Friday, 19 December 2008

Woods are Wet (1973)

Well, if I thought the second film in the "Wild Japan" season at the National Film Theatre was going to be an improvement on the truly awful first, I was sadly mistaken. At least that one had some very artistic shibari (Japanese rope bondage) in its favour; this one has absolutely nothing to recommend it. The director, Tatsumi Kamashiro, was one of the stawlarts of the Roman Porno cycle and made some twenty films all with the Japanese word for 'wet' in their titles. Take that as you will!

What we have here is a virginal maiden on the run after being falsely accused of murdering her mistress and being befriended by an elegant lady in a chauffeur-driven limo. The latter encourages her to return as her companion to the remote inn where she lives with her "cruel" husband. Little does she realise that it is all a wicked plot to drag her into the corrupt household as a sex slave and to assist the perverted couple in preying on their occasional guests. We are then presented with a totally boringly filmed succession of rape, buggery, flagellation, and murder. Apparently there were some censorship trials at the time, so the director -- as a protest -- recut his film with big black blobs blocking either half the scene or bouncing around the various sexual quarters. This attempt by the director to bowdlerise the action as a means of pointing out the hypocrisy of censorship just comes across as incredibly stooopid and annoying.

Where's the wretched ping - please!
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