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Full of anti-heroes, psychopaths, and misogynistic views, (High School Co-Ed) will invariably offend someone.
High School Co-Ed
Review By: Anime Boy
Company: ArtsMagic DVD
Running Time: 80 minutes
Rating: NC-17 (Violence, nudity, rape, adult situations)
THE FOLLOWING REVIEW IS ONE OF AN ADULT NATURE. PARENTAL DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Muraki leads two lives. During the day, he is a protective older brother to his sister Megu, and hard worker at the local factory. When he is not on the job, he spends his days terrorizing and raping women with his biker punk friends Sada and Kajima.
Very protective of his sister, Megu has no idea what her brother does on his off time. While taking Megu to dinner, he spots Kajima trying to rape a young woman named Nami. Desperate to keep their dirty little secret, he fights with Kajima, and helps Nami to escape.
To atone for his fighting with Kajima, and so that he won't tell Megu the truth, Muraki agrees to make amends by raping Nami in front of his friends. Yet something happens inside him, and he again prevents Kajima from raping the young woman, marking the end of their friendship.
Now, Muraki's life is starting to unravel, and his sister is about to get caught up in the middle.
STORY: While dated by today's standards, this film is not for the faint of heart. Based off the violent manga by Takahashi Iishi, Toshiharu Ikeda's script is a nihilistic look at the dregs of humanity. Full of anti-heroes, psychopaths, and misogynistic views, Ikeda's script will invariably offend someone.
Yet in between all the rape and the...well rape, there is a story to be told. Not much of one, but there is one none the less.
ACTING: Pretty typical B-movie acting. Machiko Ohtani either plays Kawashima over the top, or completely dead pan, with little in-between. Unlike the actors for Sada and Kajima who play it over the top all the time.
Whether by design or accident, the women in the film don't really get a chance to act. Their only purpose is to be the "cause" of the evil that men do, so I guess they figured that all they need to do is look victimized.
SEX SCENES: Two scenes of rape, one scene of attempted rape, and one rather limber sex scene is your sex quotient for this movie.
As the first in the classic "Angel Guts" series, I was very curious to see what all the fervor was about. I had heard about the infamous Nikkatsu's "Roman Porno" films, and as a fan of Asian cinema (especially exploitation Asian Cinema), a viewing was required.
In case you don't know, "Roman Porno" was a genre of adult films in Japan that started in the late 70's. Usually 70 minutes in length, these "pink" films provided erotic content, just shy of being truly hard core. Thanks to the rise of the adult home video market in the early 90's, "Roman Porno" quickly faded into the distance. Yet, its influence can still be felt, in films like "Weather Woman" and "Visitor Q".
While "High School Coed" is no where near as disturbing as the aforementioned "Visitor Q", it certainly isn't going to be a film for all to enjoy. While the rape scenes may prevent many from watching, the low production values, the over the top (re: bad) acting, and lame plot devices will more likely turn people off.
Wait a minute, a pink film with a plot? Well, hold your horses (enough snickering). While it is a tale of how the actions of one can affect those around you, it really doesn't have enough depth to ram the point home, as it were (again with the snickering). The story acts more as a framework to set up the next rape/sex scene, or find a way to have a couple of the characters meet nihilistic ends, if they have an ending at all. While unresolved endings generally mean "sequel", for the Angel Guts series, it just means that the movie is over.
Many times, the movie attempts to have a "stylish" vibe with bizarre video effects, interesting angles, and "Mad Max" level violence. Perhaps it's the low budget, or the age of the film, or the cheep effects, but it just doesn't work. The best example of this are the "dream" sequences. Not only are they confusing, but the special effect they used makes it look like you are trying to watch a porno on scrambled cable.
Naturally, every woman winds up topless at some point. Hey, what kind of "adult" film would it be with out some titty shots. However if you are wanting to see some "pink", you won't see it here. Anything south of the equator is either blurred or has something in the way (pole, motorcycle, wall, ugly guys ass).
Director Chusei Sone has a unique talent at turning a distasteful scene into something that you can almost appreciate. The women are naturally beautiful (hey, rapists have discerning tastes after all) with almost an ethereal quality. Like most females that appear in Hentai, the women actually begin to enjoy, or at least accept, what is being done to them. The only scene that was too creepy (but not unexpected in context of the film) was the attempted rape of a Junior High School girl.
"Angel Guts: High School Coed" is certainly not for your average Asian Cinema fan, but it really won't appeal to you hard core hentai/porno fans either. Falling somewhere in-between and exploitation film and a drama about young thugs in Japan, the best word to describe "High School Coed" is "average".
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