There was a quick break and then we got right into “Sukeban Guerrilla.” I was quite excited for this one as Sinister Sam had hyped it up for me quite a bit and I’d read about it in Robin Bougie’s awesome trashfilm zine “Cinemasewer.” Unfortunately I think we’d watched the films in the wrong order, as ‘Sukeban” while amusing, was so lacking in artistry that we couldn’t help but be disappointed, especially since “Jailhouse 41” was all about the artistry.
Graeme stepped up and made the first “Spetters!” reference of the night and Corinne was astonished at how quickly they were able to introduce naked boobies (first 5 minutes.) Graeme also felt it necessary to inform us of his erection, however Corinne was able to debunk that one, just to make things a little less uncomfortable. A few of us were made seasick by the never-ending circling camera work. And then we all had a good laugh at “the English speaking one.”
From here things got a little swirly, although I don’t think it was our fault that no one could follow the plot. I can tell you that it is very much a “Kyoto Power” movie, and that the girl gangs were somehow under the protection of the Yakuza. There was one girl whose brother was Yakuza and they didn’t get along because he tried to sell her out to his boss. And then there was another member of the gang who used to be a nun. And they all had these awesome tattoos of a snake and a rose on their left breast.
Then the camera did that round and round thing again and one of the girls got gonorrhea from a priest so they decided to give her to the mob, which was both amusing and very strange reasoning. There were a lot of “next week on…” style transitions and we all agreed that the film was in fact a half decent yakuza movie, fucked up by the inclusion of a sappy love story. I wondered if this was done to help the film appeal to women, as yakuza films were often used to recruit kids from the country and sukeban (bad girls, girl gangsters) were a real problem in Japan at the time this film was made. And despite the inclusion of the traditional elements of Japanese exploitation (nudity, rape), the film is really about strong willed females fighting against institutionalized male oppressors.
However, at about this point the main love interest’s buddy showed up to sing a love song to our protagonist. Or one of them, I couldn’t really keep up with who was supposed to be the star. The singer had the kind of bad teeth that you can only find in Japan and while he strummed his guitar in time to the music, the accompaniment we heard was in fact a PIANO. Then there was an extended scene of the girls pulling a dummy on their bikes which reminded Nick of “Hell Cats on Wheels,” only not as well done and we all officially stopped caring.
Rumblings from the Peanut Gallery: There wasn’t really much to say about “Jailhouse 41” as it is widely recognized as the best FCS movie, and one of the best Japanese exploitation movies ever. It is harsh, stylish and finally available on DVD from Image. Corinne had more fun making jokes about the sukeban trading Hello Kitty stickers in their down time and Graeme noted that their visored helmets made them look like European hockey players. We also all agreed that “I want to rape you,” belongs in the pick-up line hall of fame. Despite “Sukeban Guerrilla” being a bit of a let down, we definitely want to check out more films in the Pinky Violence collection from Panik House (hey, if you’re listening: send me your stuff, I want to write about it).
Next week, Baby Crazy: It’s Alive & The Suckling
Mariko McDonald and her fiancé host a weekly film night in their apartment, affectionately known as the Den of Sin. It’s kinda like evil film school. Monthly screening schedules are available at http:filmgurlland.blogspot.com and if you happen to live in the Vancouver, BC area and are interested in catching a screening please drop her a line at filmgurl79@hotmail dot com. Suggestions, hate mail and cute pictures of cats also accepted.
And of course you can always offer up some juicy Back Talk>>>
Posted on June 8, 2005 in Features by Mariko McDonald
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- FULL METAL YAKUZA (DVD)
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- TAKASHI MIIKE’S “GOZU” SCREENS IN LOS ANGELES
- ICHI THE KILLER
- ENTER THE DEN OF SIN: OF BUNTA AND BRUCE
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