• Sex Hunter: Wet Target

    Released by:
    Impulse Pictures
    Released on: December 11, 2012.

    Director: Yukihiro Sawada

    Cast: Miyoko Aoyama, Joji Sawada, Hiroko Isayama

    Year: 1972

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    The Movie:

    When this twisted seventy minute barrage of sleaze begins we meet a man named Okamoto (
    Joji Sawada using the alias George Harrison!) who is serving out the last few days of his prison sentence. He learns that his pretty younger sister, Natsuko (Miyoko Aoyama), and her friend, Etsuko (Hiroko Isayama), were raped by a gang of occupying American soldiers out on a bender. Natsuko’s body was found hanged near a shrine in the middle of town though Etsuko did survive the incident.

    When he’s let out of prison he wants to know why the Americans were not brought to justice, but is turned away whenever he finds someone who might have an answer. As such, he takes it upon himself to avenge his sister’s death and sets out to set things right. He takes a job working at a sex club where Etsuko, brain damaged after the assault, works as a stripper. Before long he’s performing in live sex shows there but revenge is never far from his mind. Okamoto is no fool, however – whether they realize it or not he’s planned his revenge and is moving ever closer to exacting it.

    One thing that sets this film apart from the other Nikkatsu roman porno movies made around the same time is the central character of Okamoto. We know as soon as we see him with his curly hair that he’s not a typical looking Japanese man and soon enough, when one character tells his girlfriend as he’s having sex with her that he knows she’d like to screw him that he is of mixed race – he’s later referred to as ‘mulatto.’ This is never really capitalized on, however, the racial dynamic that exists is really only hinted at, not completely exploited. Where the movie falls into line with a lot of other Japanese revenge movies made around the same time is in making villains of the occupying American soldiers. Their opening gang rape and the subsequent flashbacks that we see to it throughout the movie are pretty rough, with one man at one point emptying a bottle of whiskey on Natsuko’s nearly lifeless body – it almost looks like he’s pissing on her corpse. This makes the films stance on the occupation pretty clear from the get go, there are no mixed messages here.

    Getting back to the story, it moves quickly. At just shy of seventy minutes it’s no longer than any other entries in Impulse’s line so far but the sex scenes, while just as prolific, aren’t quite as drawn out as some other films in the series – the exception being Okamato’s debut at the sex club, though even here he’s single minded in his mission of revenge, asking his partner for information in the middle of the act. Joji Sawada (the liner notes state that there’s no relation to the director) plays the part well, stern faced throughout and tough and very stern looking even when sporting tight yellow button fly jeans and a garishly colored shirt and forcing his manhood into the mouth of an unwitting (and initially unwilling – though of course that changes) female.

    Set to a pretty tense soundtrack and with some slickly shot night club scenes, the movie has a lot of smoky, seedy atmosphere and builds to a satisfyingly dark and violent conclusion. It’s well acted, well shot and ultimately proves to be an impressively bleak combination of sex, violence and style.


    Sex Hunter: Wet Target looks just fine in this 2.35.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Colors are handled well and look quite natural as do skin tones, of which there are loads on display. Black levels aren’t quite inky deep but they’re strong and detail is pretty good across the board. There are no issues with print damage to complain about and overall this is a clean, sharp, good looking picture though it should be noted that a few scenes were shot with some softness in mind and that comes through in the transfer (as it should).

    The Japanese language Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track is crisp and clean though occasionally just a tiny bit shrill. The levels are well balanced and there are no issues with hiss or distortion. The optional English subtitles that are provided are free of any typos and easy to read. This won’t floor you but it sounds fine, there are no problems.

    Extras on the disc are limited to a menu, chapter selection and… that’s it. Not even a trailer. Inside the case, however, is an insert containing original poster art for the feature and liner notes from film scholar/author Jasper Sharp that provide some details on the

    The Final Word:

    As much a twisted revenge thriller as it is a sex film, Sex Hunter: Wet Target is a gritty, grimy, sleazy and completely satisfying entry in Impulse’s Nikkatsu line. Again, there isn’t a whole lot here in the way of extras but the movie is presented in very good shape and is twisted enough to earn a recommendation.