Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tainted Love: The Star of David- Hunting for Beautiful Girls

In all honesty, I struggled in my choice of what movie to review today.  I could have done the obvious thing and picked some slasher film about a crazed ex-lover or the movie Valentine.  I even considered doing a cheat and reviewing The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine, just because of the name.  I'll stay away from Nun-sploitation for just a little while longer though, because I found something far more foreign and disturbing.  I discovered Star of David months ago and it has set in my Queue staring at me like an impatient child.  Every time I scanned my list, I would see it and go 'oh yeah...that movie.'  Honestly, I put there solely based on the title and the fact that said title appeared to have nothing to do with anything.  Upon finally watching the movie, it was freakier than I could have ever imagined.  Oh and the title definitely has almost nothing to do with anything.  This is...
The film begins with a robber threatening a tied up couple for their money.  When the woman tries to call the police, he decides to have his way with her.  The husband is forced to watch all of this, even when the woman stops struggling so much.  Incidentally, it here that you learn that the movie is not going to be fully-explicit, due to Japanese social standards.  It's still really dirty- you just don't see all of the moving parts.  Anyhow, the man turns crazy after this, indulging in bouts of abusing her, since he figured that she liked what she got from the robber.  This is still five minutes in, mind you.  We skip ahead to see a young man that was born from this union as an adult.  He is now rich, since his dad left all of his money to him upon his death at sea- more on that part later.  He has a lovely, female friend that he has known since childhood, but memories of his past haunt him.  What kind of memories, you ask?  Well, it could either be watching his dad screw another woman while his mother was tied up (he was about 8 when he saw this, mind you) or finding his mother after she committed ritual suicide.  Really, you can just take your pick.  As a rich, crazy adult, his first act is to find the woman his dad had the affair with and drug her.  This can't end well, can it?
Basically, the guy takes her to his basement/dungeon (who doesn't have one of those?) and has his way with her.  As a creepy bonus, this was his 'first time.'  If you ever dare watch this movie, play this little game- Which Part of This is Worst?- to help pass the time.  He holds a fancy dinner party, but excuses himself to kill her and then have her one last time.  The order of these two things is very important, mind you!  He dumps the body, but nobody suspects him due to his alibi.  Some time later, he sees a young woman give her prize-winning speech on TV about him man is inherently good.  This offends our insane lead, who promptly- you guessed it- kidnaps her and molests her.  Unlike the last woman, his aim is to beat and humiliate her.  Oddly enough, he keeps her around until she breaks and falls for him.  After this, of course, he leaves her in the middle of nowhere to be found, but alive this time.  The title of the film comes into play when we see the man attending a lecture on the Nazis and hearing about how they branded the Jews.  He promptly goes home and 'manipulates himself' to pictures of the Holocaust.  No, I'm not freaking kidding you!  In an odd sub-plot, we find that the original robber/his dad is wandering around Tokyo still.  He goes to track down the young man, figuring him to be his son.  Oh and we learn that he killed his dad on the boat- not that it's really a surprise.
The next subject of his aggression is a Japanese pop star, who he promptly kidnaps- taking her lady assistant along for the trip.  This part gets really odd as he abuses both of them, but does so less to the assistant and somehow turns her to his side.  This lasts a few scenes before the seemingly-broken pop star clonks him on the head with a stool and the other woman flees with her.  Both are caught, however, and the latter is by his dad.  They do unspeakable things to both of them- even for this movie- and kill the assistant.  The star, however, is let loose to do a strip tease on a building's rooftop before our hero shoots her with a sniper rifle JFK-style.  Once that is done, he finally turns his attention to his long-time friend.  In a matter of moments, he ties her up and abuses her too, all as his father watches from a cage.  He lets dad loose to molest her for a while until he randomly decides to kill dad.  The woman- in spite of everything- confesses her love for our hero and they 'make whoopee.'  In the morning, he finds her gone and with a letter behind.  Apparently, she loves him, but can't stay with him due to a long-time affair with her own father!  He promptly discovers her dead body in his den and cries.  We get some weird dream sequence crap to end all of this as our hero/villain is now alone.  I'm supposed to be sad now?
Oh dear God, this movie is freaking nuts!  With all the talk in recent years of movies like Hostel being 'torture porn,' you really have to look back at films like this.  This movie was made in 1979 by Norifumi Suzuki, the man behind such freaky films as School of the Holy Beast (Japanese Nun-sploitation) and Tokugawa Sex Ban: Lustful Lord.  In hindsight, I should not have been surprised by the content.  The pacing is very odd here too, as some torture scenes last for five minutes on & the final scene with our hero and his lady runs at least five minutes as well.  If you dare see this movie, I suggest a liberal use of Fast-Forward!  This movie is rife with bizarre fetish material as well, including bondage, humiliation, etc.  It says a lot about a movie when I can't even show the poster to it because even that has nudity on it!  The Japanese thing about not showing explicit sex is still weird to me, as they have a whole genre related to movies like this- Pinku Cinema.  Anyone who has read my review of The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai can tell you how weird these movies can get.  Most of the serious stuff is covered by creative blocking and camera angles, although they gave up in the end and just blurred one shot.  If you are easily offended, don't see this movie.  It is designed to do just that.  In fact, if you are sane, don't see this movie.  It is gross, trippy and just insane.  Don't let my sacrifice be in vain!
Next up, I tackle a trio of horror films in a series even less related than the Xtro trilogy.  First in line, the original film and a classic rip-off of The Exorcist.  Stay tuned...

Note: The Cinema Snob did do The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine.  Check it out here.

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