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Archive for November, 2011

Black Tight Killers (1966)

A male war photographer Hondo who goes on a date with a female air stewardess Yoriko in Tokyo gets caught up in a wild adventure when she gets kidnapped by a gang of go-go dancing ninja women who use chewing gum to blind their opponents, razor sharp measuring tapes and 45 rpm records as their weapons. They’re seeking a treasure trove of gold that the kidnapped girl’s father stole from Okinawa during World War II and want it to be returned to the island. But the female gang aren’t the only ones interested in this stash. A yakuza gang also wants to get their grubby hands on the gold. Hondo gets caught slap bang in the middle of this conflict but seeing as he’s fallen for Yoriko he’s determined to rescue her.

A parody of sorts of a spy action movie which is very camp but hugely enjoyable. Using a mix of vivid colours, weird camera angles, sexy female assassins and lots of action sequences, this movie has plenty to keep the viewer more than entertained. Even though it may be somewhat of a parody, this movie is played straight with a high body count. The action is pretty exciting and come thick and fast. Akira Kobayashi is great who plays his role with a James Bond like flair. In fact there are several nods to 007 in this movie: the dance by 2 people sprayed completely in gold is one for example. The director has even admitted that due to Bond mania sweeping the world at the time, this movie was a direct response to it. You would have to think the people that came up with this movie was tripping out on something.

Overall this is a great movie that’s a lot of fun to watch. Seeing some ingenious devices such as the bomb in a golf ball or the bamboo bazooka to get out of a sticky situation is only a part of what makes this crazy movie work so well. If you’re in need of a brainless diversion on a rainy day this movie could be what you need. It’ll certainly leave you with a smile on your face as the end credits roll.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Typhoon Club (1985)

In a school somewhere close to Tokyo, a large typhoon storm leaves 6 students stranded in their school overnight while one female student runs away from home and ventures into Tokyo looking for some fun.

Some people have mistakenly said this movie is somewhat like John Hughes’ classic teen movie The Breakfast Club. The truth is, it’s nothing like it at all. The only similar thing they have in common is that it’s about a bunch of misfit students having to stay behind at school and that both movies were made in the 1980’s. The Breakfast Club was mostly played for laughs with a little bit of drama thrown in, Typhoon Club certainly isn’t a comedy and focuses on each individual student trying to find out who they are.

The principal cast of characters are 3 young girls (Yuri, Midori and Yasuko) who are the best of friends but thanks to their burgeoning sexuality start dallying around being lesbians with each other, the idiot of the class Akira who genuinely seems to be a half wit (sticking as many pencils up his nose in one scene!), Rie – the popular girl that boys want to date but she’s full of self doubt, Michiko – who thinks she can boss her fellow classmates around, Mikami – the quiet boy who thinks deeply about life and death and who takes things to the extreme near the climax and finally we have the weirdo baseball player Ken who acts all strange and only says ‘Sorry’ and ‘I’m Home’. Ken is involved in the movie’s most seriously disturbed sequence when he chases after Michiko around the school corridors due to his infatuation with her. She tries to lock herself in the staff room but he kicks in the wooden door and tries to rape her. It was a difficult scene to watch for me.

Now I’ve said that there are 2 similarities with Typhoon Club and The Breakfast Club but there is another part as well  – the dance sequence. In one of the most memorable scenes in the movie – the 6 students strip off to their underwear and start to dance in their classroom at first before moving outside where they are caught out in a sudden downpour!

Typhoon Club is a movie that will divide opinion I imagine. It’s not like a conventional school drama and has more disturbing undertones about it. Certain surreal scenes such as Rie meeting an old couple dressed in white costumes who are rocking back and forth in a shopping mall alley doesn’t seem to make much sense to me – what was the point of adding it in the movie? This is still a great movie nevertheless with an interesting cast of characters.

No trailer but the outside dance/underwear sequence is here for you to see.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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