Written by: Carroll Jenkins on December 7th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1982
Director: Naosuke Kurosawa
Writer: Yuki Miyata
Cast: Maiko Kazama, Jun Miho, Miki Yamaji, Hideo Shiroyama
DVD released: November 8th, 2016
Approximate running time: 66 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese
DVD Release: Impulse Pictures
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: The invention of a dream ring complicates the already complex goings on at a hypnotherapist research clinic.
Quite the shocker, this, because it’s actually a Japanese take on the Giallo. A pinku film, no doubt, with lots of softcore sex, all very animated and enthusiastic, perhaps even ‘bestial’ in it’s ferocity. Try to picture Eyes Without A Face meshed with Suspiria and filmed as a Nikkatsu nudie. It’s very gothic with many horror / slasher film tropes on display. It’s also somewhat surreal with hallucination / nightmare / premonition segments (mostly of the sexual kind) that imbibe the tragic greed / revenge plot with supernatural elements. The cinematography, atmosphere, soundtrack, locations, art direction, lighting, framing, and editing are all top notch despite the rather paltry budget of the latter Nikkatsu productions. This was made by people who cared about their craft and were a bit deranged.
This film is about much more than sex, though sex is considered a primal instinct / desire / motivation, but so are greed, possessiveness, jealousy, vengeance. It’s difficult to delve into the philosophical quandaries without exposing some of the myriad nuances and twists that metaphorically bend this lowly softcore porno into an existential work of art. Not only that, but it functions as a genuine mystery as well.
SPOILER ALERT – Since women dream in their wombs [really?] the revolutionary genius invention of the dream ring requires that it be inserted there with a red jingle bell hanging down in the center [from where?]. The ring records the sound and vision of the subjects dreams and has produced 100% successful therapy trials. We are treated to several POV shots from inside the womb of the bell and the ring, sometimes looking out at the world beyond. This is quite an unusual McGuffin and it most often resides in a seldomly scripted locale. The film portrays a number of gynecological table insertion / removal scenes, all ‘tongue in cheek’, of course.
Impulse delivers another stellar release in anamorphic widescreen with original Japanese audio and removable English subtitles. Any shortcomings appear to be with the original production values and not with the print, transfer, or presentation.
This is spine number 25 in the Nikkatsu Erotic Films Collection and certainly makes my top ten list of releases in the series. Perhaps the most unique of them all.