Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Dan Oniroku: Bikyoshi jigokuzeme (1985)

... aka: Beautiful Teacher in Torture Hell

Directed by:
Masahito Segawa

Noriko Saotome (Ran Masaki) arrives at a remote village via train to start a new job as a school teacher. A fellow teacher named Saeko (Izumi Shima), who Noriko knows from her past, picks her up at the station and the two head down a country road. They're ambushed by three young delinquents who block their path and plan on raping them. However, what they don't count on is Noriko being an expert fencer. She's able to get her hands on her weapon (a traditional kendo bamboo sword) and knocks two of the guys out. Saeko isn't so lucky and gets dragged off and raped before Noriko is able to save her. The next day, something even stranger occurs when Noriko is lured into an exhibit room by student Yuki (Saori Mizuno), the school director's meek granddaughter, and someone behind her knocks her out. When she comes to, Yuki denies taking her to the room or anyone even hitting her yet Noriko has unexplained rope burns around both of her wrists.







Saeko, curiously untraumatized by the previous attack, takes Noriko home with her to rest, where we learn Noriko may have had an affair with Saeko's former fiance, who died while trying to save her from drowning. Later that night, Noriko stumbles upon Saeko having kinky sex with the school's grubby janitor Morita (Nobutaka Masutomi). The following day, the janitor comes to her with an envelope containing compromising photos of Noriko nude and tied up, taken while she was unconscious. She questions Yuki to try to get to the bottom of things and is told she was forced to do it by the delinquents in town; the same ones who'd raped Saeko and tried to rape her. And they want to meet Noriko in the school's gymnasium later that night. Feeling she has no other choice, Noriko agrees.







When she arrives at the gym, Noriko finds Yuki tied up and being threatened with a knife. She's forced to strip off all her clothes except for padding to have a fencing duel. Though she easily wins the match, they're not done with her yet. She's violated with a fencing sword and then gets gang raped. One of the guys videotapes it all. What unfolds after that is a conspiracy by a number of people in the village helping out a powerful man (Hiroshi Nawa) who gets off on breaking strong and prideful women. Noriko finds herself bound and being held prisoner in the man's home, where she's subjected to all manner of torture inflicted upon her by “the lowest, most reprehensible man” her captor could find. That includes rape, candle wax, being submerged in a water tank, genital torture with a vibrator and rope, aphrodisiac overdose and a disgusting bit with enemas.







I'm not very well versed on these S&M / torture pinku eiga films. From what I've heard, they get a lot nastier and more graphic than this one. So while this may not be pushing any real boundaries content-wise, I do know that it's not so common for sleazy movies to have such good cinematography and lighting. The acting is also pretty good and the plot, while nothing too complex, is adequate with a decent build-up to all the torture stuff. Similar bondage movies made in the U.S. and Europe during this time were usually shot on videotape and stuck in the adult sections of video stores despite many of them actually being soft-core. Those can't even come close to competing with something like this with real production values. While this type of film doesn't particularly appeal to me, I can still appreciate a well-made movie, which this is, about pretty much anything. The running time is just 67 minutes, which also helps prevent this from becoming too repetitive and monotonous.







Leading lady Masaki is nice to look at and nude throughout, though seeing how this is Japanese, all frontal nudity is blocked, obscured or blurred. She's also not a bad actress, so I'm surprised she only starred in a few more films: Flower and Snake 4: White Uniform Rope Slave and Snake and Whip (1986). Her co-star Shima was far more prolific with dozens of starring roles and had been acting in similar films since the late 70s. Like many other films of this type, this was based on a novel by Oniroku Dan. Dan (real name: Yukihiko Kuroiwa) was a former translator and junior high school English teacher who found fame with his novel Flower and Snake, which became a hit movie in 1974 and was followed by countless sequels as well as several reboots. During his career, he scripted a number of films and penned over 200 S&M novels. Since Nikkatsu bought the film rights to his books, many were adapted for the screen.


There was an early VHS distributed by Asian Cult Cinema and then a 2006 DVD released by Geneon, though their release had no English option. This is now available remastered and subbed through several other companies and is easy to find.

★★1/2
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