'70s Japanese exploitation by Norifumi SuzukiKeeping in mind that “Sukeban” translates from Japanese as “Teenage female delinquent”, and that in SUKEBAN GUERILLA (1973) said nubile ruffians initiate each other by holding each other down and tattooing each others entire left tit, you should be fully aware that any filmic trash fan worth their mustard will adore this funky turd from start to finish. That said, the dozen or so Sukeban films made in the 1970s, though released as exploitation, were trojan horse vehicles for powerful social commentary.

A Shinjuku-based motorcycle gang of Sukeban headed by the eccentric and pissed off Sachiko rampages into Kyoto looking for trouble. While scammin’ money from ignorant sightseers by using their violent female sexual charm, they are challenged by Rika, the leader of a proud local girl-gang. After a one-on-one duke-em-up, Rika concedes defeat to Sachiko (resplendant in her oversized aviator glasses) who then takes over the management of the Kyoto gang with a vengeance. And baby, that’s just the first 10 minutes.

After the girls enlist a cute bald teenage monk girl to don the tattooed breast of the gang and seduce a priest, things get really crazy. Pretty soon, Sachiko (despite her tough as nails exterior) surrenders to love and falls for an up and coming boxer, expressing her interest by raping him. (He returns the favor by perversely taking her by force as well.) Will the defiant boxer be able to survive being brought into her violent gangland world?

Under appreciated director Norifumi Suzuki is in fine form here, as he was while helming other sleazy art film dick-stiffeners such as BEAUTIFUL GIRL HUNTER (1979), WET AND ROPE, and the astonishing girls-school nunsploitation bondage/rape bunghole burner CONVENT OF THE SACRED BEAST (1974), an unforgettable bit of slime he made a mere year after his girl-gang opus hit Japanese theaters.

Aka SCHOOL OF THE HOLY BEAST, this sick and nasty sleazefest has a wonderfully odd perception of Catholicism at times (bordering on disdain) as the film constantly warps and gloriously perverts Religious Ceremony and juxtaposes Holy Symbolism with debauched sex and nasty violence. Meanwhile the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous, and has even been called ‘Poetic’ by the few critics that have actually seen this rarity.sekubanBIG.jpg

This artsy nunsploitation classic has it all: self-flagellation, lesbianism, humiliating torture and bondage, cat fights, rampant nudity and sticky sex. Beautiful Maya Takigawa (Yumi Takigawa) spends her free time doing what any young 18 year old urban Japanese lass would. Namely: playing arcade games, having hot casual sex, drinking purple martinis, and um… believe it or not, cheering her brains out at a professional hockey game (?!).

All her debauched fun goes down just hours before she enters the strictly governed world of a Japanese Catholic nunnery. Here Maya finds a world of unbelievable and bizarre ritualistic suffering. These nuns are so repressed that they’ve come to pervert every holy ethic into twisted perversion – and It’s all shamelessly paraded past the viewer like a wondrous playground of Catholic sin – cranked up sexploitation style!

Blasphemous cinema involving suppressed sexual desires in a convent erupting into violent sexual behavior is almost always of European origin, but this smoker from Japan is easily one of the best of its kind. I scored both of these very rare films from underground movie geek demi-god CANNIBAL KING. Look for his Ebay store under the same name, where you’ll be able to land these and many other rare asian oddities on DVD with English subtitles (translated by his Japanese girlfriend) for a mere pittance, although I’m thrilled to note that a brand new company (PanikHouse) will soon be releasing one or both of these films on this side of the pond sooner than later.

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2 replies »

  1. ok, this was really great. I handled everything just fine through the movie, then at a critical moment the motorcycle gang leader simply shows us her left one and changes the course of the story…if life could be so simple. I almost cried when it was over because I suddenly realized everyone in that movie is now in their senior years if still alive. Feels like I would have missed out had it been real; but there are probably such dramas being played out all over Japan as we speak and we just don’t hear about it due to the media’s focus on other things.


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