Friday, December 19, 2003


This blog is supposed to be about, among other things, movies. I do intend to do some writing about movies here. As a stopgap, here's something I wrote a while ago for the Asian Cinema Discussion message board (slightly modified):

ALLEYCAT ROCK: SEX HUNTER is a Japanese film directed by Yasuharu Hasebe. While it's not a classic on the level of FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION: JAILHOUSE 41 (which it shares its lead actress, Meiko Kaji, with), it's well worth seeing.

The film's main character is Mako, the leader of a girl gang called the Alleycats whose criminality doesn't seem to extend beyond petty robbery and smoking pot. Mako has a thing going with the Baron, the leader of a far more vicious male gang called the Eagles. He's a sadistic psychopath with a pathological hatred of "halfbreeds" (Japanese whose fathers are American servicemen); and when a member of Mako's gang dumps a member of the Baron's gang for a "halfbreed," the Eagles set out to "protect" Japanese womanhood from "halfbreeds" by beating up "halfbreed" men who sleep with "purebreed" women. When Mako falls in love with a "halfbreed" who has come to town to search for his sister, the stage is set for an escalating confrontation between Mako and the Baron.

For most of the movie, it seems like a straightforward good gang vs. bad gang movie, but it winds up being considerably darker. The bloody triumph of good over evil that we're led to expect never arrives, and all the major characters are twisted to some extent, even Mako, who's the sanest (in one of the first scenes, she gets in a pointless knife fight with one of the girls in her gang, and tries to kill her). There are a couple of plot holes, but it's well directed and has very good performances by the actors playing Mako and the Baron.

Incidentally, I have no idea where they got the subtitle: there is no "sex hunter" (unless it's the Baron, who's hunting people who have had sex).

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