Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 9th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1979
Director: Norifumi Suzuki
Writers: Masaaki Sato, Jiku Yamatoya
Cast: Shun Domon, Hiromi Namino, Asami Ogawa, Natsuko Yagi
DVD Released: 2004
Approximate Running Time: 100 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese
Subtitles: English, German
DVD Release: Japan Shock
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: Escaped rapist Genpei Hirukawa holds a man and woman hostage. He ties the man up and forces him to watch as he rapes his wife. Later after the terrifying ordeal she reveals to her husband that she is pregnant and that the father of her unborn child is the man who raped her. Flash Forward twenty years Tatsuya child conceived on the fateful night is about to celebrate his twenty first birthday. He is about to gain full control of his families estate since the man he had known as his father died during a fishing trip and his mother several years before that committed suicide. With his new found financial freedom Tatsuya a child of rape decides to dedicate his to follow in the footsteps of his rapist father Genpei Hirukawa.
Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls was directed by Norifumi Suzuki whose other notable films include Girl Boss Blues: Queen Bee’s Counterattack, Girl Boss Guerilla, Girl Boss Revenge, Sex and Fury, Terrifying Girls’ High School: Lynch Law Classroom, School of the Holy Beast and The Killing Machine. Even though Norifumi Suzuki often work /co-wrote the screenplays for many of his films he did not write the screenplay for Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls, the screenplay was written by Jiku Yamatoya. The screenplay was based on a Manga that was created by Masaaki Sato, who also co-created with Ikki Kajiwara, the Manga that inspired the film, 13 steps of Maki: the young aristocrats.
The plot for Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls centers around a young man named Tatsuya who is the offspring of a rapist. His search for who he really is takes on a darker tone as the film progresses. There are a few turning points in the film where a shift in his persona starts to emerge. His biggest transformation comes after he is reunited with his rapist father. The film’s jarring ending gives the impression that Tatsuya has found what he has been searching for.
Visually Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls is a intoxicating extravaganza of the depraved in which director Norifumi Suzuki puts all the film’s character through the most extreme situations. Two of the film’s more shocking moments are a scene where Tatsuya climax’s after masturbating on pictures of those who have suffered at the hands of others and a scene involving a dog that licks one of the women who is being held prisoner by Tatsuya. The use of classical music throughout the film does a good job counter balancing the brutality that is on display. Also while the majority of the cast are only glossed over and not given much background detail, the film’s lead Tatsuya is a well defined character that by the end becomes sympathetic despite the despicable acts that he orchestrated earlier in the film.
One of the most surprising assets is the films cast who all go above and beyond in their respective performances. Shun Domon is cast in the film’s lead role Tatsuya and cast in the role of his girlfriend is former Miss Japan is Hiromi Namino, in her film debut. The film’s poster art is a perfect example of exploiting its main attraction, in this case Hiromi Namino. The poster depicts a semi nude Hiromi Namino wearing riding gear and suspenders. Director Norifumi Suzuki often goes against genre cliches as he holds back Hiromi Namino nude scene until the film’s final minutes. Japanese film icon and one of Norifumi Suzuki’s most frequent collaborators Bunta Sugawara has a brief cameo in Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls as truck driver who gets advice about women from a rapist. Other notable cast members include Asami Ogawa (Erotic Diary of an Office Lady, Osou!), Rei Okamoto (Assault! Jack the Ripper, Rape! 13th Hour, Beast to Die) and Hiroshi Nawa another one of Norifumi Suzuki’s frequent collaborators.
Visually Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls is filled with all the perverse imagery we have come to expect from these Roman Porno’s released by Nikkatsu Corporation. Also Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls holds up really well for its entire 100 minutes in length. The film is filled with just the right amount of peaks and valleys that help keep things moving at a brisk pace. Ultimately Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls is the most perverse and demented film ever to emerge out of the fertile mind of director Norifumi Suzuki.
Japan Shock’s Star of David Beauty Hunting release is presented in a non-anamorphic letterboxed format that frames the image around 2.00:1 instead of the films original 2.35:1 aspect which is the ratio the films trailer is in. Despite the image being cropped there are no noticeable instances in which action is missing of screen or looks to cramp. Colors and flesh tones look weak throughout. Black levels are average at best with the amount of detail present in each frame varies through out the film. There is some minor edge enhancement and grain is kept to a minimum. There is also some minor print damage in the form of specks of dirt and cigarette burns. Like many of Japan Shock’s previous releases Star of David Beauty Hunting would have benefited from an anamorphic enhancement, still the end product is more then watch able.
This release comes with one audio option the films original Japanese language track that is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The dialog sounds thin at times and there are no problems with hiss or distortion. Overall this mono mix is nothing exceptional and it more then gets the job done. English and German subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow.
Extras for this release are minor as they include the films original trailer and a photo gallery that contains ten pictures. While it would have been nice if Japan’s Shock had included some meatier extras for their Star of David Beauty Hunting DVD like an audio commentary with a roman porno expert. It is still amazing that a movie a filled to the brim with controversial subjects has even been given a DVD release. Star of David Beauty Hunting is one of Nikkatsu’s strangest and most perverse entries into their Roman Porno genre, highly recommended.