EROS SCHOOL: FEELS SO GOOD
Color, 1977, 67m.
Directed by Koretsugu Kurahara
Starring Murakuni Shohei, Asami Ogawa
Impulse (DVD) (US R1 NTSC) / WS (2.35:1) (16:9)
ZOOM UP: THE BEAVER BOOK GIRL
Color, 1981, 64m.
Directed by Takashi Kanno
Starring Junko Mabuki, Hayano Kumiko, Yoshiko Sasaki
Impulse (DVD) (US R1 NTSC) / WS (1.85:1) (16:9)
The degenerate choo-choo train of Nikkatsu filth continues with two additional titles culled from their vaults, hot on the heels of Impulse's essential first set of releases. First up is the provocatively titled Eros School: Feels So Good, whose cover art features a Japanese girl with her bra hanging off bent over a school desk while a guy clutches a red sneaker inches away from her face. This one's also known as Erotic Campus: Rape Reception, but you can probably figure out why they changed that one.
Directed by Koretsugu Kurahara (younger brother of Koreyoshi Kurahara, acclaimed director of The Warped Ones and Black Sun), who also helmed the two bizarre Sex Rider films for Nikkatsu, this film takes place at a high school where everyone apparently wants to get into the panties of Misa (Ogawa), class president and track star, who's first seen hoisting a poor schmuck across the room and leading her friends in kicking him across the floor after he has an erotic daydream about her in class. Meanwhile new cigar-chomping transfer student Ryu Katsuragi (Shohei), aka "Ryu the Rapist," is a depraved sicko who has no problem molesting his classmates. According to one student with a little too much time on his hands, Ryu "raped his neighbor's wife when he was 15. Since then, he's raped dozens of girls, and was sent to reform school three times." (Naturally another kid replies, "I'm jealous of him, though. I wish I could be free like him.") Of course, it's only a matter of time before Ryu works his way up the sexual food chain to Misa, but that's only after other delights like an erotic martial arts class, gynecological flashbacks, and bad folks songs with lyrics like "I wanna do them so bad," plus a climactic detour involving Ryu's pet pig and hijinks in a porno theater. Oh, and all of this is played for laughs, complete with rinky-dink piano music. And it really looks like the female teachers are played by guys in drag.
"I have no control from the waist down. I fully intend to continue my rampage at Eros High School." That's Ryu's mantra early on in this one (while he's stuffing his fingers in a girl's mouth, no less), with the added proviso that "beauty queens in particular should exercise extreme caution." Yep, we're knee deep in '70s trash here, and anyone who gets a kick out of Japanese schoolgirl scenarios will really hit paydirt here. At times this almost plays like one of those Israeli Lemon Popsicle high school comedies reinvented by a sex criminal, like one scenario with a menstruating girl named Akemi sneaking off to a bathroom stall for a smoke only to get terrorized by a couple of dildo puppets-- while wacky moog music chips away on the soundtrack. (That's not even giving away how the scene ends, which is surely a first in cinema history.) "What the hell am I watching?" is the only rational human response, which means this should make for a great party disc with the right crowd; you could have quite the drinking game by doing a shot every time there's a sexual assault joke.
Released a few years later is another Nikkatsu title, Zoom Up: The Beaver Book Girl, whose outrageous original cover art caused more than a few double takes and had to be modified for the final version. (It ain't nothing comapred to the menu screen though, which also gives away the film's sick punchline.) Based on a manga by Takashi Ishii (Gonin and the Angel Guts series) and originally titled Zûmu appu: Binîru-bon no onna, this one kicks off with a creepy, shadowy pre-credits sequence in which a woman is assaulted while tied to a bed in a warehouse. Flash forward a few years to a smug magazine company specializing in schoolgirl undie shots, where art school graduate Yoshie gets a job doing some fetish modeling alongside a motley crew of photographers and layout artists. She's trying to save up money for a trip abroad, and for some reason she thinks no one will find out about her new gig, especially her parents. Owner Mr. Kawamoto seems more interested in grabbing the crotches of male employees and dishes out lines like "The distributors are waiting with baited breath for more of your toilet shots." However, the latest lavatory photo gig goes a little differently than expected, and soon the photo crew is approached by a mysterious woman who strips down to her skivvies and says "I want to show my body to as many people as I can." She then proceeds to display a fetish talent that will have many viewers doubting their sanity, but let's just say it involves plastic sheets all over the floor. What's her real motivation? Why does everyone want to do a crucifixion photo shoot? And what insidious plan will unfold back at the site of that opening atrocity?
Part of a very loosely connected series of Zoom Up films (basically linked only by the presence of dirty photography and some kind of sexual trauma), this one does just about everything imaginable to fling taboo imagery all over the screen while barely avoiding frontal nudity, a big no-no in Japan. While it's common practice from the era to fog out genital areas on purpose (since public hair was a social taboo and it was a handy way to imply far more perverse things than were actually performed), this one actually fogs out one actresses' shirt for an entire scene. Why? Who knows, but it's an oddity given that the artwork for Jaws is prominently seen on clothing elsewhere. In any case, this one piles on the sleaze early on and never stops, mixing a noir-style plot with a strange affinity for bodily fluids splashing all over the screen. You've definitely never seen anything like it. Also included this time around is the wild theatrical trailer, which includes pitches like "Epic! The Skin Mag Model" and "Prepared to be banned!"
As usual for these films, Nikkatsu has kept the elements in pristine shape, and both titles look fantastic. The scope framing looks accurate, and colors and detail are about as good as standard def will allow. As you've probably already gathered, the optionial English subtitles for the mono Japanese dialogue are very, very quotable. Once again Japanese film expert Jasper Sharp is on hand to provide liner notes for both films (complete with original poster art on the front of the insert), including lots of trivia about the evolution of the Nikkatsu Roman Porno cycle.
Buy Eros School: Feels So Good from Diabolik.
Buy Zoom Up: The Beaver Book Girl from Diabolik.