10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™

She Cat 
Written by: on May 12th, 2013

Theatrical Release Date:
Japan, 1983
Director: Shingo Yamashiro
Writers: Chiho Katsura, Makoto Naitô
Cast: Ai Saotome, Kôichi Iwaki, Hiroshi Nawa, Koji Mizukami

DVD released: May 7th, 2013
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Impulse Pictures
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95

Synopsis: Lesbian abortion doctors are targeted by murderous thugs sent to retrieve the skull of a murdered ex-girlfriend.

Character actor Shingo Yamashiro had appeared in many Toei exploitation features with sex and/or violence (Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons, Queen Bee’s Challenge) but here he moves to Nikkatsu as the director of a Roman Porno. The romantic aspect here is rather skewed in nature and mostly homosexual or raped induced, but there is a lethal dose of mystery, thriller, and gangster violence mixed between the sometimes lengthy sex scenes.

‘She Cat’ is also referenced as ‘Female Cats’ which is a far more accurate title. Nude model Ai Saotome is the star attraction and primary eye candy though not really the central character as there are several featured female roles. She speaks the line, “Look at us, it’s like we’re on TV in one of those tabloid housewife series”. And the soap opera vibe is certainly the perfect environment for her rather lacking thespian skills to be shown in the best possible light. Also shown in a good light are her topless and/or sex scenes, many of which are entirely gratuitous.

Much more passionate, charismatic, and integral to the plot is the performance of the rather slightly endowed Kotoe Hiratsuka who can play authoritative, submissive and mysterious. She has a hot sex scene with director Shingo Yamashiro which is initiated by rape and blackmail and he is immensely believable as a hopelessly deviant dirty old man. But when she finally gets into it, her passion is palpable.

This movie runs a good 20 minutes longer than your nominal Roman Porno, and with that comes lots of convoluted plot, many expository conversations, numerous twists and turns and unexpected situations. And if the violent and sexual set pieces aren’t enough there will come a striking location or camera angle every few minutes that certainly keeps the artistic level above the norm for product from this period.

The DVD:

Another very nice presentation from a quality source. English subtitles have a few errors: a transsexual who is having a baby shower is referred to as a technician. The trailer shows alternate Ai Saotome topless in the bathtub footage along with most of the violence, rape, sex, car chases, and transvestite partying scenes referenced.

Sometimes the plot is a bit too convoluted for it’s own good, and Ai Saotome’s performance is less than perfect. Little of that really matters next to the impact of three major set pieces: the transvestite baby shower, the lesbian shower scene, and the epic rape scene in the abortion clinic.

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