Yakuza Justice: Erotic Code of Honor
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(Oct 01, 2014)
3 Films From the Director of THE WORLD OF GEISHA and A WOMAN WITH RED HAIR
Monk Seigen grew up as a lonely child. Chaste and frustrated, he boldly steps out of his shell when he rescues Misako, the daughter of an area yakuza boss who was being abused by some local thugs. The two soon find themselves in a desperate race for their lives. In a shocking twist, Seigen learns that he might be related to Misako, plunging him into the dark abyss of criminality and sin. With a screenplay by famed Zigeunerweisen writer Youzou Tanaka, Yakuza Justice: Erotic Code of Honor is one of director Kumashiro s most satisfying and visually unique works, ripe with strange yakuza and Buddhist customs, beautiful locations, and featuring a sordid and doomed love-hate relationship at its heart.
Japan / 1973 / 84 min. / 2.35:1 / color / in Japanese with English subtitles
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Later, when he's in his late teens/early 20's (much of the plot details are vague), he rescues the daughter of a yakuza boss who was being abused by local thugs, and he's enamored with her immediately, stepping out of his shell and suddenly changing from within, becoming assertive, aggressive and lustful. The two become lovers, and the yakuza are impressed with his sense of duality and petition him to perform a hit for them. In a not-so-shocking twist, he finds out he might be related to the woman he's in love with, and now his life spirals into a dark abyss of criminality, desperation and sin.
OK, that's the plot in a nutshell, and here's what I have a problem with. I find it almost impossible to believe that someone who spent every day of his life in a monastery capable of an overnight transformation into an amoral, incestuous killer. The doomed-from-the-start relationship wasn't fleshed out so that you cared about the characters, it's just thrust upon you and you're supposed to buy into it without even a limp sales pitch offered within the plot.
Here's something else all of you will have a difficult time with - this flick, along with its sister film by director Tatsumi Kumashiro, 'Twisted Path Of Love', are touted as exploitation/sexploitation, yet in each and every nude/sex scene, there are huge black boxes over the juiciest bits, and that's why more than half the people who purchase these flicks got them in the first place! WTF indeed, my friends.
So what we're left with after the censorship travesty is a half-baked story, weak and uninteresting characters, half-assed direction and a seen-it-coming ending. Trust me, on my honor, there isn't much justice here... or anything erotic.