Thursday, July 28, 2011

Run And Kill (1993)


Cheung is a doting father and husband, albeit being a little on the portly side.
He slaves daily at his job, giving his earnings to his ungrateful wife.
Only to have his seemingly idealistic existence come crashing down on him,
when he makes the mistake of coming home early for an Anniversary celebration.
Finding his insignificant other in a compromising position with a neighboring shop owner.

After the initial shock wanes, Cheung decides to drown his sorrows with alcohol.
Staking his claim at a local bar where he encounters an attractive regular, Fanny who
he drunkenly confides in. Fanny takes pity on Cheung and offers to assist him in
rectifying his current situation.Unfortunately, her definition of rectifying the situation
involves murder.

Fanny encourages Cheung to put a hit out on his wife and her lover,
connecting him to a fellow acquaintance who will do just about anything if the price is right.

In a drunken stupor Cheung unintentionally agrees to the contract killing, and the outrageous
sum that accompanies the deed's completion, just before blacking out in an
alley behind the bar. When he wakes up the following morning with a fleeting memory of the
prior evenings events, he returns home to his wife where the situation goes from
bad to worse. As two contract killers appear at his apartment out for blood.

The duo ruthlessly dispatch his wife and leave Cheung unconscious at the
scene of the crime. Leading the police to open an investigation, with Cheung as
the main suspect.In an attempt to rekindle his memory, he returns to the bar,
unaware of the watchful eye of the police. An unwelcome presence that is not appreciated
by the bloodthirsty gang responsible for killing Cheung's wife.

Convinced that Cheung ratted them out to the police, the gang extort Cheung for
even more money. Leaving him no choice, but to retreat to one of his rental properties
currently inhabited by two brothers, Wah and the psychotic Ching Fung.

Wah is the more sensible of the two, and even attempts to negotiate with the gang
targeting his landlord. Only to end up getting fatally wounded in a violent brawl.

Adding an additional peg to the shitstorm of predicaments plaguing Cheung.
Now that he has one more psychopath on his heels, and Ching Fung is determined to
kill Cheung's entire family to repay him for his involvement in Wah's demise.

Will this poor bastard ever catch a break?
You'll just have to watch and see ;)


This review is of the cut, Tai Seng/Universe Laser & Video release.
An uncut PAL version, containing more violence and sex is available online at D&T Mailorder.

Occasional subtitle issues and murky picture quality aside, this is still a really great film.
If you don't mind a little shameless violence towards children, you'll be in for a treat!

Availability: This title still appears to be in print, despite getting the same treatment as
Dr. Lamb. It's depressing.

Price: 9-14$

Screen Captures: (No copyright infringement intended.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tattooed Flower Vase (1976)


Takako is an aspiring photographer returning home from school to her step-mother, Michiyo.
At first the two women seem exceptionally close. Takako even discusses the possibility of the two remaining together, despite Michiyo's desire for her daughter to get married and start a family.

Takako finds that her mother has made a profitable profession out of making
paper kabuki dolls. Her intricately detailed work has become increasingly popular.
Something her lecherous employer makes a point to capitalize on, by drugging her during
a meeting to discuss production, and having his way with her prone body.
The assault triggers memories of a prior trauma Michiyo experienced as a teenager,
while working at the Kabuki theater.

An underlying jealousy seems to brew between the two women, only to boil over
when Takako accidentally spies on Michiyo being raped by her employer.
Misconstruing the entire scenario, thinking that the acts were consensual.
Takako becomes enraged by the assumed betrayal and thoughtlessly walks into oncoming
traffic where she is struck by a car.

The concerned driver is an attractive son of a former Kabuki actor, named Ogata.

Needless to say Ogata does not waste any time having his way with both
mother and daughter. Further increasing the rift between them.

Three's a crowd ;)


Let me first say that Takako annoyed the shit out of me! I have an extreme dislike for needy, immature and manipulative women. Ogata also became tiresome, regressing into a flagrant opportunist who swayed whichever direction the pussy happened to be coming from. However, his scenes shared with Michiyo seemed really pure and beautiful despite only serving as a catalyst for her downfall.

In fact, the film's saving grace is Michiyo! It's actually kind of sad, that the only likable character in this entire film, repeatedly gets shat on. And all her annoying step daughter has to do is whine and complain to get what she wants. Arggh!

That being said, as infuriating as it was to watch sometimes, I was still genuinely
moved by this film. Opposed to watching it with an air of detachment, I really felt something
for the protagonist. I couldn't help but feel that she deserved better.

Also, Michiyo's full body irezumi at the end of the film is absolutely stunning!

Availability: Despite the Debauched Desires boxset being out of print. I still
recommend searching it out. Being that it has multiple Masaru Konuma titles in it's set.
However, this film can still be purchased individually with little issue.

Price: 16-26$

Screen Captures: (No copyright infringement intended.)