FEMALE YAKUZA TALE handles its sex and violence with style and verve. The character of Ocho, lady thief with a deadly umbrella, navigates the tangled world of the yakuza in this wild, erotic crime yarn. The story is complex, much more so than you’d expect from a sexploitation film, and I won’t attempt to untangle it here; I’ll leave the delight of discovering this film’s sordid underworld to the viewer. The central plot component involves the use of prostitutes as drug mules, with vials inserted in their vaginas and drugs injected in their breasts (don’t ask me how they get the drugs out of their breasts again). Ocho maneuvers her way through the center of this tricky web of cross piled upon double-cross. On this, her second cinematic journey – Ocho was introduced to viewers in “Sex & Fury” – Ocho bests the men around her, coming out on top in a world of sexual sadism and violence. Aided by incredible psychedelic cinematography and – really and truly! – a story with more complexity than you’re apt to find in a U.S. sex romp, FEMALE YAKUZA TALE rises to the top, much like Ocho. It’s more than a sexploitationer. It’s as much gangster story as sex film; each element is embedded in the other. They are organically grafted together. The stunning opening and closing sequences sandwich a strange and startling film. The front credits mesmerize playing out over a sort of sword-fight strip tease. The climactic scene in FEMALE YAKUZA TALE involves a whole passel of naked, sword-bearing prostitutes getting revenge on the yakuza who sought to exploit them. It’s one hell of a Mexican stand-off, too. Garish, saturated with color, full of creative composition, stuffed with stylized sexuality and visceral violence, and packing a tale that packs a wallop, FEMALE YAKUZA TALE – INQUISITION AND TORTURE is a both a classic of Japanese “pink” cinema and compelling proof that erotic cinema can inhabit the heady stratosphere of art films. Not all sexually themed movies are shallow T&A.
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