Review: Lady Teacher Rope Hell

Mabuki Junko's Lady Teacher Rope Hell is a frustrating mixed bag of missed opportunities, with as much innovation as tedium stirred into the usual captured-for-sex, damsel-in-distress tale.

By 1981, Junko was, by all accounts, suffering from health problems maybe or maybe not related to the physical and other stresses she was placed under by the relentless wheel of the SM grindhouse. Shortly afterwards, she retired from the Roman-Porno world for good, although she would make infrequent appearances in indie pink films and even mainstream TV drama. Watching carefully, it's quite apparent what pain and real stress Miss Mabuki is under during the making of this film; there's a genuine sense of pathos and suffering that goes just a little beyond acting.

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Review: The Sekkan (The Beginning)

In 1985 a company called U-Production put out a series of videos titled The Sekkan (ザ折檻). Sekkan can be translated as torture or chastisement.

As in English, there are several words with similar meanings to torture in Japanese, with the same subtle differences. Goumon and seme, for example: torture and torment.

It is fitting that the first in this series featured "the king of sm" himself, Shima Shikou. Although it was quite early, this wasn't the first video Shima appeared in and he is still active today. Shima Shikou has been around for a very long time.

The videos were distributed by film studio Nikkatsu as part of their SM Best Collection series.

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Review: White Uniform Rope Hell

It is generally regarded that 1980 was the beginning of the end for Nikkatsu and the Roman-Porno series. The proliferation of VHS video, and some staggeringly stupid management decisions would lead to the studio's closure some eight years later.

Closer to home, there was the retirement of Tani Naomi. Now Naomi was the symbol, the icon of Nikkatsu SM porn; what the Bell UH-1 was to the Vietnam War or the Saturn-5 to the Space Age, or the AK-47 to Revolutionary Communism. This was an age when exploitation cinema had the most astonishing, exotically beautiful women: Soledad Miranda, Edwige Fenech -- and Naomi was Queen of them all. How do you replace an icon like that?

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Bakushi Explores Lives of Rope Masters

Before I get started with Bakushi, there's some catching up to do.

I hadn't really planned to allow this much time to go by between posts -- just worked out that way. Summer is always a bitch in this part of Japan and it was just too tempting to stay in air conditioned comfort than go out and snoop around for news. Even a trip to the local video store was a sweaty, uncomfortable task (the store closest to me ain't that close).

I did get together with this young lady for tonkatsu and some drinks at a nice bar. She complained that this summer was not hot enough for her! True, it was a bit cooler this summer than usual but it still had me sweating like a pig in a sauna. But she thrives in the humidity.....and I shrivel.

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Shima Izumi Shines in Hebi no Ana

Here comes another Nikkatsu classic with the word snake in the title. Hebi no Ana (Snake Pit) is another film based on a story by Oniroku Dan. This one stars the lovely Shima Izumi who appeared in several other Nikkatsu SM Roman Porno flicks in the glory days.

The interesting thing about this movie, for me at least, is that I first saw scenes from it in another movie entirely. I had thought that other movie was Shocking Asia but then I realized that Shocking Asia came out years before Hebi no Ana.

Hit the Read More link for additional coverage and a trailer.

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