Thursday, May 18, 2006

Female Yakuza Tale: Inquisition and Torture (1973)

Not just another pretty sword...

Genre: Crime Drama Thriller Samurai Sexploitation

Starring: Reiko Ike (Sex and Fury)

Directed By: Teruo Ishii

Overview: Beginning with a simple case of mistaken identity, we follow a young lady as she tries to take down the men who slighted her. She finds herself in the middle of a turf war with a drug cartel.

Acting: Reiko is an amazing actress. By far, she is the best player here. It's a shame that the other roles and direction were so weak. No one can hold a candle to her, and it's unfortunate that the others dragged her down. Conversely, she alone held up this film to an acceptable standard. She's a cold woman. A hot, cold woman.
Rating: 7

A touch of the Japanese, as is should be. Girls in kimonos all over the place (until made to take them off, that is). You know that shaky zoom-in on the face of the person just made angry because their enemy just called them 'cowardly fool'? Ripe with that. The odd thing is, you expect it, and it works. It's almost like they did that on purpose... Almost. Only three fight scenes though, so that was a let-down.

Rating: 7

"Miss Ocho, as a favour between women, please spare his middle finger."

The dialogue is actually pretty decent. Characters are just defined enough to give them a forgivable depth and there's a moment or two of comic sexploitastic relief. You know there's at least some thought in the story since there's people who actually explain their goals and desires and they're not as simple as "get her!"
Rating: 7

You know, if you're into cheesy Kung-Fu movies and you like a pinch of disco twist with some out there vagina drug-smuggling plot... you'd be into a pretty specific genre... Weirdo. Still, there's no doubt in my mind that Tarantino's Kill Bill tributes this film tremendously. Sadly, the plot is about as weak as my wrist after a weekend of said vagina drug-smuggling plot, but luckily there's enough scenes that move the plot to the end to keep you entertained.

Rating: 6

Imagine a director who does sci-fi alien creature monster films and Kung Fu movies with such titles as Direct Hit! Hell Fist, and don't forget the 70s sexploitation slant. You might just hate it, but there is no doubt that this has a mood all of its own. They stay just tacky enough for you not to take it seriously, while taking it seriously enough that you get a kick out of the gore and naked chicks. There's real effort here, and well received, thank you.

Rating: 8

Overall Rating: 70% (Not So Much Torture, But A Hell Of A Lot Of Tail...)

Aftertaste: Don't watch this with your feminist girlfriend. That having been said, don't watch this with the regular rom-com-loving girlfriend either. If your lady friend is the kind who is into Russ Meyer as a study of the farcical and to collect ammunition against the 70s downfall of womanhood, then she's missing the point a little too. But IF she's all into the bold empowerment of having a naked woman defeat scores of well-dressed men by chopping them apart with her Samurai sword, well that's the kind of woman you keep, cause she's super-cool.