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Female Demon Ohyaku
     

Female Demon Ohyaku

Director: Yoshihiro Ishikawa

Cast: Junko Miyazono, Tomisaburo Wakayama, Kunio Murai

 
Synapse tackles another Japanese genre classic in high style with this impressive disc of Female Demon Ohyaku. The transfer offers a gorgeous letterboxed, anamorphic image that captures the film's rich black and white cinematography with an often stunning level of clarity and detail. The film's original Japanese language mono soundtrack is used here and it

Overview

Synapse tackles another Japanese genre classic in high style with this impressive disc of Female Demon Ohyaku. The transfer offers a gorgeous letterboxed, anamorphic image that captures the film's rich black and white cinematography with an often stunning level of clarity and detail. The film's original Japanese language mono soundtrack is used here and it sounds fine. Newly translated English subtitles are also offered to accompany the film. In terms of extras, there is a collection of trailers for the three "Poisonous Seductress" series, a commentary track by Japanese film scholar Chris D. and an insert booklet with detailed liner notes on the history of Japanese female swordplay films (also by Chris D.). The commentary track is the most substantial of these, with Chris D. offering a steady stream of info about the genre, the cast and the filmmakers as well as some interesting criticisms of the film's storyline. The packaging adds one last nice touch -- the cover art is reversible and offers an alternative design that uses the film's original poster art on its flip side. All in all, this is an excellent disc and well worth the time for fans of vintage Japanese genre fare.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This early entry into the Japanese "pinky violence" genre isn't as explicit or flamboyant as the genre's later films would be but it remains an impressive piece of work. Female Demon Ohyaku's script cleverly takes the female action films that had become popular in Japan during the mid-1960's and ups the ante by upping the sex, violence and overall twistedness of the storyline. That said, the film has to suggest more than it shows due to the time in which it was made so it relies on performances and direction to really sell the material. Thankfully, both director and actors are up to the task. Director Yoshihiro Ishikawa wraps the tale in lustrous black-and-white visuals (Nagaki Yamagishi's cinematography is as sharp as a diamond) and makes the film's manipulative storyline and intense content work by playing on the viewer's emotions. He achieves the latter thanks to excellent performances from a gifted cast. Junko Miyazono is the heart of the story and she makes a stunning heroine: her expressive face conveys a wealth of emotion in a single glance and her single-minded intensity makes her quest for vengeance as believable as it is sympathetic. There are also charismatic turns by Tomisaburo Wakayama as a philosophical crime boss, Koji Nambara as the sleazy government villain and Yuriko Mishima as a lusty tattoo artist. It's also worth noting that once Ishikawa and his cast get down to the revenge part of the story in the final third, his careful choreography of the events and the actors' committed performances make it a truly intense experience. All in all, Female Demon Ohyaku is a skillfully-crafted action/exploitation tale and would make a good introduction to the "pinky violence" genre for novices.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/13/2007
UPC:
0654930306598
Original Release:
1968
Rating:
NR
Source:
Synapse Films
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:30:00
Sales rank:
50,889

Special Features

New, fully restored anamorphic widescreen transfer mastered in high-definition from Toei's original vault elements; Japanese language with newly-translated, removable English subtitles; Audio commentary by Japanese film expert Chris D.; Original trailers for all three Poisonous Seductress films; Printed essay on female swordplay cinema by Chris D. ; reversible cover with original Japanese poster artwork

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Female Demon Ohyaku
1. The Life of Ohyaku [6:26]
2. Cruel Master Sengoku [1:44]
3. Saved by Shinsuke [3:22]
4. "I'll No Longer Be a Man's Toy." [9:19]
5. A Warning From the Boss [6:33]
6. Ambush and Betrayal [5:49]
7. Torture Chamber [4:53]
8. Sado Island Criminals [6:35]
9. The Lusts of Omon [4:09]
10. Demon-Tattoo [4:43]
11. Peeping and Plotting [8:45]
12. A Death-Gamble [3:57]
13. "I Finally Got One of Them." [6:10]
14. Graveside Promise [1:59]
15. Planning a Heist [3:17]
16. Night Robbery [2:50]
17. "So We Meet Again." [1:21]
18. Vengeance in Blood [7:35]

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