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Thread: The Non-Synapse Roman Porno Thread

  1. #41
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Update: I wrote a bit longer review. The original version can be found at the end of the post:

    Zoom Up: Rape Site (1979)

    Koyu Ohara legendary violent pink film has been missing in action for decades. A lot has been written about it, with some reviews calling it the most brutal and misogynist film ever made, and others guessing it's a lost film. Of course, none of those critics had ever seen the film as it was buried in Nikkatsu's vaults all this time.

    Truth be told, in terms of graphic detail and amount of violence it may not be quite the most repulsive film ever made. In fact, Nikkatsu had already made a couple more violent movies before, such as Rape! 13th Hour (1977). However, that's not saying it isn't a mean little film. Not only are there some classic, disturbing kills, the film also offers pitch black view on humanity.

    The storyline kicks off with a serial killer lurking on women in the night. The opening scene sees the killer brutalize a woman, stick a light bulb between her legs, and finish the job with a strong kick. The killer then dumps the body in an elevator shaft full of rotting corpses in an abandoned building.

    The film then shifts focus to a housewife (Erina Miyai) who is being hit on by her stepdaughter's home teacher (Takeshi Shimizu). The couple end up seeking private space from the same abandoned building where the killer's corpse stash is. A moment later another couple arrive. The man accidentally strangles his partner to death during sex, and ends up dumping the body in the fore mentioned elevator shaft. The housewife and home teacher, who saw it all from behind the window, are convinced he must be the killer the media is reporting about, but she's hesitant to go to the police because that would reveal her affair to everyome.

    Rape Site is well made exploitation smut, with a solid thriller structure, some pretty decent cinematography, and an entirely misfit, laidback 70s score which in some ways makes the film less shocking and less "horror", but at the same time all the more "wrong" in a good sense. Also, the film sports a view on women that can be summarized with one classy line uttered by the main character:

    "Be so kind, rape me again!"

    Director Ohara keeps the film moving at pretty decent pace despite plentiful (also consensual) sex; indeed, this is easily one of his better movies, and also one of the better violent pink movies in general. What's most interesting about the film, however, is how all other characters seem to lose their mind because of the fear and paranoia caused by the serial killer, and end up committing almost as many crimes and murders as the actual killer. The ending is also very effective.

    Screenwriter Chiho Katsura should be given special attention. He specialized in violent pink films in the late 70s and early 80s, and wrote most of Yasuharu Hasebe's films, as well as the film's sequel, Rape Apartments (1980). He also write films like House (1977) and Futari (1991). Katsura was clearly above your standard genre writer, constantly opting for different approaches which ranged from satirical to psychological and from romantic to plain brutal and bleak. Rape Site may not stand out as his most intelligent film - in fact there seems to be quite a few lapses in logic - but it's another fine addition to his body or work.

    Overall, Rape Site is pretty lovely smut, and quite interesting from a historical perspective as well, but obviously not for all viewers. Look forward to Synapse / Impulse's upcoming DVD (and maybe BD?), which will hopefully be announced soon. Violent pink fans should love it.



















    Speaking of Hasebe, does anyone remember how many times Natsuko Yashiro gets raped in Raping (1978)? That's the road movie type of film where she's mistreated by just about every male she encounters.

    The Original Post

    I think it's a pretty good film and certainly recommended for violent pink fans. Strictly in terms of graphic detail and amount of violence it may not be the most repulsive film ever made. In fact, I'd say Rape! 13th Hour and Assault! Jack the Ripper are a bit bloodier. But it's a mean film for sure. The kills are pretty repulsive, and what's more, the film offers a pitch black view on humanity. What's interesting is how the film's other characters begin to behave because of the paranoia. They end up committing almost as many crimes and murders as the actual killer.

    And then there's the film's approach to women. The rape victims don't really seem to mind at all, until they realize they're about to die. Let me just summarize it all with one classy line uttered by the main character:

    "Be so kind, rape me again!"

    The film's also got some consensual sex and a rather misfit, laidback 70s score which in some ways makes the film less shocking and less "horror", but at the same time it makes it all the more "wrong" in a good sense. The whole film is well made, but not too well made to distract you from what it really is. It's pretty lovely junk overall when you think about it. I would also consider it better than most of Yasuharu Hasebe's films, except for Assault and 13th Hour, which have the edge. I'm looking forward to Synapse / Impulse's DVD (and maybe BD?) release and I hope others will pick it up as well.
    Last edited by Takuma; 09-04-2015 at 05:20 AM.

  2. #42
    Well...uh... I agree with Takuma. That is pretty much all I have to say because he already said it all.

    Though I guess I want to mention what we discussed with Takuma privately which is that based on what actually happens in the film compared to the (English) reviews out there, none of the people who have reviewed the film (Weisser, Firsching or the guy who just basically copied Firsching's review to IMDB) seem to have actually seen it. They are right about the light bulb but...

  3. #43
    In RAPING, she gets raped a half dozen times (from memory), and also witnesses the rape by the bikers.

  4. #44
    Takuma, thanks so much for this pretty thorough appraisal of the film's merits.

    If it sits anywhere between 13TH HOUR and ASSAULT JACK THE RIPPER, that's good enough for me.

    And considering the fact that Ohara's pedigree includes WHITE ROSE CAMPUS and FAIRY, hopes were/are justifiably high.

    Now I'm more excited than ever (if that's possible) to see the Synapse Blu.

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Takuma View Post
    I finally had time to edit my mini-reviews of the films I saw at Shimbashi Bunka in August. Photos from the theater are in the other thread

    Secret Chronicle: Prostitution Market (Japan, 1972) [35mm] – 3.5/5
    A mentally challenged girl who has no idea what “sex” is is sold to a brothel. Hilarity ensues. Despite the politically incorrect premise that would give feminists a heart attack, this is a harmless and frequently cute male fantasy. Yuko Katagiri is super-cute as an innocent girl whose virginity proves difficult to steal. She always manages to misunderstand the intentions of the customers, which results in hilarious slapstick. The best sequence involves a sumo wrestler trying to catch her – and destroying half of the brothel in the process before knocking himself out.

    Secret Chronicle: She Beast Market (Japan, 1974) [35mm] – 3.5/5
    The final entry in the series, which was only linked by the prostitution theme, is an arthouse affair bound to bore typical pink audiences to death. The realistic slice of life film follows a prostitute who is proving services to her customers as well as her mentally challenged brother. The casting is excellent, the film is packed with interesting social context and the black and white cinematography truly striking. This was probably the only Roman Porno film ever to be filmed in black and white (as an artistic decision by director Noboru Tanaka).

    I also have this one on Japanese dvd, so here's a few screencaps for your viewing pleasure









    Secret Honeymoon: Rape Train (Japan, 1977) [35mm] – 3.5/5
    After causing a small scandal with Rape! 13th Hour Nikkatsu ordered director Yasuharu Hasebe to come up with something more romantic. Hasebe delivered this ridiculous but highly entertaining love story. It follows two robbers who take a newlywed woman as hostage and hide in a moving train. Luckily, the two man turn out very friendly fellows. One of them stops by in a shop and even pays for the stuff – and only returns to rape the cash register lady after the bitch tried to call the police. Add “stunts sequences” on the train top, utterly ridiculous Texas country music soundtrack, and very cute female lead, and you’ve got an utterly nonsensical, but fun romance with a crime film edge.

    Rape and Death of a Housewife (Japan, 1979) [35mm] – 3.5/5
    This adaptation of a true story was popular among mainstream critics despite being a Roman Porno production. In fact, it even got director Noboru Tanaka nominated for the best director at the Japanese Academy Awards. In a way, that shows how open minded critics could be at that time, and how much leeway Nikkatsu could give to their best directors. Indeed, the amount of sex is minimal for a Roman Porno production. The film is a pretty strong drama about three no-good youngsters who end up raping and accidentally killing the wife of a middle aged man who was trying to keep them out of trouble. It’s a solid film all around with an effective use of semi-documentary style. Hideo Murota is excellent as a man who mistakenly thinks he can lead the youngsters to a better life.

    Oddly enough, this was the second time I saw this film on 35mm. It was also a part of a Roman Porno retro that played nationwide in 2012.

    Rape Ceremony (Japan, 1980) [35mm] – 4.5/5
    Here’s a superb film about two generations of violent young men, hidden under a crude Nikkatsu title. The film follows a group of men driving around in a black Volkswagen and attacking selected targets. It turns out the victims are former members of a biker gang that disbanded under police pressure. The unemployed young men are now taking revenge against their former idols who betrayed their hopes and sold out their freedom. The way the film moves back and forth between present and past is brilliant. There’s a very strong Art Theatre Guild flavour to it as well. Unsurprisingly, director Kichitaro Negishi joined Art Theatre Guild the following year with Distant Thunder (1981).

    And here's a few VoD screencaps.













    This films needs a DVD so much! One of the best Roman Pornos ever made! I've seen it twice and it only got better on second viewing.
    I consider SECRET CHRONICLE:SHE BEAST MARKET a masterpiece.

    In a strange way, it reminds me of Italian neorealist films of the 60's.

    The central performance is amazing.

    RAPE CEREMONY I need to see asap.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Guys, I'd love to see your top 10/15/20/whatever lists. With comments or without. Preferrably with a brief "hate list" as well. Just to see what we like. My old list is on page 1, though it's a bit out of date now. I'll update it some day.

    With Rape Site I reached my 200th Roman Porno. Kind of an odd achievement for someone who finds sex scenes in movies a bore

    Quote Originally Posted by AngelGuts View Post
    If it sits anywhere between 13TH HOUR and ASSAULT JACK THE RIPPER, that's good enough for me.

    And considering the fact that Ohara's pedigree includes WHITE ROSE CAMPUS and FAIRY, hopes were/are justifiably high.
    The funny thing is, I think Pink Hip Girl (1978) is Ohara's best film. The mind boggles when you think that the same director went back and forth between the most adorable youth films, and the most brutal violent pink films. Pink Hip Girl is also probably the most "feminist" film in the Roman Porno catalogue... something you can't say about Rape Site or White Rose Campus

  7. #47
    My top 20. Some films on your list, Takuma, such as RAPE CEREMONY, I haven't seen.

    Favorites (not necessarily in order):

    1.Assault Jack The Ripper
    2.Beautiful Girl Hunter
    3.Secret Chronicle:She Beast Market
    4.Retreat Through The Wet Wasteland
    5.Rolling On The Road
    6.Zoom Up:Rape Apartments
    7.Sex Hunter (Ikeda version)
    8.Rape 13th Hour
    9.White Rose Campus: Then...
    10.Female Delinquent
    11.The Serial Rape-Murderer (Takita)
    12.Raping!
    13.Sex Hunter:Wet Target (Sawada)
    14.Woman in the Box 2
    15.Image of a Bound Girl
    16.Rape and Death of a Housewife
    17.Beauty's Exotic Dance
    18.Angel Guts: Nami
    19.Watcher in the Attic
    20.Getting Raped

  8. #48
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelGuts View Post
    My top 20. Some films on your list, Takuma, such as RAPE CEREMONY, I haven't seen.

    Favorites (not necessarily in order):

    1.Assault Jack The Ripper
    2.Beautiful Girl Hunter
    3.Secret Chronicle:She Beast Market
    4.Retreat Through The Wet Wasteland
    5.Rolling On The Road
    6.Zoom Up:Rape Apartments
    7.Sex Hunter (Ikeda version)
    8.Rape 13th Hour
    9.White Rose Campus: Then...
    10.Female Delinquent
    11.The Serial Rape-Murderer (Takita)
    12.Raping!
    13.Sex Hunter:Wet Target (Sawada)
    14.Woman in the Box 2
    15.Image of a Bound Girl
    16.Rape and Death of a Housewife
    17.Beauty's Exotic Dance
    18.Angel Guts: Nami
    19.Watcher in the Attic
    20.Getting Raped
    I can see we are on the same page! Those are excellent choises, exactly the kind of atypical movies in the genre that I enjoy. Usually I'm alone with my odd opinions

    Isn't "The Serial Rape-Murderer (Takita)" a Shin Toho film, though? I haven't seen it myself. I'll add it to my watch list.

  9. #49
    Yes, a Shin Toho film, but very much a Roman-Porno in terms of how it meets all genre requirements. It's on DVD in Japan.

    Bascially about a porno theater projectionist's extra-curricular activities. Very dark.
    Last edited by AngelGuts; 09-10-2015 at 04:09 PM.

  10. #50
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    I rewatched Woman of the Afternoon: Incite (1979) the other night and I gotta say this is a small gem! Fresh, breezy, colorful, fast paced... everything most Roman Porno films lack. It's just hard to write about it, because it's the kind of film that is absolutely best experienced without any expectations. It will take you by a surprise!

    It's a shame it has never been subbed, officially or unofficially. The Japanese DVD by Geneon is excellent, though.

    Now, if you're still not convinced, allow me to go into the spoiler territory. The rest of the text will be in grey font:

    The first 25 minutes of the film is breezy road movie with Natsuko Yashiro running from her jerk husband, heading for a road trip, making friends with sympathetic young gay guy, and even getting herself into a car chase as she decides to set things right with the youngsters who ran into her car. It's all fun, stylish and even a bit romantic. Cool use of music as well, and good cinematography.

    Then, without any warning, she arrives a God forsaken small town populated by redneck psycho rapist killers. They rape the guy, kill another man, capture a girl, and start chasing her with a fucking front loader. All of a sudden we are watching a violent pink movie probably influenced by Deliverance and Tobe Hooper. And then there is the pitch black humour. In one scene the rednecks are gang raping women and one of them cracks such as good joke that his friend has to take a break from raping. He even says "I'm laughing so hard I can't do it".

    The film was directed by Nobuyuki Saito, but the real credit should probably go to screenwriter Chiho Katsura, who also wrote Assault! Jack the Ripper, Rape! 13th Hour, Secret Honeymoon: Rape Train, Zoom Up: Rape Site, Zoom In: Rape Apartments, House, Futari and other films. Director Saito struggled to ever come up with another good film again. The only other worthwhile effort by him was Captured Mother and Daughter (1987), which was scipted by the excellent Haruhiko Arai.










    The rest of the captures are as links:
    https://sketchesofcinema.files.wordp...015/09/wo5.jpg
    https://sketchesofcinema.files.wordp...015/09/wo6.jpg
    https://sketchesofcinema.files.wordp...015/09/wo7.jpg
    https://sketchesofcinema.files.wordp...015/09/wo8.jpg

    Trailer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vj50kQbpwo

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