SEX AND FURY (1973) Review

Directed by: Noribumi Suzuki
Starring: Reiko Ike, Christina Lindberg, Ogin Shitateya

I'm not altogether familiar with Pinky Violence films and I'm sure a lot of other people are in the same boat. But I've found a nice explanation on Listal which seems to sum up the genre fairly well.

"Pinky Violence is a film genre that developed out of the Japanese New Wave in the late sixties and blossomed into it’s own during the early seventies. The term came from the way the films mixed the erotic elements found in Pink Films (a.k.a. Roman Porno) with the action and violence found in Yakuza crime films. They are often grouped in with sexploitation films because of their excessive nudity, over the top gore and low budget production. 
These films have influenced many Western directors such as Russ Meyer, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez"

So in the most basic of terms Pinky Violence films are "sexed up, bad girl action films" punctuated with lots of nudity, erotic scenes and strong female leads. I stumbled upon Grindhouse Database's "Pinky Violence: A Beginner's Guide" and as suggested I checked out SEX AND FURY for an introduction to the genre. By this point it's still the only Pinky Violence flick I've seen, but if it's representative of the genre then I am most definitely a fan.

The general outline of SEX AND FURY is simple. It's a revenge flick. A young girl witnesses the murder of her detective father by three men who escape with some important evidence. With the last of his strength the dying detective provides a clue to the identity of his killers by arranging three gambling cards with the images of a deer, a boar and a butterfly upon them. The young girl grows up and takes on the name of Inoshika Ocho (played by the lovely Reiko Ike). What the English subtitles failed to mention however is that this name is taken from the Japanese words for wild boar (Inoshishi), deer (Shika) and butterfly (Chou) which I thought was a little too important not to mention.
As simple as the revenge story is, there is enough subplot going to make sure that the movie is never boring. Ocho encounters the idealistic young man Kurokawa who is intent on seeking his own revenge upon the corrupt politicians responsible for his father's downfall. Another player entering the story is the spy Christina (Swedish import and cult favorite Christina Lindberg) who has to choose between her important work and her love for the young rebel Kurokawa. Kurokawa's past also intersects upon Ochu's as he knows of her father's murder and can help her find the men responsible.

For a movie I had never heard of before I honestly wasn't expecting too much. I decided that if I saw a good amount of boobage then I would at least be satisfied if not impressed. What I didn't count on however was just how much I would love this movie. From the opening title sequence right through until the end SEX AND FURY is a gorgeous looking film with a great soundtrack, plenty of nudity and some nice action sequences. Reiko Ike is nice and easy on the eyes and seeing her fully nude and wielding a katana against a throng of bad guys in a snowstorm is truly a sight to behold. Lindberg unsurprisingly gets naked more than once also and gives us the film's only lesbian scene.

As for the violence there is plenty of it although it's not overly gory. Having said that though there is plenty of blood spraying all over the place particularly in the final sequence which was obviously a big influence on Tarantino and KILL BILL. Although SEX AND FURY sits easily inside the genre it is so well made that it would be unfair to view it simply as a Pinky Violence flick. The cinematography is great, the fight choreography is well done, the acting for the most part is good, the sets are nice and elaborate and the entire film is a visual treat. The only qualms I had were minor. There probably could have been a little more violence particularly near the middle of the movie, and also Christina Lindberg's acting isn't exactly what you'd call great. Getting to see her naked is always a plus though.

Apart from those very minor problems SEX AND FURY is definitely a film I would recommend not only to fans of sexploitation, grindhouse and pinky violence but to movie lovers in general.

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