Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 1st, 2007
Theatrical Release Dates: Japan, 1968, 1969
Directors: Yoshihiro Ishikawa (Female Demon Ohyaku), Nobuo Nakagawa (Quick-Draw Okatsu, Okatsu The Fugitive)
Cast: Junko Miyazono, Reiko Oshida, Tomisaburo Wakayama, Kunio Murai, Koji Minawara, Hosei Komatsu, Toru Abe, Tatsuo Umemiya, Kô Nishimura, Kenji Imai, Yuriko Mishima
DVD released: November 13th, 2007
Approximate running time: 90 minutes (Female Demon Ohyaku), 90 minutes (Quick-Draw Okatsu), 84 minutes (Okatsu The Fugitive)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (All Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese (All Films)
Subtitles: English (All Films)
DVD Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95 (each film is sold separately)
Quick-Draw Okatsu: Okastu (Junko Miyazono) family is murdered by a corrupt magistrate who also happens to be infatuated with her. He gives her two options she can be his concubine or death. Okastu with the help of a young swordswoman Rui (Reiko Oshida) escapes the magistrates’ prison. Okastu now a wanted criminal manages to stay one step ahead of the law as she exacts her revenge against those who have violated her and murdered her family.
Okatsu The Fugitive: Okatsu (Junko Miyazono) a gifted swordswoman is forced too used her skills to exact revenge against a man named Judayu and his allies who are responsible for her parents’ death when they refuse to reveal the whereabouts of a letter detailing their crimes.
The main thing that binds the Legends of the Poisonous Seductress Series: Female Demon Ohyaku, Quick-Draw Okatsu and Okatsu the Fugitive is actress Junko Miyazono who appears in all three films. Also of note is that in each film she plays a different character with similar background and motives that are revenge based. These three films are all solid examples of swordplay films and one can definitely see how they influenced later films like Sex & Fury and Female Yakuza Tale: Inquisition and Torture.
The first film Female Demon Ohyaku is the only none shot in black & white and it was directed by Yoshihiro Ishikawa whose style is distinctively different then Nobuo Nakagawa who would direct the next two films in the series Quick-Draw Okatsu and Okatsu the Fugitive. Visually Female Demon Ohyaku is the most haunting and surreal looking of the three with its stark use of black and white. The next two films in the series Quick-Draw Okatsu and Okatsu the Fugitive are directed by Nobuo Nakagawa who also directed films like Jigoku and Snake Woman’s Curse. Visually Quick-Draw Okatsu and Okatsu are nightmarish tales which greatly benefit from the use of color and the vividness of the color at times rivals that of a Technicolor dream.
All three transfers’ looks absolutely gorgeous with only Female Demon Ohyaku showing any flaws and the ones that show up are very minimal. The other two films Quick-Draw Okatsu & Okatsu the Fugitive which are both in color looks vivid and razor sharp as the source material must have been nearly flawless. Female Demon Ohyaku the only one of the three films shot in Black & white has superb shadow detail and contrast looks dead on.
All three films come with only one audio option Japanese and English subtitles have been included.
The main extra for each feature is an audio commentary with Chris D. who at times just reflects or recounts what is going on in between the moments where he injects some obscure trivia about the film. The remaining extras are as follows trailers for Female Demon Ohyaku, Quick-Draw Okatsu, Okatsu The Fugitive (in Japanese with English subtitles), a Nobuo Nakagawa Poster Gallery and Biography, a printed essay of the female swordplay cinema by Chris D. and each DVD comes with reversible cover with original Japanese poster artwork. Synapse Films continues to amaze me with each new release there work on Female Demon Ohyaku, Quick-Draw Okatsu and Okatsu The Fugitive ranks among their best work to date, highly recommended.
Note: Female Demon Ohyaku, Quick-Draw Okatsu and Okatsu The Fugitive are all only sold separately.