Female Yakuza Tale (1973)
Sex And Fury (1972) may have suffered from over-hype, because I really couldn't see what all the fuss was about when it was released last year, and it was quite a long time before I felt in the mood for watching the (loose) sequel - FEMALE YAKUZA TALE. Although YAKUZA seems not to have generated nearly the same level of fervour as FURY, I think I found it the more enjoyable of the two films.
The film is part of the "Pinky Violence" collection from Panik House, a series dedicated to that period of Japanese cinema when softcore porn and gory violence were especially popular, and received decent budgets and quite esteemed directors - exploitation and art colliding, perhaps. Although FYT is not particularly artful, it certainly delivers some very stylish sleaze, and is not shy about showing the pink or the red!
Reiko Ike was one of the top stars of the pinku eiga boom, meaning she spent much of her career naked (within the limits of Japan's rather arbitrary censorship laws). I have to confess I'm much more of a Miki Sugimoto fan... even though Reiko Ike was only 20 years old when she made this film, she looks far too old and frumpy compared to Miki's smouldering pout. FEMALE YAKUZA TALE features plenty of other actresses who are willing to get naked for our entertainment though, so there's sure to be something for everyone's tastes ;) The film must have one of the highest boob-counts of any non-porno film, in fact - the final scene is rather wonderfully gratuitous in that respect and others.
The plot has been described in several reviews as confusing or incoherent - including in the "production notes" on the DVD itself. I didn't find this to be the case at all - there are some bizarre aspects to it, but it's not hard to follow and all makes sense. Some of the characters are not very well defined (ok, most), but neither do they need to be.
Although not as stylish or compelling as the FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION films, FEMALE YAKUZA TALE is certainly an entertaining piece of trash with some solid visuals and a pretty strong story. Definitely not politically correct, though one could make an argument for it being a feminist tale... if you ignore the way it's actually presented on screen :lol: