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Thread: What Asian Films Have You Been Watching Recently?

  1. #461
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 47lab View Post
    I'm watching SHADOW WARRIORS II
    Somehow I still haven't managed to watch even the 1st season. Got them all, the first two on dvd and the rest from Toei Channel.

    Quote Originally Posted by ropo1 View Post
    Female Prisoner 101: Suck (1977)
    I gave this a try but couldn't get past the first 10 minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by ropo1 View Post
    Women in Heat: Behind Bars (1987)
    This one I made to the end... according to my records. Zero recollection about the film.

  2. #462
    Quote Originally Posted by Takuma View Post
    This one I made to the end... according to my records. Zero recollection about the film.
    This happens to me all the time. I know I have watched the film but I couldn't tell you a single thing about it except maybe which genre it was in. It's probably a blessing in many cases but I tend to ask myself why I'm even spending time watching things that leave no trace in my brain.

  3. #463
    It's the curse of being a consumer, goes faster by each +1000s. A double edged sword I suppose.

    To me the most useful thing about it is to be able to filter out whats memorable, with the good movies something stick same with some bad ones for other reasons. But what's inbetween shouldn't be a bad thing to filter out.

  4. #464
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Gambler (博徒) (Japan, 1964) [TV] - 2.5/5
    Noble boss Koji Tsuruta takes in young hothead Hiroki Matsukata who is in love with prostitute Junko Fuji. Tatsuo Endo and Shigeru Amachi are the rotten bad guys who have forgotten jingi. This early ninkyo film shows some of the most detailed yakuza ceremonies I've seen. It's a shame the storyline doesn't reach the same depth. There's a shortage of complex duty/honour conflicts and, ironically, gambling compared to some of the later, finer ninkyo films.

    Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (野良猫ロック セックス・ハンター) (Japan, 1970) [35mm] - 4/5
    There's an angry (and timely) political action film hidden under a misleading commercial title (something that Nikkatsu would make a habit of in the Roman Porno era). A mixed blood watadori (very young Rikiya Yasuoka) wanders into a town searching for his sister, but clashes with racist youth gang (led by Tatsuya Fuji) who are set to clean the city of half-blood bastards to protect the women... when they are not abusing them themselves! Meiko Kaji is the leader of a more decent girl gang, but interestingly in a relationship with Fuji. No sex hunters to be found anywhere in the film. Director Hasebe made a trademark of helming politically coloured films and the denying any political message in interviews. Perhaps it was indeed arthouse/exploitation gonzo writer Atsushi Yamatoya (who also wrote the very loosely based re-working Sex Hunter: Wet Target, 1972) who put that stuff in the film (and Chiho Katsuura in the Roman Porno films). Hasebe handles the pace and live music (including the mixed blood girl group Golden Half) well, except the repetitive violence and abuse could've been cut down. Energetic/punkish Kaji is good, but I prefer her silent Sasori / Lady Snowblood persona; the singer gone actor and future yakuza villain heavyweight Yasuoka is more interesting here. Undeniably influential for the pinky violence genre, I still have difficulties labelling this series as pinky violence as these are pure Nikkatsu with their youthful trendiness. Pinky Violence was more of a Toei thing, especially if going by J Taro Sugisaku's original definition (though there's an odd non-Toei film here and there, like Toho's first Rica pic, that is hard to label as anything else).

    Did the Red Bird Escape (赤い鳥逃げた?) (Japan, 1973)  [35mm] - 4/5
    Fantastic "70s depression" zeitgeist about two small time goons (Yoshio Harada, Masaaki Daimon) and a girl (Kaori Momoi) living together and trying to make money with frauds and blackmails. The opening scene sees rifle wielding hired hand Harada catch an unfaithful wife with her pants down with Daimon, both men hired by the husband. The film is a bit of a slow burner, not entirely unlike Tatsumi Kumashiro's slacker drama Africa's Light (1975), but the fantastic cast really makes you care for the sad bunch (of which carefree slacker girl Momoi spends half of the movie topless). Also kudos to cinematographer Tatsuo Suzuki. Whether it's about capturing grey streets, orange sunsets or snowy mountain roads, the cinematography is nothing short of terrific. Director Toshiya Fujita is at his element with this kind of material. He's ironically best known internationally for his most atypical film, the period revenge fairytale Lady Snowblood.



    Aesthetics of a Bullet (Japan, 1973) [35mm] - 3.5/5
    Toei director Sadao Nakajima helmed this film for Art Theater Guild. The outcome feels exactly that. A lowlife wannabe gangster (Tsunehiko Watase) gets his chance to reach for the stars when a local gang send him to Kyushu with a gun & a stack of money. Little does he realize he's being used as a scapegoat. There's an evident Toei vibe to the premise, but the film portrays gangsters as incompetent losers who cannot even start epic trouble. Watase especially seems be to enjoying himself playing a bigger loser than usual, a man who sells rabbits and lives off his girlfriend's money. Miki Sugimoto joins the cast in the film's latter half, which is nice, though she'd go on to make a far bigger impression a few years later in her second ATG film, Preparation for the Festival (1975). Rock band Zuno Keisatsu provides the electrifying soundtrack.

    Saburai: Way of the Bohachi (忘八武士道 さ無頼) (Japan, 1974) [TV] - 2.5/5
    Disappointing follow-up to Teruo Ishii's chanbara masterpiece Bohachi Bushido: Code of the Forgotten Eight (1973). Ishii mentioned in an interview that he didn't even know Toei had made a sequel. This is a blatant re-telling of the original, with Goro Ibuki playing Tetsuro Tamba's role, although it's not clear whether this supposed to be a remake or a sequel. The storyline is almost the same with many scenes playing out exactly the same way! And this came out less than a year after Ishii's film! Someone ought to ask writer Sadao Nakajima what on earth was going on in the pre-production? It still has its own trashy appeal with just as much sex and violence as Ishii's film, but it is also incoherent in characterization and lacks the style, pace, originality and superb action of Ishii's film. Aside from a couple of fun new additions (Reiko Ike as a woman dealer and Takuzo Kawatani as her abused servant in a gloriously misandric role, for once!) the film feels like a copy by a lesser filmmaker, that man being the mediocre Takashi Harada. Ibuki and Harada, however, teamed up for a better ninja sexploitation the following year, Shitakari Hanjirô: (Maruhi) kannon wo sagase, which, like this film, was based on a Kazuo Koike comic book.



    Vampire Clay (血を吸う粘土) (Japan, 2016) [VoD] - 1.5/5
    There's been anticipation that special effects maestro Soichi Umezawa could be the next Yoshihiro Nishimura. Alas, that was not to be, not yet at least. This low budget idol horror fails to follow up his wild SFX showcase Y is for Youth and psychological body horror short Thorn. On the positive front side there's an almost fanatic avoidance of CGI in favour of practical effects on display here. Unfortunately the tale of desperate art students attacked by blood thirsty clay (yes!) is as boring as it gets. The film is also strangely dull in technical terms: the music is terrible, the video and sound editing lacks any punch and the ending is extended beyond any sense. It's also restrained enough in terms of splatter to have landed a G rating in Japan, though it would still equal to a soft R in the United States.

  5. #465
    I just caught Eric Power's ode to chanbara films via his paper stop motion animation technique. It was pretty cool and you can see all the references to LW&C, ninja movies, 47 Chushingura flicks, etc. Started out as a short film but was made into a feature length flick after his kickstarter campaign failed to garner enough interest but fortunately he found enough sponsors to carry on and get a blu ray release on Synapse. Just like LW&C, this flick is filled with violent and gory swordplay. Lost count of the number of limbs hacked off, bodies split in two, heads decapitated, disembowelments and arterial spray shots. Definitely bloody fun! There is cool making of featurette which documents exactly how he made the effects appear onscreen. Some of the depth of field effects were amazing considering he's just using paper cut outs. The bonus feature also includes the original short film which inspired this longer version. Recommended considering this blu ray can be picked up pretty cheap.

    "only the simplest can accommodate the most complex"

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