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  • Sex Rider: Injured Lust (セックス・ライダー 傷だらけの欲情) (Japan, 1973) [TV] – 3.5/5
    After being near impossible to see for decades, director Koretsugu Kurahara's follow-up to his 1971 action film Sex Rider: Wet Highway has finally been unearthed. The sequel follows young outlaw couple Masafumi Shiga and Mimi Sugihara (neither one of whom seem to have any other acting credits) in an incestuous relationship trying to rebel against the word while being chased by a trigger happy detective. Kurahara, one of the young Nikkatsu action directors who refused to let go of the past even in the Roman Porno era, and veteran screenwriter Hideichi Nagahara (A Colt is My Passport, Stray Cat Rock, Hairpin Circus) construct the film as a Nikkatsu Outlaw actioner with a handful of added (compulsory) sex scenes. Grainy cityscapes and slow-motion montages dominate the first half while the second borrows more from road movies. The soundtrack is almost entirely recycled from other films and sources, but it's a hell of a mix tape. Speaking of the soundtrack, Morio Agata's Kanto hit Red Elegy plays throughout the film and is a likely inspiration for the storyline. Like the original movie, the film is a bit superficial in parts and clumsy in others, yet there's an overwhelmingly positive sense of rebellion unfolding on screen with Kurahara stubbornly crafting yet another decidedly cool action picture within the studio mandated Roman Porno frame. It may be slightly different flavour from the first film, with more urban crime film vibe, but fans of the original ought to enjoy it.



















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    • Love Hunter: Lust (恋の狩人 欲望) (Japan, 1973) [TV] – 4/5
      Director Seiichiro Yamaguchi made film and court history when he, Nikkatsu, and even the censorship board were trialled for the distribution of obscene material in the so called Roman Porno case targeting the director’s film Love Hunter (1972). It is generally understood the case was less about the film in question and more about authorities reacting to the ever quickening eroticization of cinema after major studio Nikkatsu had begun mass producing Roman Porno some two month earlier. Yamaguchi responded by making this angry, political / philosophical sequel that follows a stripper (Mari Tanaka) with ties to radical youth movement arrested for obscenity. Much of the film unfolds in interview sequences critiquing the legal system, the hypocrisy of the authorities, and prejudice against anyone, particularly women, who challenge established conservative values. But the film, perhaps surprisingly, doesn't dwell too long on the injustice the director’s alter-ego faces, as it also critically examines the naivety of the youth and the compromising nature of the anti-establishment. Less fascinating is the love affair between the protagonist and a disillusioned reporter who used to be at the forefront of the student movement in his youth but has since stopped believing one person could make a difference. There are some dull sex scenes thrown in to fulfil genre requirements, but the film's political contents, especially when mirrored against the court case that was in progress at the same time the film was made, are so interesting it's hard to take your eyes off the screen. Acting performances are solid as well, by both skin actress gone anti-establishment icon Tanaka and Teruo Matsuyama, who has the kind of world weariness perfect for the cynical reporter role. And last but not least, there’s superb use of music throughout the film.

















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