NYMPHO DIVER: G-STRING FESTIVAL
Color, 1981, 69m.
Directed by Atsushi Fujiura
Starring Anzai Eri, Ezaki Kazuyo, Aono Rima, Maria Mari, Sawaki Miiko
Impulse (DVD) (US R1 NTSC) / WS (2.35:1) (16:9)
FEMALE TEACHER: DIRTY AFTERNOON
Color, 1981, 67m.
Directed by Kichitaro Negishi
Starring Yuki Kazamatsuri, Ayako Ota, Eri Kanuma, Noboru Mitani
Impulse (DVD) (US R1 NTSC) / WS (1.85:1) (16:9)
In a small Japanese fishing village filled with leering country bumpkins who goof around to variations on "Oh! Susanna," the son of the mayor has come up with a plan to rejuvenate the community. Their one female diver is a middle-aged frump whose best years are way behind her, so he decides to bring in a bevy of new young girls to dive, dive, dive. That's the central premise for Nympho Diver: G-String Festival, a goofy slice of sexy fun from the early '80s era of Nikkatsu erotic productions. The quintet of pretty young things includes college student Negami, former military recruit Nishimoto, photographer Nakanishi, masseuse Oozawa, and stewardess Nonaka, who's late to arrive after visiting her parents' grave nearby and having a nooner with her boyfriend in his car. Soon the girls are all driving the single and married men in the village mad with lust, running around semi-naked in public, giving each other sex tips, hitting on the mayor and his son, and having sex of every conceivable variation around town, including a memorable tryst covered in soap suds. You also get a half-naked catfight on the beach, a grown man with a baby fetish who enjoys breastfeeding, and the titular g-string festival in which the women parade around (guess what they're wearing) in some kind of pagan ritual involving the hoisting of giant sculpted genitalia in the air.
Compared to the extreme excesses of some other Nikkatsu titles in the Impulse DVD collection (which you can read about here, here, and here), this is pretty benign and cheerful fare; even the obligatory sexual perversity (like the aforementioned baby play and some molestation in a classroom) is played strictly for laughs, while the women are more in charge than usual here and don't really play victims at all. There's also a wide array of feminine beauty on display as well, with facial and body types that should please a diverse range of the viewing audience. Some of it really is downright hilarious, too, particularly the diving girls' extracurricular activities when they bunk up at night. Speaking of which, the actual diving doesn't really take up much screen time at all. You'll see a few shells here and there and a lady occasionally splashing around in the water, but for 90% of the running time you'd have no idea what they really do for a living.
According to the typically excellent liner notes by Japanese film writer Jasper Sharp, the "ama" (girl diver) film was a longstanding on-and-off tradition in Japanese cinema, ranging from comedies to romantic dramas. (It even appears a little bit in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice for good measure.) This seems like as good an introduction as any for the Nikkatsu variations, with a typically excellent 16:9 transfer and accessible but respectful and entertaining English subtitles for the sometimes tricky cultural dialogue. If you're looking for a sexy but safe introduction to this brand of cinema, look no further. The only extra is the theatrical trailer.
Another profession given the Nikkatsu erotic treatment on multiple occasions was the schoolteacher, and the first English-friendly DVD excursion into this territory is Female Teacher: Dirty Afternoon. Our saga begins when an imprisoned accused prostitute named Sueko Nomoto (Ota) rings up her former teacher, Sakiko (Kazamatsuri), who doesn't let the phone call interrupt her early morning roll in the hay with her boyfriend. She lies about the call, saying it was from the police ("They say a student of mine was involved with a group that was smoking marijuana and huffing paint thinner"), and takes off to help the girl get out of jail. Sueko admits she gives her body freely to men ("It made them happy") but denies being paid, while Sueko starts having flashbacks to a shocking lavatory sexual assault by a knife-wielding stranger with pantyhose over his head. Meanwhile Sueko keeps up her shenanigans and invites Sakiko over to meet her family for dinner, leading to a startling revelation about the girl's father, more identity confusion, a sleazy vagrant with a secret, and lots and lots of sex in public places.
Directed by occasional mainstream helmer Kichitaro Negishi (Distant Thunder), this is an entertaining chunk of heavy-breathing melodrama that has almost nothing to do with classrooms or even the educational process in general. The lovely Kazamatsuri also managed to cross over into other non-pink projects as well, even turning up in Ichii the Killer. She actually doesn't do anything terribly degrading here, with a few swooning love scenes leaving most of the trashier antics to her younger co-star, the leading lady from the wonderful Angel Guts: Nami. Once again making its English-language video debut, this film comes to DVD accurately framed and with new English subtitles. The film itself is actually one of the least visually impressive Nikkatsu releases to date, with pale black levels and drab colors; this might be a deliberate aesthetic choice by the filmmakers, but it's a bit of a shock after the riotous visuals found in the other releases to date. In any case, the film itself is good sleazy fun in a "soap opera gone sex crazy" way, and again the detailed Jasper Sharp liner notes do a good job of sketching out the development of female teacher cinema from its origins in the early '70s and providing bio notes on all the major players. Definitely two more very worthy entries in this weirdly endearing series of Japanese exploitation gems.
Buy Nympho Diver: G-String Festival from Diabolik.
Buy Female Teacher: Dirty Afternoon from Diabolik.