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(aka "Jitsuroku onna kanbetsusho: sei-jigoku" or "True Story of Woman Condemned: Sex Hell" or "Sex Hell")

 

directed by Ky Ohara
Japan 1975

 

Set up to take the fall in a medical malpractice case by her doctor lover (Kji Yashiro, THE HUNTER'S DIARY) - who had impregnated the patient! - Mayumi (Hitomi Kozue, OFFICE LADY DIARY: POACHING) is in no mood to make friends in the juvenile hall where female prisoners are kept until their court dates. She runs afoul of her cell's queen bee (Meika Seri, STREET OF JOY) and is given the "plucked chicken treatment" (think about it for a moment), but holds her own against her cellmates including baby-killing prostitute Rie (Tatsuya Hamaguchi, THE VANITY OF THE SHOGUN'S MISTRESS) and underage prostitute/crime of passion killer Harumi (Maya Hiromi, NUNS THAT BITE), not to mention a number of corrupt authority figures.

Not being too familiar with Japanese women-in-prison films (although the liner notes for this disc indicate there are few), it is difficult to glean whether some of the film's borrowings are directly from western examples (including a few men-in-prison films) or if they have been filtered through earlier Japanese takes on the material. The contrast of colorfully lit and designed flashbacks into the prisoners' backstories seems like a borrowing from Jess Franco's 99 WOMEN (and the queen bee character - prevalent in women in prison films - could be drawn from Franco's ILSA, THE WICKED WARDEN), while a shot of two female prisoners swapping cigarette smoke seems like a reference to Jean Genet's UN CHANT D'AMOUR, and the ending parallels Edward J. Forsythe's Canadian coda to CAGED MEN. Surprisingly, there is little abuse-of-authority exploitation scenes despite the many opportunities the guards and staff have to leer at and feel up the prisoners. Heroine Kozue would return for two follow-up Nikkatsu prison films.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 5 March 1975 (Japan)

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DVD Review: Impulse Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Impulse Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:11:39
Video

2.39:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.52 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Impulse Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.39:1

Edition Details:
• Liner Notes from Japanese film scholar Jasper Sharp

DVD Release Date: 10 April 2012
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Impulse Pictures presents this Nikkatsu production in a single-layer, progressive, anamorphic transfer that seems faithful to a degree of softness found in scope films of this budget while nicely delineating detail in sequences lit with blood-red gels as well as the darker interior scenes. The Dolby Digital mono track has some hiss, but has been cleaned without any annoying digital artifacts.

There is no accompanying trailer. Jasper Sharp's liner notes inform us about the dearth of women-in-prison movies in Japanese exploitation; don't worry, he informs us that a glut of Japanese nunsploitation makes up for it.

- Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Impulse Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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