Jan 23

Call of the Pistil (1971) aka Kashin no sasoi

It is the jarring debut of Masaru Konuma (Ikenie Fujin), one of the Nikkatsu studio’s most unconventional filmmakers. The outrageous story line deals with Masako (Keiko Maki), a journalist who is raped while researching a story. The rape causes her to develop amnesia, so her brother devises a novel way to get her memory back — he has her boyfriend rape her again. It doesn’t work, so the brother and boyfriend do more research, discovering that Masako was raped by an African-American soldier. As might be expected, they then hire a black GI to rape the poor girl yet a third time. There remains nothing else to say about this film. Those who might enjoy it will surely be searching for it already, and those who are repulsed will surely not be swayed by hearing what a well-made film it is, or how well novice director Konuma composes scenes.

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Jan 04

Hunter in the Dark (1979) aka Yami no karyudo

Yataro Tanigawa, a one-eyed hired assassin, impresses yakuza boss Gomyo Kiyoemon with his skill. Gomyo hires Tanigawa as his bodyguard, or yojimbo, to protect him during an inter-clan conflict. Tanigawa quickly rises in stature in the clan, but finds his boss’s enemies almost overwhelming.

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Jan 02

Sinful Confession (1974) aka Sheng si quan ma

Arguably the funniest of the four famous Hui brothers, Michael has a tour-de-force vehicle in this naughty little comedy playing four different characters, each one in a compromising situation. And the laughs do come big and hearty as Hui bounces his cheeky humour off a terrific large supporting cast including the sophisticated Hu-chin and the lovely Pai Hsiao-man. Keeping the Benny Hill-style hi-jinks afloat is stalwart Shaw director Li han-hsiang who manages to switch flawlessly between these cheeky flings and his period epics.

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Dec 12

Hell Riders in Kyoto (1973) aka Boso sekkusu-zoku

The rich punk Junya has only one thing in mind: to race with the police on his motorcycle. That makes him unpopular, not only with the police, even with his Bosozoku buddies, who slowly but surely distance themselves from him. Junya falls in love with the equally speed-hungry Hiroko.

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