Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 30th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1977
Director: Masaru Konuma
Writer: Kiyoharu Matsuoka
Cast: Asami Ogawa, Michio Hino, Tatsuya Hamaguchi, Hidetoshi Kageyama,Tamaki Komiyama, Maya Kudou, Morihei Murakuni, Ao Masako Tatehara, Katsurou Yamada, Keisuke Yukioka
DVD released: November 6th, 2007
Approximate running time: 74 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese
DVD Release: Kimstim
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: Michiyo is a widowed doll maker who lives with her sexually naïve daughter Takako. They live a quiet and secluded existence which is disrupted when one day Michiyo is drugged by a man who came to purchase come of the dolls she makes. Shortly thereafter her daughter Takako is injured when a car hits her and she starts a bizarre relationship with Hideo the young man who hit her. To complicate things further Hideo happens to be the son of a kabuki actor who Michiyo had an affair with years ago. The reemergence of old memories ignite forgotten desires within Michiyo who vies with her daughter for the Hideo’s affection.
Tattooed Flower Vase is one of director Masaru Konuma’s most unique and mature films of his career. Despite the films sexual themes the overall tone of the piece has a very traditional feel to it with its use of eclectic Asian musical motifs and Kabuki theatre as a sub plot. The story is a extremely dark as both mother and daughter become more perverse with each new tragedy that befalls them. For me one of the films strongest assets is how the story connects the two women with a young man named Hideo whose father was once Michiyo’s lover.
Visually Tattooed Flower Vase is another vivid feast for the eyes from legendary Pinku Eigu filmmaker Masaru Konuma who creates a erotic tale that slowly seduces you with its lucid charms. The most memorable moment in the film is without a doubt when Michiyo who has an affair with a tattoo artist who covers her body with tattoos. Masaru Mori the cinematographer on Tattooed Flower Vase also worked as these other notable Pinku Eigu films Wife to Be Sacrificed, A Woman Called Sada Abe, Watcher in the Attic and Angel Guts: Nami.
The films traditional score of exotic Japanese instruments was composed by Yasuo Higuchi who unfortunately only worked on a handful of films. Performance wise none of the male leads really stand out while the two main female leads Takako Kitagawa as Takako and Naomi Tani as Michiyo. Both women fully immerse themselves into their respective roles. Naomi Tani is one of the most popular actresses to ever work in Pinku Eigu. She had previously worked with director Masaru Konuma three times, Flower & Snake ’74, Wife to Be Sacrificed and Nureta tsubo. Ultimately Tattooed Flower Vase is a classic example how good the Pinku Eigu genre could be at mixing sex/story into one cohesive fever dream.
Tattooed Flower Vase is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. This transfer is on par with Kimstim’s other “Pinku Egia” releases like Cloistered Nun: Runa’s Confession and Erotic Diary of an Office Lady. Overall the transfer once again far exceeds my expectations with my only minor complaint being that it is interlaced which may lead to ghosting/blurring on some home theater set ups.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono Japanese language track. The audio is more than adequate with no noticeable audio defects and removable English subtitles have been included.
Extras are minimal and consist of a trailer for the film and a bio for director Masaru Konuma. Tattooed Flower Vase makes its North America debut on DVD via KimStim superb release.