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Thread: 1960s/1970s/1980s Japanese Genre Cinema – From Books and Magazine Articles (NSFW)

  1. #61
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    How Soft-Shell Turtle Geisha (温泉スッポン芸者) (1972) came to be?

    Director Norifumi Suzuki recalls in his book Toei guerilla senki (東映ゲリラ戦記) (2013) (p. 65) that Miki Sugimoto’s debut as leading lady in Tokugawa Sex Ban: Lustful Lord (徳川セックス禁止令 色情大名) was a success, but Toei execs were not entirely sold on her yet. The plan was to make a new Girl Boss movie next. However, after completing the work on Tokugawa Sex Ban, Suzuki, producer Amao and a Toei dude called Watanabe went for dinner. In this small restaurant they were served such delicious soft-shelled turtle, that they decided to postpone the Girl Boss film and make a movie called Soft-Shell Turtle Geisha (Hot Springs Geisha 5) instead. The film was complete and in theatres a couple of months later.

    LOL!

    On a more serious note, Suzuki notes that this kind of overnight changes in plans were necessary in commercial cinema back then, when a filmmaker needed to know what is in right now. “Rough and ready” and “swift decisions” were the key to his way of guerrilla filmmaking, he says.


  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takuma View Post
    Yeah, I think so. I like Watanabe, but I don't really see her as (having the charisma of) a leading lady. That being said, I could be wrong because she was versatile to the point of becoming almost unrecognizable. Sometimes it's hard to believe the light-headed bimbo in Violent Panic: The Big Crash, the sweet co-prisoner in Female Prisoner Scorpion, the tragic prostitute in Beast Stable and the wolf girl in Wolfguy were all played by the same actress.
    Excellent point. I do remember those characters but didn't put it together that they were the same actress. Watanabe is extremely attractive but Miki was such a badass.

  3. #63
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    A while back I added Kenji Fukuma’s Teruo Ishii book 石井輝男映画魂 (1991) (on the left in the image above... the Hotwax book on the right is unrelated) to my bookshelf. While I haven't had time to start reading it, I can say it's basically Fukushima interviewing Ishii for 250 pages by going through his career film by film, followed by an 80 page filmography (!) and finally a chronological list that not only shows which movie each Ishii film premiered with as a double feature, but also the competing double features released by other studios on the same day! And there’s a lot of amazing stills and photos! I wanted to share a few below.

    Ishii filming his debut movie King of the Ring: The World of Glory (リングの王者 栄光の世界) (1957) at Shintoho.


    Ken Takakura, Teruo Ishii and Toru Abe making Abashiri Prison: Northern Seacoast Story (網走番外地 北海篇) (1965)


    Ken Takakura and Teruo Ishii (front, smoking) filming Abashiri Prison: Duel in the Snow Country (網走番外地 大雪原の対決) (1966).


    Teruo Ishii at the sets of Season of Violence (暴走の季節) (1976). I think that’s Koichi Iwaki and Yutaka Nakajima in the back.


    Note: there's a new 2012 version of the book that is smaller size and reportedly lacks many of the photos. Go for the original 1991 release (or its further pressings, I've got the 2nd pressing from 1992) with the Takakura / Abashiri Prison 3 cover. It's long OOP but used copies are dirt cheap.

  4. #64
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    How Girl Boss Guerilla (女番長ゲリラ) (1972) found its form

    Director Norifumi Suzuki explains in his book Toei guerilla senki (東映ゲリラ戦記) (2013) (p. 75-77) that Girl Boss Guerilla was actually based on a popular pop song. “A young man from Toei’s advertising department came to Kyoto for a business trip and gave me a tape. He said this song was really popular with young people in Tokyo, and should suit director Suzuki’s style”.

    It was a song called Red Elegy (赤色エレジー) by singer Morio Agata (あがた森魚). The lyrics were about a man and a woman called Ichiro and Sachiko. Suzuki then played the song to Girl Boss series screenwriter and assistant director Takayuki Minagawa and said “Let’s make a Showa melodrama this time. Miki’s character should be Sachiko and her lover a boxer called Ichiro.”

    The film’s concept was finalized between Suzuki, Amao and Minagawa as “motorcycles, sex and action”.

    To add to Sugimoto’s charm, Suzuki wanted her to wear a similar jumpsuit as the heroine of the movie The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968).





    Last edited by Takuma; 08-05-2020 at 09:16 AM.

  5. #65
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    I'd love to have that Hotwax book.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Roman Porno meets Truck Yaro



    Yuka Asagiri, Norifumi Suzuki, Asami Ogawa, Bunta Sugawara and Natsuko Yashiro in a behind the scenes still from Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls (堕靡泥の星 美少女狩り) (1979). The original working title was, btw, 堕魔泥の星・美少女コレクシ ョン (Star of David: Beautiful Girl Collection).

    There is a funny story about how Suzuki (more or less) made this film because he loved the Nikkatsu studio logo. Studios were identified by their opening logos that played before the film. And Nikkatsu had that classic N and K inside a circle.

    Films like Ko Nakahira’s Kurenai no tsubasa (紅の翼) (1958), Buichi Saito’s Back South to Tosa (南国土佐を後にして) and Toshio Masuda’s Red Handkerchief (赤いハンカチ) (1964) were among the many Nikkatsu films Suzuki used to go see as a young man and even when he was an assistant director at Toei Kyoto. And those all started with the classic Nikkatsu logo! “Nikkatsu films were my youth”, Suzuki says.

    So, when Suzuki was asked to make a film with a Nikkatsu logo, the answer was an ecstatic yes. Before starting the work on the film, he went to see Nikkatsu’s new double feature Eighteen Years, to the Sea (十八歳、海へ) and Super Gun Lady: Police Branch 82 (ワニ分署). But the classic logo was not there! It turned out Nikkatsu had just changed their logo to a new one. It was a crushing disappointment that left Suzuki dumbfounded.

    From Suzuki’s book 下品こそ、この世の花: 映画・堕落論 (2014)


  7. #67
    Thank you so much, Takuma, for this rare behind the scenes pic from STAR OF DAVID. What a great story about the logo.

  8. #68
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Reiko Ike Returns to Toei

    [for background, please see my older posts “Humphrey Bogart Stood in Silence” and “Reiko Ike Quits Toei: The Aftermath”]

    Director Norifumi Suzuki explains in his book Toei guerilla senki (東映ゲリラ戦記) (2013) (p. 78-79, 82) that he was in the middle of Girl Boss Guerilla (女番長ゲリラ)’s pre-production when producer Amao returned from Tokyo with two pieces of big news.

    The 1st one was that their new leading lady Miki Sugimoto had been well received by both the media and the [Toei] Tokyo head office.

    The 2nd piece of news was that Reiko Ike wanted to make a comeback to Toei Porno. Amao said:

    “Ike had come with her mother to apologize for their rudeness [for suddenly quitting Toei earlier in 1972], and pleaded me to use her again in a Toei film. I intended to reject her right away. I’m a producer and have my pride and stubbornness. I was about to tell her that I have no use for her at all.”

    “However, as I thought about it more carefully, I realized wouldn’t it be better to have two stars instead of one? I decided to put aside my personal feelings as I recalled the words of a veteran Kyoto reporter, who had said “Toei’s enduring success in the film industry was due to the studio’s adoption of a ‘Two Top Star System” [this is a reference to Koji Tsuruta and Ken Takakura, whose rivalry in the ninkyo genre had electrified yakuza films and excited the audiences by providing not one, but two rival superstars]. Ike had not lost her market value yet. Her name should have a tremendous positive impact in the advertising of Sugimoto’s third starring film.”


    Hence, screenwriter and assistant director Takayuki Minagawa was told to quickly type Girl Boss Guerilla into a co-starring vehicle for Sugimoto and Ike.

    Toei’s advertising department took full advantage of the new two-star situation, placing a “Are you a Reiko Ike man or are you are Miki Sugimoto man?” article in a men’s magazine.


  9. #69
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    So glad Amao swallowed his pride. Good stuff

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