Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sex and Fury

In the late 60's, Japanese box office sales were dwindling, largely because of the television market. The only thing many movie studios knew to do was to add extreme violence and/or sex to their films... The things that viewers wouldn't be able to see on television. Here we have a very good example of both in the appropriately titled, Sex and Fury.

The first notable thing about this film is the introductory montage, although the opening scenes give you an introduction to some of the important imagery for the film, for some reason they do it by having the cast reinact the intro of the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

This is a Japanese Pinky Violence at its best and happens to be one of the movies Quentin Tarantino drew from in making Kill Bill. Only 12 minutes or so into the movie you'll see a slightly smaller-scale Crazy 88 style fight, complete with lost limbs and blood that sprays out of their very high pressure circulatory system.

And when this infamous fight scene moves outside into the snow it's almost exactly the same as the O-ren Ishii fight setting... Except here the protagonist is completely nude as this was an assassination attempt which came while she was having a bath. This is quite the sexploitation setup, but somehow a long scene of a wet naked woman, violently killing a dozen or so assassins, is made into something quite tasteful and beautiful to see.

While it's hard to consider that there might be such a thing as a highbrow and artistic action/sexploitation film... it is what it is.

So keep that sort of thing in mind. While it is sexploitation, it's not quite something Russ Meyer could have come up with. There are a lot of very nice shots here, and some strange 70's music once in a while to mix it up. In fact, the last fight has a bunch of the characters dying to something that sounds very much like a some sort of Jimi Hendrix cover.

Final scene:

Also, oddly enough, the voices are all dubbed except for the one white girl in the movie (Christina Lindberg of the One-Eye series).

Only she's from Sweden, and doesn't seem to do the English thing too well herself either.

In spite of this little oddity, and the occasional story hiccup when some things just don't seem to make sense... this is among the best of Japanese sexploitation films you'll find.

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