• Zoom Up: Graduation Photo (Impulse Pictures) DVD Review

    Released by: Impulse Pictures
    Released on: October 8th, 2019.
    Director: Yoshihiro Kawasaki
    Cast: Reiko Nakamura, Yuka Koizumi, Yuji Aoki, Kansai Eto, Seiji Miyamoto, Jun Ueno, Shinji Sekikawa
    Year: 1983
    Purchase From Amazon

    Zoom Up: Graduation Photo – Movie Reviews:

    “I wish it was a human. I wish it was more beautiful.”

    These are the words we hear from Yoko (Reiko Nakamura), a very pretty young woman who takes a job working as a nude model for a Japanese pornographic magazine run by Mr. Sakuma (Shinji Sekikawa). When the film opens, she’s interviewed by him. After arriving at his office he takes her to a restaurant and tells her she’s qualified, she can start tomorrow. To his credit, he does make sure that she understands the position she’s just been given is for a pornographic magazine and that she will be required to get naked – but hey, she’ll also get paid 30000 Yen for only a few hours. He tells her she isn’t selling her body, just her sense of shame.

    Another girl named Sugi (Jun Ueno) agrees to model as well. Yoko’s first assignment is a school girl shoot. She’s nervous, of course, but she does as instructed and gives the photographer what he wants, even going so far as to let the photographer shave her to ensure that no pubic hair sticks out from under her outfit (which, Sakuma tells her, would be illegal).

    Meanwhile, Yoko’s boyfriend wants some action. They go to a hotel and fool around but it doesn’t go well. Yoko talks to the photographer about giving him back the money from her shoot. She hates herself, she tells him, but he won’t sell. He tells her he feels bad and she should quit now but the photos get out and prove to be a hit. In fact, a group of young men, led by Akia (Seiji Miyamoto), see it and get so turned on that they rape a school girl, Akio’s girlfriend, who rides past them on her bike!

    Yoko decides to keep at it, however, and as she begins to embrace her new career, she gets more daring with what she’s willing to do. She winds up doing a lesbian shoot complete with weird insertions (cocktail umbrellas, colored pencils), but when her boyfriend finds the magazine with her school girl shoot, she denies she is the model. He doesn’t believe her and decides he wants her to do an S&M shoot for him, beating her with his belt and then raping her while her hands are tied together. She and the boyfriend call it quits and she winds up doing a shoot with a model named Jun (Yuka Koizumi) that gets increasingly kinky as it goes on. After that, it’s time for an enema shoot! Things get complicated when she and her photographer start a relationship together, but he’s got issues of his own.

    Bondage, bananas, buttholes and more! Once Yoko gets a taste of the modelling business and ditches her skeezy boyfriend she really opens her mind and, well, other things and goes hog wild, letting Sakuma and his photographers do anything and everything they want to her while the camera snaps away almost constantly. The transition from nervous to naughty happens pretty quickly but it is handled reasonably well by lovely lead actress Reiko Nakamura. She shows believable trepidations as she gets drawn into his world but it’s clear that she likes not only the money but also, yeah, the sex. Her performance is a good one. She’s attractive enough that we can see why Sakuma would want her to model for him but she also comes across as very human. It works.

    Of course, the main reason for the existence of this movie in the first place is the sex, and it delivers in that department as well. Most of the scenes are based around the kinky photo shoots that Yoko and the other girls get involved in, and those are certainly the most memorable moments in the film. That said, not every sex scene in this is intended to be raunchy – some of the scenes with Yoko and the photographer are almost tender. The plot is minimal; existing primarily to string the sex scenes together, but there’s enough of a story here to work and a few neat twists towards the end. It’s all shot with a reasonable amount of style and it’s paced well, the sixty-nine-minute run time cruising by pretty quickly.

    Zoom Up: Graduation Photo – Blu-ray Review:

    Zoom Up: Graduation Photo is presented in 1.66.1 anamorphic widescreen in a transfer clearly taken from an analogue tape source but at least it’s one that was clearly in good condition. The image is soft and detail is never particularly strong but the image is stable. Colors look a bit flat and black levels are inconsistent. This isn’t reference quality by any stretch but it’s all watchable enough.

    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: Graduation Photo – The Final Word:

    Impulse Pictures’ DVD release of Zoom Up: Graduation Photo isn’t going to win any awards for presentation but it’s watchable enough. The movie itself is pretty decent, an interesting mix of kink and character study highlighted by Reiko Nakamura’s lead performance.