3.5 Stars
Year Released: 1973
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 82 minutes
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Currently available in the Pinky Violence DVD collection, “Criminal
Woman: Killing Melody” is all about Maki’s (Reiko Ike) desire to
seek revenge on criminal kingpin Oba (Ryoji Hayama) for his involvement in her father’s death. She’ll go to any lengths to see the man’s empire crumble, which looks like it will easily happen thanks to some help from a few girls she met in while prison. Unfortunately, there’s a wrench thrown in along the way in the form of Oba’s main squeeze (Miki Sugimoto). She may not love her man, but she’ll be damned if she’s going to let those ladies destroy her lifestyle.

This film is an absolute joy to watch. Sure, some of it is a bit
hokey, but its style and storyline makes you forget all those cringe-worthy moments. As part of the women-as-a-badasses films that hit Japan in the early ’70s, this one is a good place for the uninitiated to start, as it really is a solid film (unlike some of the others that came out of that genre). It’s sexy and dangerous, and you get a real thrill out of wondering just how Maki’s revenge
will work out. (And for the weak of heart, make sure to look away
during the bondage/chainsaw/torture scene.)

If you’ve never seen this film, you’re in for a real treat. If
you have, you need to get the DVD, if only to check out the minimal, but worthy extras.

Posted on May 12, 2006 in Reviews by

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