Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Sex Hunter (1980) Toshiharu Ikeda

These days genre fans probobly know Toshiharu Ikeda best for memorable splatter outing Evil Dead Trap and its sequels. But though those are a lot of fun, especially the insane Italian aping original Sex Hunter may possibly be Ikeda;s magnum opus, a heroically bonkers pinku epic even b y Nikkatsu's generally impressive early 80's standards. The plot has ballerina Miki invited to an elite school by Akiko, sister of Miki's mysteriously missing boyfirend Genichiro. No prizes for guessing that Akiko has some rathe dodgy plans going on, but it's most barring the firmly jaded that will find events shocking...

But as well as shocking, Ikeda really impresses with his direction, this is a genuinely artistic piece of work. The cinematography is crisply attractive and the lighting clear, all the better to highlight the shifting tangles of passionate bodies, writhings framed elegantly in bright and austere box like rooms, limbs artfully stretched and folded in inviting flesh geometry, and all often surrounded by mirrors both one way and two layering the action. It's beautiful, really rather erotic stuff, and if it weren't for optical fogging wrecking some of the compositions Sex Hunter would be an unshakeable classic regardless of genre on visuals alone. Fortunately the plotting supports the few visual lapses, taking the common pinku theme of liberation through force into deliciously unhinged territory. And although much of the depravity is predictable there are a couple of amazing scenes, most notably one involving Coca Cola which, well if it doesn't make your jaw drop you probobly need a tetanus shot.

The pace of the film and behaviour of two of the main characters means that there isn't a lot of suspense and so the film isn't as incendiary as it might have been. A terrific ride with beautiful ladies and well performed by all, but this coupled with the horror of beaver blockers mean I can't quite rate this as highly as other commenters. Still, even though this is a qualified success, it's still a classic, and a must watch for all fans of the genre. Watch as soon as you can, and thank me later...

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