Oct 21

Evil Dead Trap 2 (1992) aka Shiryô no wana 2: Hideki

A female projectionist is haunted by the image of a small boy. Perhaps driven by insanity from a former abortion she goes on a killing spree, gutting women and removing their stomaches. Her relationship with her attractive and successful friend drives the plot deeper into insanity.

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Oct 19

Raging Hell Fires (1977) aka Yumeno Kyusaku no shoujo jigoku

Utae and Aiko attend an all-girl private school where the devoutly religious principal seems to be raping some of the students, including Utae. Aiko is really the principal’s daughter, and was horribly abused by him when she was a child. Or so the audience is led to believe. Eventually, Utae and Aiko kidnap the lecher and viciously torture him in scenes so diabolically Sadean that they could only have come from the pen of Kyusaku Yumeno, author of the well-regarded DOGRA MAGRA.

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Oct 19

Hellcage: Inmate 611 Part 2 (2007) aka Joshû 611: onna-tachi no gyakushû

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. Once you’re inside Japan’s most notorious women’s prison, the only way to get out is to play the system by its own twisted rules. Crooked guards? Bribe them. Corrupt administrators? Blackmail. And when all else fails, find an outside ally with inside connections to stage an escape. But when conflicting schemes overlap and collide, everything goes up in flames and it’s the inmates who will burn. One third of the way into her sentence for the possession of illegal drugs, Reika, prisoner number 48, discovers that she’s up for parole. Better yet, she’s gathered enough dirty laundry on the warden and his cronies that she might be able to walk free, but only as long as nothing upsets the delicate status quo. Too bad that a former lover is setting up a jailbreak at the same time, and now the ultimate fate of Reika, Saya and the other inmates hangs on the outcome.

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Oct 19

July 32nd (2010) Uncut aka 7월 32일

Directed by Jin Seung Hyun, the curiously titled indie drama July 32nd is inspired by the short story “Full Moon” by acclaimed writer Ko Un. Screened at the 2008 Fukuoka Film Festival and the 2008 Shanghai Film Festival, the film depicts the tumultuous relationship of a killer and his daughter, whose lives are upturned on July 31, 1987. Pursued by the police, he leaves his five-year-old daughter in someone else’s care, promising to pick her up the next day. But the next day never comes because he soon gets arrested. Years later, the abandoned daughter has grown up, and the waiting has turned into the longing for revenge.

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Oct 18

Strawberry Shortcakes (2006) aka Sutoroberii Shooto Keikusu

Based on the eponymous manga for girls by cartoonist Kiriko Nananan, the pic follows the ups and downs of four female friends in Tokyo looking for love and trying to cope with the responsibilities in their lives. The main characters, impeccably played by four powerful actresses, are modern, self-sufficient women and their stories are told with mild irony and a dash of melancholy. The result is a movie that is lighthearted at times, a little sad at others, crazy and sometimes serious, but always special, that investigates the psychology of its characters and offers an accurate depiction of urban Japan, thanks to its director’s know-how. While many overly ambitious directors struggle to tell even one fairly comprehensible story, Yazaki skillfully weaves a powerful depiction of not one, but four women, creating an indissoluble and moving whole that doesn’t succumb to sentimentalism.

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Oct 17

The Street Car Named Desire (1993) aka Ri luo ka men

Nip Chi Wah had just been released from prison, he went to Shunzhen to help Ling smuggling to Hong Kong. In Shunzhen, he was seduced by a mysterious girl Amy. Amy left suddenly, but Nip could not forget this fatal attraction. Ling and Nip had different characters, however, when Nip helped Ling to treat her wound, they could not avoid the body temptation, finally they made love. Ling thus fell deeply for Nip, but Nip treated this as an one night stand. Carbon noticed that Nip neglected Ling, one the other hand, Nip wasted a lot of effort to find Amy. Carbon showed sympathy to Ling and try to get close to her. Nip found Amy at last. In fact, Amy was the mistress of Brother Chow, who was in jail and would be released soon. Amy was rebellious and fond of playing love games, so she tempted Nip to chase her. Nip could not resist her attraction, he tried every means to court her with no fear of the threat from Chow’s gang. Ling left Nip with a broken heart……

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Oct 16

The Wicked Reporter (1993) aka Gokudô kisha

More than his indie debut Skinless Night, this was the film that launched Mochizuki on his distinctive trajectory through the crime and yakuza genres. Matsuzaki is a racing tipster for a sports paper, a lowlife who spends half his time drunk, hangs out with yakuza and other riff-raff and complicates his sex life by succumbing to advances from his girlfriend’s sister. As played by Okuda, he’s also a figure of considerable hangdog charm. Less a plot-based movie than a guide to the several forms of high stakes gambling in Japan, this centres on his attempt to help a friend swindled in a bent mahjong game.

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Oct 13

No Guilty (1992) aka Nan er wu fei

Someone is killing and raping young women. Glamour photographer Chan Ga Ming is wrongly accused and his cop friend, Jack, tries to find the real culprit. But Jack is hindered by the actions of his brutal boss, Inspector Lee, who is determined to charge Chan, by fair means or foul. Chan’s personal life is already in a mess. He is still working with ex-girlfriend Mary, who wants him to dump fiancee Pearl and come back to her. The accusation causes Pearl to break off the engagement. One of the murders is witnessed by Pau, who aspires to model for Chan. The real murderer is a horrid, smiling villain who wears loud red jackets, and whose father is a wheelchair-bound gangster, who is friendly with Inspector Lee. Most of the story concerns the efforts of Jack to clear Chan’s name, with the help of Pearl and Pau.

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