• Nurse Diary: Beast Afternoon

    Released by: Impulse Pictures
    Released on: November 8th, 2016.
    Director: Naosuke Kurosawa
    Cast: Maiko Kazama, Jun Miho, Miki Yamaji, Hideo Shiroyama
    Year: 1982
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    The Movie:

    When this 1982 Nikkatsu production begins, a beautiful girl named Reiko (Jun Miho) and her dorky boyfriend Jun (Kôzô Murao), clad in a wonky looking brown coat and knitted cap, are screwing in the cemetery. Things are going just fine until they get stuck. With no other choice, the pair wind up at a nearby hospital and while Jun is eventually sent home, Reiko is kept in for observation.

    But there’s more to this hospital than meets the eye. See, a crazy doctor invented a special ring (“Something that not even Freud or Jung could accomplish!”) that, when inserted into a woman’s nether regions, allows us to see what they dream about. After all, as we’re told, women dream with their wombs! Dreams can even be recorded through this device, though the science behind all of this is more than a little bit sketchy. Regardless, there are those with some power at the hospital who are curious as to what someone like Reiko might dream of, and as such, she’s basically turned into one of their guinea pigs. We’re told that Reiko suffers from a psychological disorder called ‘genophobia.’ It turns out this is a real thing and it relates to a condition wherein those who suffer from it are scared of sex. Sucks to be them.

    Things take an interesting turn when the doctor who created this ‘Dream Ring’ and his assistant are found dead, hung from the rafters in their own laboratory! Who would have killed them and why? Well, it looks like some of the other doctors employed in this most unorthodox of hospitals have other plans for the ‘Dream Ring’ and every reason to want to keep Reiko around to use it on. Eventually they condition her so that any time a bell rings, the ring is activated (you can imagine where this bell is inserted into poor old Reiko… jingle jingle!) – from there, they put her through a few bizarre sexual experiments. Meanwhile, a mysterious woman dressed in black seems to have taken a liking to Reiko – but who is this person and why are they following her?

    This one is a completely bizarre mix of Cronenbergian medical horror, trashy sex (hetero, lesbian, group sex – you name it… and with all the kinks included, even some watersports if that’s your thing!) and flat out surrealism. Anytime the movie focuses on one of Reiko’s dream sequences the movie becomes awash in strange colors, imagery and camerawork. It’s all pretty trippy stuff and some of the visuals are pretty heavy. As is the norm in Roman Porno movies, all the action is obscured by conveniently placed objects or hidden by some less than ideal camera angles, so this flirts with hardcore but never quite gets there. It doesn’t need to, however. Political correctness is never a factor here, the movie puts Reiko through the ringer and she’s hardly treated as a strong minded female, rather, she’s used and abused quite thoroughly. But you don’t come to movies like this for enlightenment, you come to them for trashy entertainment and as far as trashy entertainment goes, Nurse Diary: Beast Afternoon delivers.

    In addition to plenty of sex and screwy surrealist dream sequences, we get some murder, we get some ‘inside looking out’ camera work demonstrating how and why the bells are inserted into poor Reiko the way they are, and we get all sorts of weird ‘hypnotherapy!’ At sixty-six minutes this one breezes by, there’s too much happening to even entertain the possibility of boredom. The movie is shot with a decent amount of style and it’s got a fairly cool, if slightly generic, soundtrack working in its favor.


    Nurse Diary: Beast Afternoon looks good in this 1.78.1 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 okay, if a little grey, 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 a fun trailer for the feature. Inside the case, however, is an insert containing some bizarre original poster art for the feature and liner notes from film scholar/author Jasper Sharp that provide some details on the film and on the cast and crew involved in the production.

    The Final Word:

    Nurse Diary: Beast Afternoon is nutty, trashy stuff and a fine addition to Impulse Pictures’ Nikkatsu Erotic Films Collection. The movie is sexy, weird, occasionally artistically inspired and genuinely compelling and the presentation is solid. It’s been a long time between releases in this line, here’s hoping there are more in the pipeline. Until then, this one scores top marks!