Exploitation fans, here you go, the film review series you’ve been waiting for!! Every exploitation fan knows that Japan is the best cinema holdout of sick weirdos that can’t go wrong. Whether it’s 70′s women’s prison flicks, nunsploitation or just plain torture porn across the board, the Japanese have been at the sick forefront since the beginning and everyone knows that. Let’s face it, Japanese art has always been a bit… How should I say this, bizarre? But hey, that’s what we sick ass American exploitation fans love about it! Personally, I don’t know many American people that can really get into the culture of Japan because it’s so far removed from what we’re used to. Honor and quiet reserve are the norms in this society, at the surface.. But underneath all that is a sexual repression that oozes with nastiness. And what better way to show some love than to launch a series of reviews about one of my favorite places for cinema!! I’ll be doing the darker side of what many call “Pinky Violence” or “Erotic Grotesque/Ero Goru” or any other name you’d like to come up with. All the ways you slice it, it’s sex and violence, which is my forte (if you haven’t noticed yet). Let’s get onto it then, shall we?
First up on this series I will get onto one of my favorites. Albeit a bit less “brutal” than the others I will be reviewing, it is nonetheless a great starter film when getting into “pinky violence”. And this is Teruo Ishii’s classic “JOY OF TORTURE”. Definitely one of the first true torture porn films, having been made in 1968. That’s right, while hippies were taking to the streets and eating acid in San Francisco, Teruo Ishii was portraying lesbian nuns torturing each other. Good times indeed!! Unfortunately, many people will look at this film and not give it as much credit as it should get, just because it’s not as graphic as it could have been, but give this guy a break. He was portraying people being burned alive and chopped in half with a samurai sword while most other grindhouse cinema was toying with cheesy crap.
Usually, I don’t like to write storylines, but I’m going to make an exception here because this film is pretty obscure and really hard to find. I also feel I should give a bit of the graphic nature of this because there’s some pretty taboo subjects being trod upon, given that this was the 60s. The film is a kind of trilogy of stories that focus on a couple of main characters that either torture or get tortured (joy of torture, yeah). The first short starts out with a man that gets injured and can’t work, so his sister has to take care of him. She has a rich older suitor that tries everything he can to manipulate her into sleeping with him, mostly with helping pay for the incapacitated brother she’s caring for. Oh, did I mention they were lovers? Yeah, the brother and sister profess their undying love and lust for each other. Eventually, the brother becomes so guilt rideen by having his sister go into debt to help him recover from his injuries, and his very redneck sister-love relationship, that he decides to kill himself. After she is caught attacking her would be scummy suitor, she professes in court that she did, in fact, love her brother. No right thinking court from the shogunate era would let a woman get away with incest without some sort of torture death, am I right?
Second short story of this twisted tale of sexual insanity and torturous endeavors focuses on a convent of lesbian/sex obsessed nuns. And what speaks more to the exploitation genre than nuns? What I mostly gather from this bawdy tale is sexually repressed nuns having sex with each other, having sex with a priest and some nuns getting jealous of all this sex. Nothing like sexual repression to make people have more sex and then…. Torture of course! Jealousy leads to torture, remember that kids. There’s really not much more to this little short tale. Nuns, sex, lesbianism, torture, jealousy and godly judgements. My favorites.
And with that, we come to the last little ditty on this sick little journey. The last story focuses on a tattoo artist that is the best in the business. His incredible art, on women’s naked bodies of course, deals with the macabre torture themes. Mostly tattoos of women tied up and tortured. After being told his tattoo doesn’t capture the “true feelings of torture” by a interrogator, he decides he should follow this fellow to get the true face of terror for his next grand masterpiece. Our artist follows the very demented law man to his chamber o’ horrors to experience, first hand, what he’s missing… And the rest, as they say, is history. Guess you’ll have to find the amazing conclusion yourself!
As with all of the films I’ll be reviewing with this series, it deals with a whole lot of blood, naked women, torture, sex and more naked women. What more could you ask for? This wide genre of films definitely has a scope that reaches across generations and across many different subjects. Ranging from schoolgirls to women’s prisons and everything between, you’ll get a chance to become educated in the classic art of Japanese violence and sex. Don’t get upset either, I’ll keep the reviews ranging from the most despicable sexual deviants to the most beautiful rape victims you could imagine. I can hardly wait! Keep up kiddies, these films are fantastic and not worth missing out on!
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