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When it rains, it pours...
on September 15, 2012
[ZOOM UP: The Beaver Book Girl - 1981 - Widescreen - Japanese w/ English subtitles - directed by Takashi Kanno] In an effort to park butts in movie house seats when XXX Porn was prevalent and Betamax video was all the rage in Japan, and consumers could watch subversive sleaze in the comfort of their own homes for the first time in seditious cinema history, Nikkatsu Studios had to push the transgressive boundaries of its releases to new heights (or lows, depending on your perspective) while remaining, if just barely, within the margins of softcore celluloid sex. No easy task, with results varying widely. The new films were rawer, rougher, more visceral and fetishistic than before, and the 'Zoom Up/ Zoom In' series is a perfect example.
As an aficionado of Asian exploitation, and exploitation in almost all its incarnations (read more of my reviews as proof), I'm delighted Impulse Pictures is releasing these films for the first time on dvd, although I haven't been totally impressed with any of the three I've currently screened. That won't stop me from watching more of them, as I'm a bona fide sucker for this genre. But this entry has a particular twist I'm not a fastidious fan of, and it dominates the film, so if you don't take pleasure in it either, your overall enjoyment of this flick will be sorely compromised, as mine was. Not that I'm sorry I sat through it, my decadence is deep-rooted and decades old.
The film begins with a rape and ends with a tsunami of golden showers, and you need to be informed of this before deciding if it's for you or not. I had no such knowledge, so I was taken aback by the deluge of urinating on others that crops up constantly - the rape thing is entrenched in Japanese cinema and its history, so there's no way around that. These are two elements that are off-putting to me, as I get no arousal from either, and find their inclusion in sexual activity totally alien to my own tastes. Though I make no pretense to criticize those that do, understand? Sex and violence are two entirely separate entities to me, and make for uneasy bedfellows, and scatting is just something nauseating in my head. Again, I'm not preaching to any choir here, I'm a degenerate in my own right, and in a free society, or at least a cheap one, I'm not passing judgment on anybody.
The lead female actress is a fairly attractive MILF with an ample rack and come-hither sexuality in her eyes that's unmistakable, and we are treated to many scenes with her. My favorite was the one where she's bound outdoors to a wooden cross with bright red fabric tethers, fully exposed while being photographed and having intercourse (see - I've got issues all my own), but there are a few more as well. The only other female we see naked repeatedly in this flick is plainer than rice (and I mean nothing racial by that), obnoxious and off-putting, and has too much screen time. So variety is lacking too - it's either column A or column B (again, no racial bias intended, sometimes these things just write themselves). Thankfully, the main actress is unique enough to carry the films erotic content, at least for me anyway. Now if the producers would've just dialed back a bit on the golden showers, maybe my enjoyment wouldn't have drowned... 3 stars, but be forewarned, my freaky friends, when it rains, it pours.