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

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 25 Mar 2019, 00:48

The Most Dangerous Game (Japan, 1978) fansub 3.5/5
directed by Tôru Murakawa
Hitman Narumi (Yûsaku Matsuda) is hired to rescue one of a series of kidnapped CEO’s in this gritty, urban crime movie (the first of three), involving yakuza, crooked cops, and corrupt businessmen.
There’s a STYLISHLY realistic atmosphere to it, as opposed to an actual one, but it looks cool, and 1970’s Japan is one of my more favorite places to see a movie filmed.
Keiko Tasaka plays the sexy girlfriend of one of the bad guys, who gets smacked around by our ‘hero’, before he rapes her! She of course ends up ‘liking it’ and then refuses to leave him alone. She spends the rest of the movie hounding him.
In fact, it seemed weird to me how often he gets beaten up, except when he’s roughing up women or weak people, but of course when he starts shooting - then pretty much everyone goes down.
As 70’s Japanese Anti-heroes go, he’s got the cool shades, can take a beating, is a little quirky, can take or leave the most beautiful women and still get the job done at the end of the day. (Note: Yûsaku Matsuda was a huge star in Japan, but probably remembered most in the U.S. for his part in the 1989 Michael Douglas film Black Rain)


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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 25 Mar 2019, 01:21

The Killing Game (Japan, 1978) fansub 3/5
directed by Tôru Murakawa

Hitman Narumi (Yûsaku Matsuda) is back, this time a little less beaten up, a lot less rapey, but just as ready to kill for hire as before. And just as quirky.
It starts off with him making a hit on a businessman, where a little girl sees him on the elevator and he takes a secretary as hostage, but he spares both their lives. After leaving town for 5 years he returns, running into both of them and seeing how their lives have changed because of it.
He’s hired by two different crime boss’ to kill the other, and both women get caught up in it. All leading to a bloody finale, including a (not-so) steady-cam one take gun battle through the bosses hideout.
Lots of yakuza’s in suits running lickety split through the streets after each other and some late 70’s movie violence/shooting. Atmospheric mood, and a cool soundtrack that’s equal parts psuedo-jazz, Herb Albert and bar lounge. Murakawa's vision of this world is bleak and unrelenting, and his anti-hero's 'who cares' attitude while surviving by the slightest of margins is pretty entertaining.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 25 Mar 2019, 03:45

The Execution Game (Japan, 1979) fansub 3/5
directed by Tôru Murakawa
Cool but quirky Hitman Narumi (Yûsaku Matsuda) is back in the final part of the trilogy, much more weary and tired of it all, but drawn back in anyway. He’s kidnapped and given an assignment, untrusting and unsure of what it’s all about, having a history of double crosses.
He still has a knack for pissing off anyone who tries to get close to him, especially women, but this time he’s fallen in love with a nightclub singer. That doesn’t usually end well in a hard boiled movie, and he finds out she was ALSO kidnapped by these guys, forcing him to do this job.
Director Tôru Murakawa’s trilogy of these films may follow a specific formula in their presentation, but this is a character who has grown throughout that trilogy, no longer falling asleep at a strippers stage or carelessly surrounding himself with party girls that he can’t pay the bill for… life has worn him down… the booze, the women, the killing…

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 26 Mar 2019, 11:51

Angel Guts - High School Co-ed (Japan, 1978) fansub 4/5
dir: Chûsei Sone

Kawashima and his two biker friends spend their time riding around and raping unsuspecting young girls. Much younger than them. His sister, Megu is coming of age, and men are starting to notice her. Ironically being overprotective he starts to feel conflicted.
One day while out with his sister he saves a girl from his friend trying to rape her, which ends up leading to even more conflicted feelings. Has he fallen in love? What makes her different from the other rape victims he shares with his friend? Does he see his sister in this girl? Is he attracted to his sister? Is he distancing himself from his gang?

Director Chûsei Sone shoots this like the viewer is there, hanging out and observing, privy to the private conversations and shocking behavior. That makes it all that more realistic and difficult to look away from.

It’s part of a series obviously meant to titillate and yet it goes to great lengths to show us the ugliness and the pain of the victim. Machiko Ohtani as Nami, the girl who the gang fights over, gives a pretty brave performance considering especially what she has to go through in here (and Megu Kawashima as well, as the sister).
This is still an exploitation film, but it’s been made as a well-crafted movie, with something more to show you than just bikers punks raping school girls. That’s just an ugly world that happens to exist - we’re thrust inside of it when it suddenly tries to gain a conscience.

The ending is unsatisfying, as a way to finish a story. It was summed up better when, late in the movie, Kawashima asks one of the victims  “Who did this to you?” and she answers, “It doesn’t matter who does it” as if in the end it’s just a foregone conclusion in the world they live in.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 27 Mar 2019, 06:51

I think you are being kind with you ratings for the Game series. Like many Matsuda films, I think they are watchable but underwhelming. I liked the 1st one the best, but the action scenes are ridiculous with Matsuda's opponents having worse aim than a blind Storm Trooper. The 2nd one has a good opening and closing but too much silly stuff in the middle. And the 3rd one is a typical 80s (though made in '79) noir where action and sex have been traded for something that's supposed to appeal to female audiences...

Murakawa had an exciting start for his career at Nikkatsu with some wonderful films, but his Toei and Kadokawa action movies almost never reached same level IMO (they were box office hits, though). Resurrection of the Golden Wolf, Matsuda's best film, is an exception.

High School Co-ed on the other hand I fully agree with you. Very good, under-rated film. Probably too challenging for viewers who don't want to digest darker moral levels.

Red Classroom is even better. Sone was really on a roll in the late 70s and early 80s... High School Co-ed, Red Classroom, Red Violation, The Young Ramblers, Blow the Night... all 4 star films.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 27 Mar 2019, 06:57

Tokyo Vampire Hotel (東京ヴァンパイアホテル 映画版) (Japan, 2017) [VoD] - 1.5/5
Here goes Sion Sono down the Dario Argento path, not just in filming a Dracula film but quality wise too. Two vampire families are in war, and where else than in near future pop Tokyo. Too bad the bargain basement aesthetics are at constant odds with the pseudo epic mayhem. Even worse are the trigger happy vampires who are some kind of gothic Kyary Pamyu Pamyus and Dennis Rodmans, which is just embarrassing. Sono also has no idea how to make gunplay look good, chooses to have his main character (Ami Tomite) remain hysterical till the end, apes Scarface, steals from his own Bad Film, and smears it with some ugly CGI (though most of the splatter is practical). For some reason nudity is absent despite plentiful sexual content. The only positive: it's somewhat watchable in the train wreck sense. Oh, and this is the cut-together 142 min movie version; the original was a 6 hour Amazon Prime series.

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 72 (1/2)

Gendai onibabako: Satsu ai (現代鬼婆考 殺愛) (Japan, 1973) [TV] - 4/5
A 300 year old witch agrees to assassinate a dead-sick businessman and his ignorant sexy wife upon the former's own request - the kills are to take place in separate locations at the same time. The granny then exits the same way she entered his office, with rope via 20th floor window! And it gets even better when you realize the granny is played by Sonny Chiba. Chiba soon takes his own handsome form and retreats to plan the hits with his karate killer sister (Etsuko Shihomi in her first role). A decently insane fantasy / karate / murder thriller based on a Kazuo Koike manga, brought to the small screen as a 46 minute TV movie, the final one in the "Suspense Series". The script by Koike himself is fabulous, with twists like the businessman receiving a call from hospital that they made a mistake and he's not dying from cancer after all, the kills set to take place at 02:02 (o-ni, o-ni, as for "demon in Japanese") and Chiba promising to buy tasty bread for Shihomi as soon as all targets have been murdered! The closest comparison point would probably be Wolfguy (1975), and although not as wild or graphic, this still packs a punch and manages to throw in some nudity (Tomoko Mayama from the first Lone Wolf and Cub). Oh and the scene where the cute as a button mini-skirt Shihomi takes down a roomful of men with karate... you'll need a face massage to get the resulting smile to go down.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 27 Mar 2019, 08:44

HungFist wrote:
27 Mar 2019, 06:51
I think you are being kind with you ratings for the Game series. Like many Matsuda films, I think they are watchable but underwhelming. I liked the 1st one the best, but the action scenes are ridiculous with Matsuda's opponents having worse aim than a blind Storm Trooper. The 2nd one has a good opening and closing but too much silly stuff in the middle. And the 3rd one is a typical 80s (though made in '79) noir where action and sex have been traded for something that's supposed to appeal to female audiences...
For me a 3 is good enough that I'd see it again, and I would. They definitely aren't great, and yet, there's something about that weird character and the world he inhabits that I just like. It's almost as if it was influenced by Dirty Harry movies and bad 70's action TV (with the bad aim!), through the filter of a director giving it his own quirky twist... and that's a sweet spot for me as I grew up on that stuff.

But I can see where many would find it underwhelming.
HungFist wrote:
27 Mar 2019, 06:51
Murakawa had an exciting start for his career at Nikkatsu with some wonderful films, but his Toei and Kadokawa action movies almost never reached same level IMO (they were box office hits, though). Resurrection of the Golden Wolf, Matsuda's best film, is an exception.
Looking forward to seeing it if I can find it (I will)... Delicate Skillful Fingers is on my current pile to see right now...
HungFist wrote:
27 Mar 2019, 06:51
High School Co-ed on the other hand I fully agree with you. Very good, under-rated film. Probably too challenging for viewers who don't want to digest darker moral levels.

Red Classroom is even better. Sone was really on a roll in the late 70s and early 80s... High School Co-ed, Red Classroom, Red Violation, The Young Ramblers, Blow the Night... all 4 star films.
Despite its content, I felt I was watching a real movie, and a creative director, as opposed to just an exploitation film, and I'm looking forward to seeing more from Sone. It's a dark movie for sure, but one I couldn't stop watching. I'm surprised it hasn't been recognized for being better than the genre it's a part of, but then again I can understand why...

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 27 Mar 2019, 10:35

The Executioner (Japan, 1974) dvd 4/5
dir: Teruo Ishii

A disgraced police captain recruits three improbable tough guys - a ninja (Sonny Chiba), an ex-cop (Makoto Sato) and a pervert (Eiji Go) - and with the assistance of the captain’s sexy daughter (Yutaka Nakajima) that set about going after the mafia as it tries to bring heroin into Japan.
It’s brutal, bloody, has some great fights, and… it’s funny? Yep, and I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the silly humor in this, as these three seem a little out of place with it - making it all the more funny. Eiji Go in particular, as the sex crazed ex-criminal who keeps lusting after the daughter (at one point peeking at her panties under the table). It's not PC for sure, but it keeps you entertained every moment.
And as much humor as there is in it, there’s also plenty of action as Chiba has to square off against a number of formidable foes (and gets help from Japanese born but sometime HK movie fighter Yasuaki Kurata). There’s also a fair share of nudity as well, though strangely enough from primarily white women.
What more could you ask for? It’s one of Chiba’s most enjoyable.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 27 Mar 2019, 10:40

The Executioner 2: Karate Inferno (Japan, 1974) dvd 3/5
dir: Teruo Ishii

An immediate sequel to the funny and action-packed first movie, this is still funny, mostly, but with nowhere near the fighting. In fact for a movie called Karate Inferno, the lack of fighting in it is completely misleading. Sonny Chiba waits until the last 10 minutes of the movie (8 actually) before he finally gets to kick some butt.
The humor is mostly funny, as the three do have great chemistry, and the movie relies upon that all the way through. They ARE funny together and the script somehow manages to get as much mileage out of boogers and farts as is possible.
Yutaka Nakajima again is good only for another panty shot and Etsuko Shinomi in a small role is wasted until the last few minutes when she gets to show a few kicks and punches.
Watchable for the fact that it’s Chiba, who’s watchable in pretty much anything he does, but with anyone else this movie would be a huge disappointment.

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 27 Mar 2019, 14:09

The Drug Connection aka Sexy Killer (Hong Kong, 1976) fansub 3/5
The Shaw Brothers had the right idea…
A heroin pusher injects a desperate female addict so his boss can have his way with her, in a groovy 70’s upstairs nightclub bedroom, above a groovy 70’s nightclub, featuring a groovy 70’s band playing 70’s ‘movie’ rock music. She overdoses afterward and when the cops find her, the older sister holds her and proclaims, “Drugs! Drugs! I hate it so much!” before cutting to one of the coolest 70’s style title credits I can remember.
And we are off and running!

Heroine Chen Ping’s first assault on the underworld is a success, but then a do-gooder cop who tries to do things by the book slows stuff down. Once out of the way, Chen Ping slowly works her way inside the organization until an amazing final 10 minutes featuring a shotgun massacre that makes it all worth it.
We’ve got lesbian sex shows, forced prostitution, revenge, lots of nudity, ultra-violence, outrageous overacting, corrupt cops, catfights, double crosses…
To me, this is one of their better exploitation epics.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 30 Mar 2019, 17:36

Fist of the North Star (北斗の拳) (Japan, 1986) [VoD] - 3.5/5
Classic violence anime in post apocalypse setting, easily enjoyed even by a non-anime fanatic such as me. Kenshiro is basically an animated Bruce Lee gone into Sonny Chiba mode, delivering insane punch and kick combos that make enemies explode. The violence was famously toned down after the initial theatrical release and the uncut negatives apparently lost in fire soon after, but the film remains incredibly violent while still retaining a sense of fun, and a mainstream appeal unlike the similar Violence Jack films that upped the sadism (the 3rd one made me sick) and added sex which is absent here.

Escaped Murderer from Hiroshima Prison (脱獄広島殺人囚) (Japan, 1974) [DVD] – 3.5/5
Anarchic, entertaining jitsuroku film about a jail breaker (excellent Hiroki Matsuka) supposedly based on a real person. Director Nakajima helmed several films on autopilot, but this one is sparkling with violent energy, groovy score and clever humour arising from irony. The performances (most notably Watase, Wakayama, Kaneko, Murota and Umemiya) are all good and the escape scenes even too exciting: you find yourself rooting for the bad guys!

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

Unread post by Guro Taku » 30 Mar 2019, 18:45

HungFist wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 17:36
Fist of the North Star (北斗の拳) (Japan, 1986) [VoD] - 3.5/5
Classic violence anime in post apocalypse setting, easily enjoyed even by a non-anime fanatic such as me. Kenshiro is basically an animated Bruce Lee gone into Sonny Chiba mode
I always thought Kenshiro mostly looks like Sylvester Stallone. :lol: I actually tried to ask Stallone what he thinks about having starred in an anime during an online Q&A but unfortunately my question (with screenshot) wasn't chosen.

The guys who did the source manga were clearly obsessed with American action heroes. Both Mr. T and Hulk Hogan are in the manga and in various episodes of the 152 episode TV series...

Mr. T: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yJLbDeA5AM

Hulk Hogan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZPw2cAOrcQ

There's more insanity where that came from...

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

Unread post by HungFist » 31 Mar 2019, 03:57

Guro Taku wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 18:45
HungFist wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 17:36
Fist of the North Star (北斗の拳) (Japan, 1986) [VoD] - 3.5/5
Classic violence anime in post apocalypse setting, easily enjoyed even by a non-anime fanatic such as me. Kenshiro is basically an animated Bruce Lee gone into Sonny Chiba mode
I always thought Kenshiro mostly looks like Sylvester Stallone. :lol: I actually tried to ask Stallone what he thinks about having starred in an anime during an online Q&A but unfortunately my question (with screenshot) wasn't chosen.

The guys who did the source manga were clearly obsessed with American action heroes. Both Mr. T and Hulk Hogan are in the manga and in various episodes of the 152 episode TV series...

Mr. T: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yJLbDeA5AM

Hulk Hogan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZPw2cAOrcQ

There's more insanity where that came from...


Hah, that's cool.

Now that I think about, you're right about Stallone :lol:

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

Unread post by Guro Taku » 31 Mar 2019, 11:26

It was late yesterday and I couldn't find everything I was looking for.

So, here's Kenshiro vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh2vpMJVND4

Kenshiro vs. Dolph Lundgren: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAgt7RyD5os

There's also a couple episodes early on in the TV series where they basically remake MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR scene by scene but add dudes in feathery pink jumpsuits getting shot out of cannons.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 01 Apr 2019, 00:27

Killer Clans (1976): 3/5

Period Shaws film can get confusing at times with plenty of double crossing and intrigue, it's not always easy to keep track of who is who, and occasionally Chinese characters (writing) appears on screen but I'm not sure what its supposed to indicate.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 02 Apr 2019, 23:58

Golden Swallow (1968): 4/5

Not quite as good as Come Drink With Me but still a fine film, darker and more brutal than CDWM in places, maybe thanks to Chang Cheh being director, and some really evil villains. This film has nothing to do with it even though Cheng Pei Pei is playing the same character.
There are some nice dramatic moments here and there but the film seems less credible by making one hero - Little Roc, almost a superman. Not sure if he was a character in CDWM?

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

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 03 Apr 2019, 19:49

I don't think any of the characters in Golden Swallow were in Come Drink With Me. Even though the heroines share a common name, they don't seem to be the same character - and I think the historical periods are different, too.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 03 Apr 2019, 20:06

grim_tales wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 00:27
occasionally Chinese characters (writing) appears on screen but I'm not sure what its supposed to indicate.
Actors' names.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by grim_tales » 04 Apr 2019, 12:03

Markgway wrote:
03 Apr 2019, 20:06
grim_tales wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 00:27
occasionally Chinese characters (writing) appears on screen but I'm not sure what its supposed to indicate.
Actors' names.
Thank you :) Not sure I've seen that happen during a movie before

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

Unread post by Markgway » 04 Apr 2019, 22:09

They used to do it on occasion.
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Re: What asian film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 05 Apr 2019, 03:05

Carry on Pickpocket (Hong Kong, 1982) youtube 4/5
A Sammo Hung actor/director movie with composer/actor (and producer) Frankie Chan as part of a team of pickpocket specialists, who give it a creative flair specially made for the movies. Sammo would get a best actor award for his role (shared with Karl Maka in Aces Go Places), but… its probably more for just the sheer energy, ideas, and creative output he has in this.

Deannie Yip as the ‘love interest’ (Sammo’s) was coming off of her Best Supporting Actress Award from the movie ‘Cream Soda and Milk (1981)’ from the 19th annual Taiwan Golden Horse Awards (1982 was the first year of the Hong Kong Film Awards and they had no category for Best Supporting Actress yet), but really Pang Sau-Ha in her only known role is much more interesting.

Richard Ng is a hapless cop after them, with James Tien as his hard-nosed superior.

The physical humor and the fighting are excellent as you’d expect, and its a good thing as the romance and dialogue are a bit corny and dated, but make no mistake, Sammo is at his best here and this is (was) an excellent star role for him. Almost an hour in it becomes a chase/fight movie and that’s even better, as the final 15 minutes are an extended battle, including one of Dick Wei’s best vs Sammo.

Karl Maka doesn’t get enough credit for bringing comedy and action into a modern setting in Hong Kong films, as early as 1981’s Chasing Girls for comedy and of course January of 1982’s Aces Go Places for action/comedy, but here Sammo is only 2 months behind this eventual new trend, and the fighting…
Well..this is where the level and quality of movie fights (along with Prodigal Son in Dec 81/Jan 82) would ramp up from here on out.
His combination of stunts, action, awkward romance, comedy and of course fighting would influence the whole industry, including his buddy Jackie Chan in a big way.

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

Unread post by grim_tales » 05 Apr 2019, 08:16

Forgot to mention some of the music in Golden Swallow which has a spaghetti western feel (the trumpet music)

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 06 Apr 2019, 08:57

One Cut of the Dead (Japan, 2017) Inflight movie 4/5
It starts off as a zombie movie, but pretty quickly we see its a zombie movie about the making of a zombie movie until in the end we see the filming of the filming of the making of a zombie movie and we learn some secrets into how certain scenes actually came together originally.
In between that we see the prep, the casting, the behind the scenes and we get to know the characters and how they interact with one another and how THAT eventually plays a part in the final filming of the filming of the making of the zombie movie.
At first I wasn’t sold on the whole thing, but as it played out, the underlying context made it more and more interesting, humorous and entertaining.
A really cool piece of work.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 07 Apr 2019, 15:52

The Lowlife (最低。) (Japan, 2017) [VoD] – 3.5/5
Exceptionally unbiased examination of women involved in the Japanese AV industry, based on a book by the AV superstar Mana Sakura. The film follows a young AV actress (Kokone Sasaki) whose narrow minded mother keeps putting blame on her over her career choice, a high school girl (Aina Yamada) bullied over her mother’s AV past (the same moral composition as the 1st story but in reverse), and a 34 year old woman (Ayano Moriguchi) who tries AV due to her husband’s lack of commitment to family life. This must be one of the most female centered films I have seen, not only all main and most supporting characters being women, but every scene focusing on how they feel as opposed to what they do. Rather than focusing on the industry; the film deals with people involved in the industry. Thoroughly well acted (with Kokone Sasaki way above her usual level) and directed with unexpected finesse by the frequently disappointing Takahisa Zeze. That is, before the film becomes a crying fest towards the end. Somehow I feel like forgiving that. And no, the film doesn’t shy away from the sex and nudity that naturally accompanies the subject despite being a mainstream film with major female audience appeal.

Internal Sleuth (桜の代紋) (Japan, 1973) [TV] - 3/5
Detective Tomisaburo Wakayama sails in deep yakuza waters in Kenji Misumi's rare cop thriller. Impressively nihilist, but a bit underwhelming considering the talent involved. Misumi goes for a bleak tale of cops interacting with gangsters in a world that doesn't offer instant gratification, but the story could’ve been more memorable and characters deeper. The problem is, not very much happens in the film. The strongest part is the cold blooded ending.

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

Unread post by Guro Taku » 09 Apr 2019, 19:53

Banned Book: Carnal Prayer Mat (発禁 肉蒲団) (Japan, 1975) [VoD] - 4/5
While this was ostensibly directed by Nobuaki Shirai, it's screenwriter (and actor) Atsushi Yamatoya's influence and fingerprints that are all over this film. Beating Fan Ho (Yu Pui Tsuen, 1987) and Michael Mak (Sex und Zen, 1991) by 13 and 17 years respectively, this is the first cinematic adaptation of Yu Li's eponymous 17th century erotic novel. Yamatoya apparently thought the story wasn't crazy enough yet, however, so he combined it with the story of Japanese folk hero and Robin Hood-like figure of Nezumi Kozo, the Rat Monk. Mio (Hajime Tanimoto), the son of a high ranking official, is completely driven by lust depite having a micropenis. He abandons his wife and - despite the warnings of a monk that he's on the path to hell - travels to Edo, where he starts a new life as a writer of erotic stories and whoremonger. When his book about Nezumi Kozo, the Rat Monk, is banned, Mio ends up in jail for 30 days. Here, he is visited and eventually freed by his own literaty creation (the always great Nobutaka Masutomi!), who also arranges for him to get a new and much bigger dick transplanted onto him. This of course boosts Mio's ego and he goes on a sexual rampage but then his mistresses are starting to get assaulted and eventually murdered by someone calling themself Nezumi Kozo... It was great fun to spot several scenes that also made it into the stories' other adaptations, like the dick transplantation, or the two lesbians Mio encounters and who use a black dildo here instead of the flute from 1991's Sex and Zen. The film is fast-paced, funny as hell and throws rapid-fire wierdness at the viewer at a dizzying rate. That it's still only available on VoD and VHS is a crime against humanity.

Twilight Dinner (超いんらん 姉妹どんぶり) (Japan, 1998) [DVD] - 4/5
I generally avoid pink films of the past 25 years because much of what made the genre special and interesting seems to have disappeared. But maybe that's a misconception because this is one of the best films in the genre I have ever come across. With a stunningly dumb title in both Japanese and English, I avoided it like the plague until I realized that it was written by frequent Hisayasu Sato collaborator Kyoko Godai and produced by Kokuei. Then I read it was actually a horror film and that put it at the top of my viewing queue. Kyosuke Sasaki stars as Kazuhiko, a man who we first meet in a police interrogation room because he literally ate a woman's pussy. As he tries to explain what led him to that act (despite his own claims that he doesn't fully understand himself), flashbacks show his recent past. It all started when he made the mistake to offer to help the two mysterious sisters who move in the apparment opposite his own and are in the habit of guzzling red wine from a gigantic bottle collection. Falling first for the younger sister and then having a fatal fling with the older sister as well, he becomes infected with... something. An aversion to sunlight and regular food and drink soon become apparent but also newfound and strange desires, as Kazuhiko suddenly also finds men attractive. But, as he puts it, "No matter how hard I fucked them, I kept feeling unfulfilled." Of course it's something else he really craves and when his female bartender offers to take him home he obliges. As her bad luck would have it, her period starts as he's performing oral sex on her and things escalate to a veritable and literal bloodbath. I can't say I can think of a ton of pink films that fall into the erotic horror genre. Gnarly thrillers, sure. But suerpnatural horror? I definitely can't think of any that are as well made and work as well as this one does, with the possible exception of maybe Hisayasu Sato's Lustmord and his own later remake, Naked Blood. Yutaka Ikejima's film is also just plain well directed, with lots of well-framed shots, great set design (especially the sister's apartment) and a memorable score - also a rarity in the pink genre - by Hitomi Oba. Yutaka Ikejima has some 100+ films to his credit. I will watch a couple more for certain.

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