Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter + Branded to Kill --Nikkatsu Flicks
From Nikkatsu studios - 1970 comes Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter. Well that's a bit of a misnomer. Plot bit - School girl age Stray Cat gang led by Mako (Meiko Kaji) rob squares, shop, and get high. They occasionally cross paths with The Eagles (yes) boy gang led by The Baron, who ride around in American military jeeps and dress rather smartly. The Baron hates half-bloods and goes on a killing spree. We also find out that The Baron has some problems with gravity in the bed room. Enter Kazuma - a loner on a walk-about looking for his sister. Oh, and he can sing and just happens to be a half blood. Lots of neon lights, Japanese pop groups - both girls and guys - double crossing (The Eagles sell the girls to horny businessmen) make for an entertaining movie.
Meiko Kaji is my current fav actress; I will definitely watch more of the Stray Cat Rock films. Rumor has it she's in a series of films by the name Female Convict Scorpion.
From the same studio comes Branded to Kill. This is not your mother's yakuza film. The movie starts out by showing us the various clever ways in which Hanada Goro kills his marks. What a delight - he gets turned on by smell of steaming rice. Half way though the movie, it suddenly morphs into an art house flick when Hanada gets a ride from a chick in a convertible, who likes to have the top down in the pouring rain. The dead bird swinging from the review mirror foretells of coming events. Filmed in luscious black and white to boot, it's right up my alley on eye-candy. Joe Shishido is currently my fav male actor.
I've really fallen down the rabbit hole with these two flicks. I want to pursue additional films from both camps . There has been so much really interesting stuff (to me, anyway) written about each of these features available in InterwebLand. Interestingly enough, the graphic style of both posters is heavily imitated by today's print and mixed media artists.
Also note - I've got to keep my mouth shut at the Meet the Films Buffs meetups.