With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Saturday, April 03, 2010

ACF 523: Three Meiko Kaji films kick off "A Mad, Bad Unjholy Easter Weekend"

Japan Society's Mad, Bad.... & Dangerous To Know film series begins focusing on the second of three featured actresses today with separate screenings of three films starring Meiko Kaji. They are all "must-see movies." Descriptions, showtimes and links to purchase tickets online for each film are provided below.

Image (c) Toei., Ltd

Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion
Directed by Shunya Ito
Japan, 1972, color, 87 min.
Showtime 3:00 PM

“This film is a true genre classic.”
- Chris Nelson, Dreamlogic.net

Stabbing. Shooting. Scalding. Raping. Rioting. Feral sapphic sex. Beating. Burning. And copious amounts of female nudity. Shunya Ito’s film set the ultimate template of the "Women In Prison" (W.I.P.) movie genre. Expertly riding the fine line between arthouse imagery and car crash-like anti-aesthetics, the storyline of Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion follows the quest for vengeance of Nami Matsushima, an unjustly imprisoned woman, to whom Meiko Kaji lends her unique star presence. Used, abused and betrayed by her first love, a corrupt cop, “Matsu”, endures a variety of exotic punishments that would make even Cool Hand Luke cry, and eventually becomes “Sasori” (Scorpion), a byname for vengeance.

Prepare yourself for lock-down, this is sexploitation cinema at its most ferocious and classiest, easily transcending the B-film revenge-tale that serves as its pretext. Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion spawned three direct sequels, a pair of spin-offs, and a 2008 Hong Kong-Japan co-produced remake.

This film is unrated, but may only be viewed by persons 18 years of age or older.

Info and online ticket purcahasing here.

Image (c) Nikkatsu Corp.

Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter
Directed by Yasaharu Hasebe
Japan, 1970, color, 85 min.
Showtime 5:00 PM

“Impeccably stylised and undeniably cool”

“A delinquent classic.”

“A take no prisoners affair and one of the best films to make full use of Meiko Kaji’s powerful female presence”
– Kimberly Lindbergs, CINEBEATS

If you haven’t seen this classic hallucinatory girl gang flick, with no actual sex hunting, but ample sex and hunting (and a politically radical racial subplot), you really haven’t lived. Directed by the late sexploitation master Yasuharu Hasebe, Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter stars cult film legend Meiko Kaji as Mako, a girl gang leader sporting the best hat in film history and wielding Molotov cocktails like a pro. Mako’s gang assists The Eagles, an all-male gang of typical young delinquents led by the cooler-than-thou Baron (Tatsuya Fuji), speeding around in army jeeps left by the American occupation, hanging out in ├╝ber-hip clubs, swindling cash from businessmen to buy sexy pants, and generally indulging in testosterone-fuelled ruckus-raising.

Life rocks, rolls and swings by nicely for the cheerful youths until one of the Eagles loses his girl to an African-American/Japanese man. Baron suddenly develops a serious fetish for racial purity and goes on a crusade against all the local “halfs,” mixed-race Japanese citizens. The trouble is: Mako has a soft spot for dark-skinned hunk Kazuma, a newly arrived Half who is searching for his long-lost sister. Sides will be chosen and rampage will be wrought in this full-on war of the sexes as Kaji’s Mako takes the opinion that sexual slavery and hunting mixed-race people are definitely not okay.

This film is unrated, but may only be viewed by persons 18 years of age or older.

Info and online ticket purcahasing here.

Image (c) Toho Co., Ltd

Lady Snowblood: Blizzard from the Netherworld
Directed by Toshiya Fujita
Japan, 1973, color, 97 min.
Showtime: 7:30 PM

A baroque blood-fest of a picture, deftly blending samurai, ninja, yakuza, and manga motifs, Lady Snowblood is a revenge tale with many a stupendous turn and a major twist: the ruthless seeker of righteous retribution is a kimono-clad beauty (Meiko Kaji) with stern regal features and avenging-angel eyes, who makes grown men cry in the night. Born in a dark hellhole of a prison, Yuki “Snowblood” Kashima was raised by an ironhanded priest who trained her in the arcanes of sword fighting. Dressed and hardwired to kill, she will find and wreak her bloody vengeance upon the four villains who butchered her family.

Quentin Tarantino drew on Lady Snowblood as the inspiration for Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003). As impressive as one might find Tarantino’s film, fans should definitely experience the formal beauty of the original, a mad mix of shameless grindhouse exploitation and surreal arthouse extravaganza driven by a full-blooded devotion to unstinting gory action.

This film is unrated, but may only be viewed by persons 18 years of age or older.

Info and online ticket purcahasing here.

The other two more films in the series starring Kaji will be shown on Easter Sunday:

Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance at 3:00 PM

Female Convict Scorpion Jailhouse 41 at 5:00 PM

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:30 AM

    this was a brilliant movie for the 70's it had great storyline and fashion too! Kaji Mako is excellent in this flick


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