• Zoom Up: Seiko’s Thigh (Impulse Pictures) DVD Review

    Released by: Impulse Pictures
    Released on: July 9th, 2019.
    Director: Koyu Ohara
    Cast: Mayumi Terashima, Jun Euno, Mari Kishida
    Year: 1981
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    Zoom Up: Seiko’s Thigh – Movie Reviews:

    When Koyu Ohara’s 1981 pink film opens, a young man named Toshiko (Jun Ueno) is irritated that the woman who lives in the apartment opposite his hasn’t opened her curtains and undressed yet. He wants to photograph her, unbeknownst to her, but he also has to catch the commuter train shortly. The woman in question is the titular Seiko (Mayumi Terashima), and he speaks to her as if she can hear him. He’s probably nuts – but hey, the opening credits role and we’re treated to a jaunty pop song.

    Seiko meets up with her friend, unaware that Toshiko is following and photographing her. This friend speaks to Seiko of her sexual conquests and chastises Seiko for being a goody two-shoes. When Seiko notes that she feels like she’s being watched, her friend notes ‘that’s just your desire to be raped.’ And then? A remote control car with a camera on top zooms between her legs and snaps a picture! Toshiko but quickly runs away. Later, when she plays tennis, Toshiko shows up and shoots more photos of her – and again, when he’s spotted he runs away. When Toshiko goes to work, cleaning showers at a bath, he rescues stray pubic hairs and speculates on who they belong to and then collects them in a bag, before peeping through a hole in the wall and the women who arrive to lounge around in the nude. His bearded co-worker, Yoshio (Nobuyuki Kawakami), borrows Toshihiro’s apartment for an hour to get it on with ‘a crazy chick’ and they can’t help but notice the pictures of Seiko on the wall.

    It turns out Toshiko is a virgin, a photography school dropout – but you know who else is a virgin? Seiko. And you know who isn’t all that freaked out by being peeped on and photographed without consent? Yep, Seiko. When a woman of loose morals named Junko (Jun Hamaguchi) takes Toshiko off to the woods to ‘make him a man’ he can’t perform – he’s in love with Seiko. But then he photographs her, gets all horny, and jumps on her to do the dirty deed. Toshiko tries to sell his ‘panty shots’ but the editor at the magazine wants more variety, so he sets out to sit down near staircases with his camera out to try and get more material. Soon enough he decides it is time to forget about Seiko and move on, rightly assuming she’s got a thing for her professor, but when he hooks up with a girl named Ikue (Yuri Yamashina) he calls out Seiko’s name during sex. Meanwhile, Seiko’s professor puts the moves on her, which freaks her out when he gets too aggressive, and causes her to flee – it’s almost like destiny is intent on bringing she and Toshiko together but he keeps banging random chicks (a highlight being when he interrupts a housewife masturbating with a cucumber in a public bathroom!) – an event that Seiko happens to walk in on. Will they ever find true love?

    There’s a very strange scene in this one where Toshiko sticks his camera lens through a giant vagina on the wall and watches lie in bed. But then later, Toshiko’s penchant for photographing people going at it without their knowledge comes in handy. There are a couple of weird twists like this as the movie plays out but it never goes into some of the crazier territory that some of the other entries in the line have gone to. Still, it’s a fun watch. It’s definitely on the lighter side of the whole Roman Porno thing – even if Toshiko is clearly committing criminal acts, and he most certainly is, he somehow manages to come across as a nice guy? He shouldn’t, but he does.

    Koyu Ohara, who has directed films like White Rose Campus and Fairy In A Cage, shows a softer side here to a certain extent. But he keeps things moving nicely and he gets pretty decent performances out of his cast. Jun Ueno is quite good as Toshiko, he’s meek and shy but at the same time willing to put himself out there and take upskirt photos when he feels like it. Mayumi Terashima plays the ‘goody two-shoes’ character really well. We know there’s something about her pretty early on in the film and so the big reveal doesn’t turn out to be really all that big, but she’s good in the part. Jun Hamaguchi steals the scenes she is in as Junko, a nymphomaniac with a heart of gold.

    All in all, this isn’t as memorable as some of the other entries in the line but it’s a perfectly entertaining picture that fans of the lighter side of the Nikkatsu Erotic Films Collection should appreciate.

    Zoom Up: Seiko’s Thigh – Blu-ray Review:

    Zoom Up: Seiko’s Thigh is presented in 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen in a transfer clearly taken from an analogue tape source. The image is soft and at times a bit blurry and detail is mushy. Colors look a bit flat and black levels are inconsistent. It’s watchable, sure, but below the quality levels of your average DVD.

    The Japanese language Dolby Digital Mono track is fine. It’s a bit flat but it’s clean enough and properly balanced with no noticeable hiss or distortion. The white subtitles are clean, clear and easy to read and free of any noticeable typographical errors.

    There are no extras, just a static menu.

    Zoom Up: Seiko’s Thigh – The Final Word:

    Impulse Pictures brings Zoom Up: Seiko’s Thigh to DVD in a less than perfect presentation, but the movie itself is pretty entertaining. Those wanting darker material don’t really get it here, but there’s enough sex and, yes, weird comedy in here to entertain.