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

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

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FLYING GUILLOTINE II was very impressive, especially considering that the first film was rather bland. The highlight is Ku Feng's excellent performance as the Emperor, who is one real sadistic bastard! For a change, instead of De Wolfe, much of the music is by Ifukube Akira, with themes I recognise from monster movies like VARAN and DAIMAIJIN.

One odd bit of camp silliness: Shih Szu and her girl-posse dressing like 1920s flapper/aviators!
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Humanity and Paper Balloons (Japan, 1937): 3.5/5

This film seemed a bit more serious than the first one in the set (The Million Ryo Pot).
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Wandering Seagull: Night In Kushiro (さすらいかもめ 釧路の女) (1973) [VoD] - 2.5/5
Truck driver Kiyoshi Yoshida gives a ride to Junko Miyashita who is returning to her home town in Hokkaido. She's got a past, he's got a young hostess girlfriend Yuko Katagiri, and everyone is connected. Love, sex and drama in the Kushiro port town follows. This is one of Shogoro Nishimura's better Roman Porno films (almost none of which are as good as his earlier youth and gangster films from the 60s), a throwback to Nikkatsu's 60s youth cinema and perhaps even more to Toei's Song of the Night type of films depicting the young men and women of the night. It retains the thematics and fabulous art direction of those films, though with added boring sex and more hollow characters. Ultimately, however, the visuals, the setting and the solid ending are enough to make it worth a view.

Young Wolf (aka Hidden Fangs) (若い狼) (Japan, 1961) [35mm] - 3/5
Hideo Onchi’s stylish directorial debut, a semi-documentary style drama about young man Yosuke Natsuki trying to go straight after being released from youth prison. To his dismay, girlfriend Yuriko Hoshi waiting in Tokyo has followed in his footsteps, now complete with an attitude and a delinquent girl hairstyle. This is a solid film with beautifully captured and authentic looking black & white street cinematography. It is however only borderline delinquent youth film, following its protagonist's attempts to steer away from the yakuza world and resisting the temptation to let it all explode in violent mayhem. It hence gets more low key as it goes on. The recently deceased Kunie Tanaka appears in a supporting role as fellow inmate released at the same time as the protagonist.

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

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The Good, The Bad, The Weird (S. Korea, 2008): 3.5/5

I noticed the title gets changed slightly with the addition of an "And" on the BD - I enjoyed this Korean Western, somewhat inspired by TGTBATU :)
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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The Warlords (HK, 2007): 3.5/5

A bit talky but the acting, and realistic war/battle scenes are impressive.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Crying Fist (S. Korea, 2005) - first time: 4/5

Powerful boxing action drama, well acted, the boxing looked brutal but I don't know how truly realistic it was. Sometimes the fighters wore protective gear, sometimes not.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Legend of the Mountain (Taiwan, 1979) - first time watch (BD): 3.5/5

This is a stunningly beautiful film, with some amazing shots of landscapes and nature, and captures atmosphere, but holy hell, it's really long-winded and takes some time to get going. When it eventually picks up after the first hour or so, it turned into a supernatural ghost story and reminded me of A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) - the main character falls in love with a ghost named Cloud
Was Melody's drumming display on purpose so the main character would drink so much, and marry (?) her?
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Women’s Police 2 (続女の警察) (Japan, 1969) [TV] – 1.5/5
“There are 15 000 hostesses in Ginza” says Akira Kobayashi in the opening scene of this film, and assumes responsibility of looking after them. Of course, he isn’t that much of a white knight himself but a hostess recruiter with better morals than some of the shadier figures in the night. This is a good looking film, as you’d expect from a 60s Nikkatsu picture, but not much of interest happens in it. Kobayashi recalls tragic past, helps a few hostesses harassed by chinpira, and does tons of talking. The setting is similar to Toei’s Youth of the Night and Song of the Night series, but without the sleazy / desperate / opportunist protagonists usually played by Tatsuo Umemiya in those two series. Kobayashi in turn makes a too mild mannered main character for this type of film. Only the ending packs some punch (or rather, electricity). This is of course also a sequel to the original Women’s Police, which I saw a long time ago from a fuzzy 16mm print. My recollections of that film are as fuzzy as the print was, but I don’t think there was much to remember besides Meiko Kaji’s brief topless scene. Here we get no topless Kaji, or Kaji at all in fact.

Detective (刑事) (Japan, 1964) [TV] - 3/5
Though enjoying a more versatile image abroad, Tetsuro Tamba's name is almost synonymous with detective roles in his native country. This film was his first leading role as a detective. Tamba is here chasing a sex maniac who has kidnapped a woman who by coincidence turns out to be Tamba's little sister. That far-fetched twist aside this is a surprisingly low-key docudrama with plenty of time spent at the police station in frustration when there are simply no firm clues to follow: the kidnapper could be hiding anywhere, and trying to find his car is like looking for a needle in haystack. That doesn’t always make spectacular cinema, but the film is nevertheless solid and greatly increases intensity towards the end. Tamba is good, but it is Shinjiro Ehara as the nervous, socially inept and woman-hating kidnapper who stands out most in the cast. His character is featured extensively on screen as the film documents his evil doings, firmly placing the film in the grittier new wave of cinema that was emerging in Japan in the early/mid 60s (interestingly, that happened simultaneously with the rise of the fairytale-like ninkyo films).

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Pitfall (Japan, 1962) - rewatch: 4/5

Interesting film, but it really should have had an aswer for it's central mystery. Maybe the fact it doesn't seem to, is the point?
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My Young Auntie (HK, 1980) - first time viewing (DVD): 3.5/5

Entertaining stuff with some great action, but feels longer than it needs to be. One character slipping in random English into his speech sounds odd, and why do most things have to be "China v the West" (Chinese swordplay v fencing") as the trailer has it?

In one part some young guys sing a song that I think is "Rose Rose I Love You", that Anita Mui sang in Miracles, so it must be an old song.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Wu Xia (HK, 2011) - first time viewing: 4/5

Period martial arts movie with a touch of mystery and some cool fighting sequences - shame there seems to be a bit too much CGI, though some touches reminded me of Sonny Chiba's The Street Fighter.
The actor playing Donnie Yen's father reminded me of the 'Lord Pai' character from 'The Man with the Iron Fists 2' was it the same actor?
Did people really have such good knowledge of the body's pressure points and things like that 100 years ago? I know things were improving all the time but still...
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Lady Snowblood (Japan, 1973): 4/5
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What a coincidence...

Lady Snowblood (修羅雪姫) (Japan, 1973) [35mm] - 4.5/5
A masterful revenge tale with Meiko Kaji as a girl born in prison for the only purpose of avenging her parents who were killed and raped by four ultra-nationalist. In equal parts tragic, lyrical and political, with an old fairytale-like atmosphere, it’s very much the kind of film that would never get made in Japan today. Kaji is terrific (though her limited swordplay skills is one of the film’s only weaknesses) and Ko Nishimura appears in one of his most memorable roles as a priest who trains her. The film’s storyline, theme song and several images (particularly in the snow) have since become iconic, but I would argue the single most impressive part in the film is how the main character’s background is told in brilliantly structured unchronological flashbacks. Fans Kazuo Koike, whose comic served as the blueprint, will find much familiar ground here besides the exceptionally female-lead premise (certainly a big contrast to Hanzo the Razor that was being adapted at the same time). However, the same can’t be said about director Toshiya Fujita, who is almost exclusively associated with contemporary youth films. It is ironic that this, most a-typical film, is what he’s best known for outside of Japan.

Side note: this was my 2nd time viewing this from a 35mm print in Tokyo, and it served as a reminder that the Criterion Blu-Ray features probably one of the most revisionist masters ever created for a 70s Japanese film. Based on the screencaps at least, the Criterion looks literally like no 70s Japanese studio film ever. The older, murkier Arrow release doesn’t do the film full justice either, but is much closer to what the film ought to look like.

https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?d1=7269& ... =0&l=0&a=0

Mud Dog (どろ犬) (Japan, 1964) [TV] - 4/5
Compromised cop Minoru Oki is feeding intelligence to reckless gangster acquaintance Ko Nishimura, who’s had him on a leash ever since learning about Oki bed-friending an arrested gangster's woman. But Oki's colleagues are starting to suspect something, and he needs to take increasingly drastic actions to cover his own ass. This is real a discovery in Toei's crime film catalogue. Adapted from a novel by Shoji Yuki (Fukasaku's Under the Flag of the Rising Sun) but reportedly even more nihilist than the source material, this is a gripping tale of a desperate cop turning into a beast, the kind of film that would more often be made in the 70s and after, with Oki in one of the best roles of his career. Nishimura is also excellent as blackmailing scum (the type of role he played better than anyone else), and Kunie Tanaka appears as his mentally challenged yakuza brother. The film starts out leisurely, but gets progressively more intense as Oki finds himself without a way out of the situation. Debut director Takaharu Saeki sadly never made another movie for Toei. He got caught up in a labour dispute and was unable to land directing jobs after angering the studio execs. He’d work for TV (including Toei) after the dust settled for two decades before making his second and last theatrical movie in 1984.

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

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There's definitely some influence of LS in Kill Bill Vol. 1 :)
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Lover's Tear (誓不忘情) (Hong Kong, 1992) [File] – 3.5/5
Ngai Sing plays a young HK Cop who comes to the mainland to investigate the death of another HK Cop. He gets caught up on the run with the only witness, the bad guy’s mute girlfriend, played by Jet Li’s real life wife, actress Nina Li (who’s really good in this).
Elvis Tsui plays the bad guy. Lam Ching plays his right hand hitman (who’s also mute). Sammo Hung has a small part as Police Commissioner. Yukari Oshima’s appearance in this is brief (it’s really just a cameo), though she looks great in her Police Uniform. So it’s got some quality performers in it.
And director Jacob Cheung would do Cageman the same year, which swept the Hong Kong Film Awards so this might’ve gotten overlooked.
I thought the performances were really good; the characters had depth and I really enjoyed it...

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

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Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva (Japan, 2009): 4/5

Faithful adaptation of the popular puzzle/adventure series that began on Nintendo DS, the story is good but seems a slight departure from the games (at least the ones I've played) since it seems to venture into sci-fi. I like how you kind of solve the puzzles along with the characters.
The animation is good (though the characters are simplistically drawn in a "wacky" sort of way - similar to the game) and the CGI is rather distracting, standing out more than it should.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Forbidden City Cop (HK, 1996) - first time: 3/5

The idea of a 'James Bond' set in old Hong Kong/China is certainly an interesting one - a sequel of sorts to From Beijing with Love (1994), I didn't understand the more verbal humour/wordplay and local references (like the opening swordplay wuxia scene, apparently parodying a famous novel) and some other humour is quite broad, the Bond-esque title sequence raised a chuckle though :D
Carman Lee is cute :) :o
I realise Asian women tend to look younger than Westerners and she's an actress, but :o https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carman_Lee
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Duel to the Death (HK, 1983) - first time?: 3.5/5

Fun 'swordplay fantasy advcenture that has a 'China v Japan' angle, impressive wire action and a cool theme song. The Eureka Blu Ray looks very good.
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HungFist wrote: 02 Sep 2022, 16:16 Women’s Police 2 (続女の警察) (Japan, 1969) [TV] – 1.5/5
“There are 15 000 hostesses in Ginza” says Akira Kobayashi in the opening scene of this film, and assumes responsibility of looking after them. Of course, he isn’t that much of a white knight himself but a hostess recruiter with better morals than some of the shadier figures in the night. This is a good looking film, as you’d expect from a 60s Nikkatsu picture, but not much of interest happens in it. Kobayashi recalls tragic past, helps a few hostesses harassed by chinpira, and does tons of talking. The setting is similar to Toei’s Youth of the Night and Song of the Night series, but without the sleazy / desperate / opportunist protagonists usually played by Tatsuo Umemiya in those two series. Kobayashi in turn makes a too mild mannered main character for this type of film. Only the ending packs some punch (or rather, electricity). This is of course also a sequel to the original Women’s Police, which I saw a long time ago from a fuzzy 16mm print. My recollections of that film are as fuzzy as the print was, but I don’t think there was much to remember besides Meiko Kaji’s brief topless scene. Here we get no topless Kaji, or Kaji at all in fact.
Women’s Police (女の警察) (Japan, 1969) [Amazon Prime Japan] – 1.5/5
There’s a nice version of this on Amazon Prime Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/女の警察-小林旭/dp/B0 ... 527&sr=8-1
As Hung stated above, Akira Kobayashi plays a sort of pseudo-pimp with a heart of gold. As stoic as he is in this, he perks up quickly when he sees Meiko Kaji (here as Masako Ota), walking down the street looking all mod.
They go back to her crappy apartment and she immediately disrobes for him (the brief but rare nude scene as mentioned above), but he is unimpressed and instead beats up some guy who barges in, breaking a vase over his head.
Cocktails and Cigarettes and lots of serious conversation - I couldn’t understand what was being talked about so I suppose that made it even more boring… Kobayashi has sex with two different women and both scenes are an example of being creative and showing nothing while still getting the message across.
Meiko shows up again about an hour into it, and her and Kobayashi have a serious conversation - she starts to undress in front of him again and he makes a beeline for the door. Maybe she's secretly his daughter or something.
The finale consists of one of the most unremarkable car chases in film history.

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

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Yagyu Secret Scrolls (柳生武芸帳) (Japan, 1957) [35mm] – 2.5/5
The first of Toho’s two Yagyu Scrolls films, helmed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring Toshiro Mifune himself. Despite the big names and the film not being too bad, I must say I prefer Toei’s more action packed and pulpy nine film Yagyu Scrolls series (1961-1964) starring Jushiro Konoe.

Rogue (ごろつき) (Japan, 1968) [TV] – 3.5/5
This is a surprisingly breezy and enjoyable ninkyo film. Country bumpkins Takakura and Sugawara head to Tokyo to become kickboxers. Neither have experience, and both are fish out of water in the big city, not having even washed their faces after leaving coal mines. But they’re in luck when they befriend benevolent ex-boss Kenjiro Ishiyama and gym owner Minoru Oki (whose ring is populated by real kickboxers in minor roles, such as Tadashi Sawamura and Isao Fujimoto). Takakura eventually becomes a kickboxer (who is barely seen doing any kickboxing). The film doesn’t really become a yakuza movie until 50 min into the tale when gangster Fumio Watanabe pulls the boys down the usual ninkyo trail, leading to a satisfying katana massacre at the end. What’s best about the film, however, is its sense of laidback fun that many ninkyo films lack. My favourite part comes when Ken and Bunta earn pocket money by performing songs in bars. Ken does the vocals, Bunta plays the guitar. They perform both the Abashiri Prison and the Brutal Tales of Chivalry themes. There’s also a part where Bunta loses his part time job as caretaker after mistreating a dog’s balls (yes, you read that correct)! Thankfully none of that plays out as mere throwaway gags, but rather as humoristic bits of characterization that contributes to a larger dramatic but breezy narrative. This is all the more surprising coming from director Masahiro “ten litres of tears” Makino, whose yakuza films tend to be full of sobbing and heavy handed melodrama.

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

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The Seventh Curse (1986, Hong Kong) 88 Films SE Blu Ray 4/5
Having been through the days of Tai Seng VHS releases - much appreciated for their distribution, NOT the quality of it - and of course individual bootlegs from all over the world, I was happy to finally see this in better quality about 4 years ago on Amazon Prime. Still, I very much looked forward to this Special Edition Blu Ray when it came out and I was NOT disappointed.

Oh and this is the full cut of the movie - including the bookend scenes that many of the versions of this I'd seen completely cut out.

Great picture, great sound, and watching this on my 55 inch QLED Samsung TV, I probably enjoyed this movie more NOW than I ever have. The Special Edition includes a booklet, that could've used an editor, but is chocked full of pictures, and the 20X16 movie poster (on the other side is a Japanese movie poster of the movie!) that I'll frame and put up at home.

Big thumbs up. Can we get a Holy Virgin vs Evil Dead?!

Here was my actual movie review from 4 years ago:
chazgower01 wrote: 19 Aug 2018, 00:43 The Seventh Curse (1986, Hong Kong) Amazon Prime 4/5
This might be one of the greatest Hong Kong exploitation mish-mashes ever and when it popped up on my Amazon Prime, I had to see it again. And it's just as crazy ass awesome as I remember it. It's a shame that whoever made this cover for it felt the need to highlight it as if Chow Yun Fat stars in it - he IS in it - and has an important role - but this is a Chin Siu-Ho movie and he carries it quite nicely considering the rest of the cast and the insane amount of stuff going on.

Lets see: blood curses, Alien like creatures, an Evil Dead 2 like skeleton thing that transforms into a monster, human sacrifice, CHILD sacrifice (about 100 of them), head crushing, spine sucking, lots of guns and grenades, martial arts fighting, kung fu monks, an evil priest with an effeminate voice, and a whole bunch of cameos including Wong Jing (as a horny rich socialite).

It's the story of a Dr. Chen (Chin Siu-Ho), who when on safari in Thailand (where else?) saves a young lady from sacrifice (Sau-Lau Tsui), but gets infected with a curse, that one year later he must return to Thailand to find a cure for.

When Sau-Lai Tsui makes her big screen debut (Hong Kong big screen debut anyway) she's supposed to stop Dr. Chen in his tracks, completely mesmerizing him with her innocence, beauty, and... uh... wet t-shirt nakedness. And she does! And anyone else who has ever watched this movie! She's a beauty, and this is one of those scenes that sticks in your head, because they found the perfect girl for it, and you almost want to fly to Thailand and save her yourself.

So with the help of a good native named Dragon (Dick Wei with a full head of hair) and a nosy reporter (a young Maggie Cheung) and some occasional help from Dr. Wisley (Chow Yun Fat - looking suave as hell) and his serum administering wife (Sibelle Hu), they take on the evil priest (Elvis Tsui - a LOT of stars in early roles here), his tribe and his monsters! This is one of the movies that got me into wanting to see more Hong Kong movies other than just chop socky flicks and Jackie Chan movies and even though the special effects looking kinda goofy by today's standard's this movie is a blast.
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Rogue Wanderer (ごろつき無宿) (Japan, 1971) [TV] - 2.5/5
Country bumping coal miner Takakura makes his way to Tokyo, joins rotten Watanabe's construction company. He later switches team to benevolent Shimura's tekiya family upon realizing how Watanabe's gang is exploiting the locals and even cause the death of a little boy's father, something Takakura indirectly contributed to. Long, but not bad modern day ninkyo film by Yasuo Furuhata (though the era seems almost irrelevant). Takakura is in his element as kind, honourable common man burdened by guilt. His interactions with the locals and the little boy are quite good, and the musical score by Toei / Daiei composer Takeo Watanabe is solid (and slightly resembles his incredible work in Flower Cards Chivalry). But in the end, the film is just ok. There's nothing particularly memorable about it that hasn't been done better in many other ninkyo films. It should also be mentioned that despite sharing the title and again featuring Takakura as coal miner heading to Tokyo, this is not really related to the earlier film Rogue (1968).

Neo Chinpira: Zoom Goes the Bullet (ネオ チンピラ 鉄砲玉ぴゅ) (Japan, 1990) [TV] – 4/5
Breezy Toei V-Cinema gem with Sho Aikawa in his first starring role. Aikawa is an youngster in a gang whose senior members specialize in "zooming", or escaping their duties. Two of his bosses are assigned on a hit, but one "accidentally" puts a bullet in his stomach while riding roller coaster, and the other OD’s himself mad, leaving only Aikawa to carry out the job. He doesn't want to do it either, and ends up wasting copious amounts of time slacking with and banging his narcoleptic girlfriend (Robotrix's Chikako Aoyama). This is a much breezier film that one might expect, a deadpan yakuza satire with a genuinely cute romance in its core. It's also constantly clever, visually creative, very funny, and packs a hell of a cool rock soundtrack. Director Banmei Takahashi is a former pink film powerhouse who made a mainstream transition with Tattoo (1982), an awarded but depressing celebration of gray everyday misery. This film is much different. It somewhat resembles Nikkatsu's terrific late Roman Porno / Okinawa yakuza gem Burai no onna (1988), which has a similar storyline and oddly enough starred Hitoshi Ozawa, another to-be video star, in his first lead role.

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Police Department Story 21 (警視庁物語 十代の足どり) (Japan, 1963) [TV] - 3/5
A high school girl's body is discovered by a river. The culprit appears to be one of her fellow students or friends. This entry, in contrast to the talkative and indoor-bound previous film, features a lot more outdoor locations. It’s also feels a little different from the rest of the films in the series for focusing so clearly on the youth, and coming with a bit more melodramatic touch than most. Director Hajime Sato does little to romanticize the world the youngsters live in, evident already from a lot of the investigation taking place on seedy streets absolutely full of porno and strip club ads.

Cruel High School: Bay Boy (非情学園ワル) (Japan, 1973) [TV] – 3/5
Atsushi Mihori’s directorial debut, an inconsistent but interesting early work in Toei’s largely forgotten delinquent boy genre (*). These films ran parallel to the delinquent girl movies at first (**) (quite literally in case of this film; it was a double feature with Terrifying Girls’ High School: Lynch Law Classroom), but unlike grittier girl gang pictures, the male manifestations were usually comic book adaptations with a highly cartoonish touch. That is this film’s most jarring aspect. Hayato Tani is a ruthless bully terrorizing the classroom with his buffoons (Rikiya Yasuoka, Gariro Sato et. al.). New teachers Kunie Tanaka and Mari Atsumi get assigned to tame him down, but they fail miserably (40 min into the film and she’s switched jobs to become a bar hostess!). Tani continues his no-respect rampage until the school principal brings in a new student, an American educated karate expert Yuki Meguro, to counter Tani’s terror! Less adventurous viewers will probably be left confused by the contrast between the comical supporting characters and the emotionally ice cold protagonist who comes out as a rebel without a clear cause (which makes it feel less relevant than the gender & social angst in the girl gang films). But that’s also strangely fascinating: where else do you see our hero not mature at all, and use weapons against an unarmed opponent? Writing, direction, acting and visual touch are otherwise a bit mediocre (disappointing considering greatness of Mihori’s later Criminal Woman: Killing Melody), but the theme song is catchy as hell. “Ore wa Waru, Waru, Waru wa naze warui?”

* These included three Cruel High School films (1973-1974), Student Yakuza (1974), A Violent School Revolution (1975), two Gang of Men films (1975-1976), and perhaps others that I’m not aware of. With the exception of Student Yakuza, the ones mentioned above were all based on manga.

* Though less prolific as a genre, Toei’s delinquent boy films actually outlived the girl gang films. They co-existed around 1973-1974, after which girls died out as karate films took their place as B-films accompanying yakuza movies (A-films). The delinquent boy films, however, kept coming, if quite infrequently, till at least 1976. The genre was revitalized in the 80s with Bebop High School and a few others.

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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 »

Vampire Doll (誓不忘情) (Japan, 1970) [MUBI] – 4/5
MUBI does a great job of finding worthy movies and here they score again with a 1970 Japanese horror flick, inspired by 60’s European Gothic Horror movies as well as a couple of nods to Hitchcock’s Psycho. If you’re a fan of THAT mix, you’ll probably enjoy this a great deal.
When a Japanese man returning to Tokyo from the USA goes to visit his girlfriend in the country he finds out from her mother that she’s passed away. Or has she? Spending the night in the old house the boyfriend discovers a grizzly secret!
He goes missing, so his sister (Kayo Matsuo - Outlaw Gangster: VIP, Shogun Assassin), with the help of her boyfriend go to investigate.
The lonely mom, the grounds keeper, the town doctor - everyone in this is well cast and Yukiko Kobayashi plays Yuko, the ‘girlfriend’ who has become… the Vampire Doll!

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