gun even to go missing, and twice as long before most of the film's nearly dozen main characters (a troubled schoolboy and his non-girlfriend, a bar girl with a violent friend from the past, a duo of slacking gamblers etc.) meet in a Sapporo set climax. Also, having been made in the 80s, when action was frowned upon and non-eventful character drama celebrated in Japanese cinema, the missing gun ends up playing secondary role to all the human relationship sub-plots. The good news is that Fujita handles it better than most, keeping the viewer moderately interested in the drama, without forgetting to include dry humour, casual sex, nudity, and one brutal rape, all served in 80s mainstream film wrapping.

The Shogun Assassins (真田幸村の謀略) (Japan, 1979) [TV] – 3.5/5
Aka Renegade Ninjas. Sadao Nakajima's grand telling of Yukimura Sanada and his ninja troops taking a stance against shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu in the turbulent early years of the Tokugawa shogunate, climaxing in the famous battle of the Osaka castle. To be honest, among historical epics this is a bit on the goofy side (the film opens in outer space, and there's a giant SFX comet!) yet very entertaining (the film opens in outer space, and there's a giant SFX comet!). The film's base is only partly historical, since Sanada's ninjas (including Sasuke Sarutobi) for example have their basis more in legends than in confirmed history, something very much acknowledged by the film with its comic book character introduction screens. And let us not forget there’s also ninja magic, ninja nuns, and boobs (also ninja nun boobs). Hiroki Matsukata leads the cast, Hiroyuki Sanada plays one of the fighters, but it is Kinnosuke Nakamura who is having an obvious blast playing Ieyasu at his most evil. The film could be considered a middle entry is Toei's jidai geki comeback that started serious with Fukasaku's Yagyu Conspiracy and Ako Castle (both 1978) but later went ninja football (Shadow Warriors, 1980).

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

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Memories of You (ラブ・ストーリーを君に) (Japan, 1988) [TV] – 2/5
A sappy idol film with a terminally ill 14 year old (cute Kumiko Goto) spending one last summer with her ex-tutor (heart-throb Toru Nakamura) she has a crush on. "A Love Story for You" reads the Japanese title, which pretty much summarizes it. Love, nostalgia and tears has been the formula for box office success in Japan for decades. But cinematically, one would expect more from director Shinichiro Sawai, whose earlier works include the excellent Tragedy of W with Hiroko Yakushimaru at Kadokawa. This film was made at Toei. But it's not just the studio that is different here: Tragedy of W was written by nihilist/misogynist/screenwriter extraordinaire Haruhiko Arai, while this obviously wasn't (Shoichi Maruyama is the guilty party). While it doesn’t quite descend to the deepest melodrama gutters, there really isn’t much going for it other than pretty landscapes and decent leading performances.

Four Seasons: Natsuko (四季 奈津子) (Japan, 1980) [TV] – 3/5
Lively, if slightly pretentious slice of life drama with blue collar Kyushu girl Setsuko Karasuma taking a Tokyo photographer's offer to appear in nude photos because, why not? She heads to the capital to start a new, more exciting life. There are some excellent scenes, such as the breezy relationship play between her and her boyfriend, as well as some relatively bland episodes, and an admiration of female nudity that very much smells of a man’s idea of art. Newcomer Karasuma was set to star in a Kinji Fukasaku / Yusaku Matsuda yakuza film after this, but she announced she'll have nothing to do with Toei from here on, feeling the studio had exploited her (boobs) in the film's marketing. It shouldn't have happened, but seeing her shred her clothes in the film, one can certainly understand why it did!

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

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Yagyu Chronicles 1: Secret Scrolls (柳生武芸帳) (Japan, 1961) [TV] - 3.5/5
A charmingly old fashioned samurai / ninja programmer with Jushiro Konoe as Yagyu Jubei. The famed swordsman must protect the clan’s secret scrolls that could compromise their position as the Shogun's martial arts instructor. Two other parties, an enemy clan wishing to overthrow the Yagyu, and a princess of a wrongfully accused clan travelling with loyal servant (Shingo Yamashiro in a non-comedy role) are after the scrolls. This was the first film in Toei's 9 part "Yagyu Scolls" series, preceded by two Toshiro Mifune Yagyu Scrolls films at Toho in the late 50s. It's nothing profound, but with lots of action, fast pacing, and thoroughly enjoyable performances, it does exactly what it sets out to. Very entertaining.

Tokyo Drifter 2: The Sea is Bright Red as the Color of Love (続東京流れ者 海は真っ赤な恋の色) (Japan, 1966) [TV] – 3.5/5
A surprisingly good sequel to the Seijun Suzuki classic. Nikkatsu’s youth film director Kenjiro Morinaga (of the excellent Youth a Go Go, 1966) takes helm and executes it as a more traditional Nikkatsu Mood Action. Watari plays the same character as in the original film. The opening sees him arriving in a harbour town, with a hitman on his tail. He’s come to meet an old buddy, and while waiting for him also crosses paths with local beauty Kazuko Tachibana, who likewise is waiting for someone. Watari is also offered shelter by old man Zenpei Saga, whose son is in trouble with bad guy Nobuo Kaneko and in love with cutie Chieko Matsubara. Watari of course chooses to get involved. This is a surprisingly entertaining film with 1st rate cinematography and art direction. The locale is particularly well captured. It is however missing Suzuki’s wilder pop art experimentation, and may not be what foreign audiences would expect from a Tokyo Drifter sequel. That is of course because Suzuki was something of an outlier in the genre, while this movie is a more traditional entry in the Nikkatsu Action line. It’s a shame none of the recent Blu-Ray releases of the Suzuki classic have bundled this with it.

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

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13 Steps Of Maki 3.5/5
Very short and enjoyable actioner,featuring girl gangs,yakuza,corrupt prison officers and dodgy rich businessmen. Sue Shiomi is the title character. Be a good acqusition for Arrow,this one.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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HungFist wrote: 02 Jan 2022, 14:35Tokyo Drifter 2: The Sea is Bright Red as the Color of Love (続東京流れ者 海は真っ赤な恋の色) (Japan, 1966) [TV] – 3.5/5
A surprisingly good sequel to the Seijun Suzuki classic. Nikkatsu’s youth film director Kenjiro Morinaga (of the excellent Youth a Go Go, 1966) takes helm and executes it as a more traditional Nikkatsu Mood Action. Watari plays the same character as in the original film. The opening sees him arriving in a harbour town, with a hitman on his tail. He’s come to meet an old buddy, and while waiting for him also crosses paths with local beauty Kazuko Tachibana, who likewise is waiting for someone. Watari is also offered shelter by old man Zenpei Saga, whose son is in trouble with bad guy Nobuo Kaneko and in love with cutie Chieko Matsubara. Watari of course chooses to get involved. This is a surprisingly entertaining film with 1st rate cinematography and art direction. The locale is particularly well captured. It is however missing Suzuki’s wilder pop art experimentation, and may not be what foreign audiences would expect from a Tokyo Drifter sequel. That is of course because Suzuki was something of an outlier in the genre, while this movie is a more traditional entry in the Nikkatsu Action line. It’s a shame none of the recent Blu-Ray releases of the Suzuki classic have bundled this with it.

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WTF how did I miss out on the information that the film had a sequel!?!?!?!?
saltysam wrote: 02 Jan 2022, 22:10 13 Steps Of Maki 3.5/5
Very short and enjoyable actioner,featuring girl gangs,yakuza,corrupt prison officers and dodgy rich businessmen. Sue Shiomi is the title character. Be a good acqusition for Arrow,this one.
I found a bit dissappointing after all the good press... i thought the fight choreographies were weak and the antagonists + henchmen very very uncharismatic and lacking character. The only thing i did enjoy was how girl power it was and how some of the dialogues reflected that and the fight at the strip club, nice use of a horizontal scrolling pan, a flat background and cheering crowds.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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loempiavreter wrote: 03 Jan 2022, 04:10 WTF how did I miss out on the information that the film had a sequel!?!?!?!?
Most people don't know it exists. I posted a bit more info and screencaps here:
viewtopic.php?t=3840&p=182373#p182373
saltysam wrote: 02 Jan 2022, 22:10 13 Steps Of Maki 3.5/5
Very short and enjoyable actioner,featuring girl gangs,yakuza,corrupt prison officers and dodgy rich businessmen. Sue Shiomi is the title character. Be a good acqusition for Arrow,this one.
I can never decide if this or Dragon Princess is my favourite Shihomi film. Both need a BD release. Both have new HD masters available.
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Prison Gambler (監獄博徒) (Japan, 1964) [TV] – 2/5
Part 2 in the Gambler series, set almost entirely in Miike Prison (also the setting for director Ozawa and star Tsuruta's 1973 film Three Lakes Prison). The storyline is standard fluff, but the film's setting is quite unusual, especially for a film made in 1964. While many ninkyo films included prison segments, few made it their primary setting aside some films in the Abashiri Prison series that started in 1965. There are a few other points of interest, from prison brutality to tiny outdoor humiliation cages, the sun setting behind the prison walls and the prisoner forced to work at a coal mine, sweaty and half naked. It is curious how this film, alongside the opening segments in Teruo Ishii's The Shogun's Vault (1963), pre-dated the later women in prison films in terms of more than a few elements and visual details. It is not enough to save an otherwise uninspired ninkyo picture, however.

Harry and His Geisha Girls (生贄の女たち) (Japan, 1978) [TV] - 3/5
The film that brought Harry Reems to Japan! The titular character arrives in Japan to have his peanut sized willy replaced with a more respectable member, as persuaded by his lovelorn Japanese wife. The medical operation is successful, but there are side effects, namely, a personality change (now there's an interesting research topic for some curious academic). This is a bizarre, but surprisingly funny addition to Toei's line up of erotic films with imported leads. They first brought in Sandra Julien, Christina Lindberg and Sharon Kelly in 1971-1974 for 1-2 films each, and now, Harry with his big... moustache. It probably had something to do with Toei having distributed Deep Throat theatrically in 1973, and produced its Japanese follow-up Deep Throat in Tokyo in 1975. Anyway, here we have Harry in Japanese yukata and headband serving customers in a restaurant, running for his life from mad women, and running afoul with yakuza who want to cut off his new sausage because they believe it was formerly used for smuggling diamonds from Hong Kong. And let’s not even talk about a couple of hilarious (dick) twists the plot comes with. It’s all quite amusing, and frankly more entertaining than most Japanese erotic comedies, even by Toei. Oh, and isn’t that Osman Yusuf doing the (highly amusing) English/Japanese dubbing for Harry? No one is credited for it, but it sure sounds like him.

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Police Department Story 14 (警視庁物語 聞き込み) (Japan, 1960) [TV] – 2.5/5
This entry has one of the more powerful openings in the series. An elderly woman walks into the police station to inquire about her missing little brother, of whom she is dependent on. The detectives find him in no time... in the file of dead bodies. The rest of the film follows their attempts to trace his movements and contacts prior to his death, uncovering a murder plot behind it. This is another not-bad entry with a tight 52 minute running time.

Student Yakuza (学生やくざ) (Japan, 1974) [VoD] – 3/5
A hugely interesting yakuza / karate / school gang mash-up that doesn't live up to its full potential. Tsunehiko Watase is a schoolboy gangster armed with fast fists and karate kicks who, after beating a fieldful of local rivals, gets sent to Osaka by his family (incl. gray-haired Bunta Sugawara). Immediately upon arrival he runs into a schoolgirl gang (lead by Rika Aoki of Toho's Rica series) lynching a fellow sailor suit on the street. He later lands work at a construction site whose workers are being harassed by Kenji Imai's Osaka yakuza, but also defended by a violent student radical group (echoing the real the early 70s student unrest in Japan). What a premise! This was helmed by Toei's assistant director since 1962 Akira Shimizu (his only other directorial effort was Rugby Yaro in 1976) but perhaps more importantly written by Takayuki Minagawa, the AD on The Street Fighter (released 2 weeks prior to this) and the writer / AD on the Girl Boss series. They deserve criticism for the lack of strong plot and above average execution, but there's lot of fun to be had here: a fair bit yakuza stuff, a little bit of sukeban thrills, and way more karate than you'd expect, in the usual mix of violence, nudity and anti-social mayhem. University karate club alumni Watase does well-enough in the action scenes (fresh off Bodyguard Kiba 2, and to soon star in Wicked Kempo later) and looks like a Watase-version of Tomisaburo Wakayama's Gokudo-series protagonist.

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