Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 18th, 2008
Theatrical Release Dates: Japan, January 22nd, 1976
Director: Yasuharu Hasebe
Writer: Chiho Katsura
Cast: Yudai Ishiyama, Tamaki Katsura, Rei Okamoto, Nahomi Oka, Akira Takahashi, Yuri Yamashina, Natsuko Yashiro
DVD released: September 21st, 2007
Approximate running time: 73 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 young man is befriended by a habitual sex maniac who passes on his obsession for violating women to his new pupil.
Director Yasuharu Hasebe started his career as an assistant director under the guidance of the legendary Seijun Suzuki. He worked his way into the director’s chair in 1966 with the film Black Tight Killers. He would direct three films in the highly influential series Stray Cat Rock (Delinquent Girl Boss, Sex Hunter and Machine Animal) and the last Female Prisoner Scorpion film (#701’s Grudge Song) for Toei. In the mid and later parts of the 1970’s Yasuharu Hasebe would go on to become one of the prominent director’s making Pinku Eiga films for Nikkatsu. Yasuharu Hasebe’s first three Pinku Eiga films Rape!, Assault! Jack The Ripper and Rape! 13th Hour where all box office hits for Nikkatsu.
The first three Pinku Eiga films from director Yasuharu Hasebe would push the envelope when it came to violence. Up to this most Pinku Eiga films where nowhere near as violent. Rape! 13th Hour has a simple plot where an experienced rapist finds himself an apprentice in which he can impart his knowledge too. The film has a sub plot which revolves around a gang of homosexuals whose leader desperately wants to have sex with the rapist and he even goes so far as to try to blackmail him. The younger apprentice rapist at first approaches these violations as more a voyeur before transforming into the role of the once held by his mentor.
The film features many diverse and interesting attacks on women including a voyeuristic scene of lovers screwing in the woods. The film is laced with homophobia and misogyny. The level of violence and brutality especially during the last ten minutes is general bloodless. One of the films more disturbing qualities is how the victims start to enjoy being sexually assaulted. Visually Rape! 13th Hour is a film which is filled with many first-rate sexual set pieces and at times the direction is very stylish. The apprentice carrying on where his mentor left off after his death suggests that the cycle is never ending. Rape! 13th Hour features a solid score mostly made up of classical and music played on a harpsichord.
Ultimately Rape! 13th Hour is a classic example of Pinku Eigu with grabs you by the throat and suffocates you with its bleak subject matter.
Rape! 13th Hour is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 scope photography. The source material supplied for this transfer is in superb shape with problems with print damage and edge enhancement in minimal. The colors look strong throughout and flesh tones look accurate. For a film that was made over thirty years ago and had a limited run the transfer far exceeds all my expectations.
One audio option has been included for this release a Dolby Digital mono mix in Japanese. Unfortunately there are no English subtitles. The audio sounds clean and there are no audio defects. Dialog is clear and the mix sounds evenly balanced throughout.
Extras for this release are limited to the films original theatrical trailer (in Japanese) and a four page booklet which is also only in Japanese. Over the last few years Geneon has released hundreds of Nikkatsu’s Pinku Eiga films on DVD. All of them including, Rape! 13th Hour come with a solid audio/video presentation. The down side is the lack of English subtitles. Until a English friendly version of Rape! 13th Hour comes along Geneon DVD release is the best option currently available for those who want to see this film.