Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 22nd, 2008
Theatrical Release Dates: Japan, February 4th, 1978
Director: Yasuharu Hasebe
Cast: Asami Ogawa, Aoi Nakajima, Yoko Azusa
DVD released: March 24th, 2006
Approximate running time: 72 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital mono Japanese
DVD Release: Geneon/Nikkatsu
Region Coding: Region 2 NTSC
Retail Price: 3800 yen
Synopsis: A police woman named Komiko is repeatedly tormented by a black gloved rapist.
Over the years Yasuharu Hasebe has directed several genre classics like Black Tight Killers, Bloody Territories, three Stray Cat Rock films (Delinquent Girl Boss, Sex Hunter and Machine Animal), Female Prisoner Scorpion: #701’s Grudge, Rape!, Assault! Jack The Ripper and Rape! 13th Hour. He is most remembered for his Pinku Eiga films that he made with Nikkatsu which are some of the most violent entries from this genre and most of them where box office successes. By the late 1980’s with cinema in decline in Japan Yasuharu Hasebe would follow the latest trend and return to Toei as a director direct to video releases.
Osou! Is one of Yasuharu Hasebe is one of his more unusual Pinku Eiga films. The plot is very simple Komiko a policewoman is raped over and over again by the person whose identity is never fully revealed. In between these attacks she encounters other sexual deviants who also want a piece of her. The amount of attacks on Komiko makes one wonder why she didn’t travel more often in pairs then by herself. Most of the films subject matter is rather bleak. There are a few moments that offer some humor like the scenes where Komiko is trying to track down her attacker via old cases involving sex offenders. In virtually all of these men she encounters are having sex when she walks in including a scene where she talks to one them in a car while he is in the next set screwing some woman.
Komiko’s tormentor wears all dark clothing including black leather gloves. His attire and the way he restrains her by masking her eyes and mouth with tape is reminiscent of how Betty is treated by the killer in Dario Argento’s Opera. One thing about this film that most will find disturbing is how Komiko who starts out sexual repressed starts to enjoy being assaulted. These assaults also lead to her becoming more sexually promiscuous to the point where she is involved in a threesome. There is a shift in her personality that really shows after assaulted with a switchblade knife in her private parts. After this scene she takes on a more aggressive attitude. Visually Yasuharu Hasebe perfectly juxtapositions’ images with the films predominately classical score which features many famous cues from Ludwig van Beethoven like Moonlight Sonata and selections from his Ninth Symphony.
Ultimately Osou! Is Yasuharu Hasebe’s most underrated Pinku Eiga despite its unique and intriguing take on familiar subject matter?
Osou! is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 scope photography. Colors look nicely saturated and black levels remain strong through out. There are no problems with print damage. The source material used for this transfer looks amazing. One audio option has been included for this release a Dolby Digital mono mix in Japanese. Unfortunately there are no English subtitles. The audio mix sound clear, evenly balanced and it is free of any audio defects.
Extras for this release consist of the film’s original theatrical trailer (in Japanese) and a four page booklet which is also only in Japanese. Osou! Is another solid Pinku release from Geneon with its only drawback being its lack of English subtitles! There is no sign of a English friendly version of Osou! In the near future and until then Geneon’s DVD release is the best option currently available for those who want to see this film.