ズームアップ 暴行現場 / Zoom Up: Rape Site
Review of the movie by Takuma. Originally posted at RockShockPop
forums. Re-published here with permission.
Koyu Ohara's legendary violent pink film has been missing in action for decades. A lot has been written about it, with some reviews calling it the most brutal and misogynist film ever made, and others guessing it's a lost film. Of course, none of those critics had ever seen the film as it was buried in Nikkatsu's vaults all this time.
Truth be told, in terms of graphic detail and amount of violence it may not be quite the most repulsive film ever made. In fact, Nikkatsu had already made a couple more violent movies before, such as Rape! 13th Hour (1977). However, that's not saying it isn't a mean little film. Not only are there some classic, disturbing kills, the film also offers pitch black view on humanity.
The storyline kicks off with a serial killer lurking on women in the night. The opening scene sees the killer brutalize a woman, stick a light bulb between her legs, and finish the job with a strong kick. The killer then dumps the body in an elevator shaft full of rotting corpses in an abandoned building.
The film then shifts focus to a housewife (Erina Miyai) who is being hit on by her stepdaughter's home teacher (Takeshi Shimizu). The couple end up seeking private space from the same abandoned building where the killer's corpse stash is. A moment later another couple arrive. The man accidentally strangles his partner to death during sex, and ends up dumping the body in the fore mentioned elevator shaft. The housewife and home teacher, who saw it all from behind the window, are convinced he must be the killer the media is reporting about, but she's hesitant to go to the police because that would reveal her affair to everyone.
Rape Site is well made exploitation smut, with a solid thriller structure, some pretty decent cinematography, and an entirely misfit, laid-back 70s score which in some ways makes the film less shocking and less "horror", but at the same time all the more "wrong" in a good sense. Also, the film sports a view on women that can be summarized with one classy line uttered by the main character:
"Be so kind, rape me again!"
Director Ohara keeps the film moving at pretty decent pace despite plentiful (also consensual) sex; indeed, this is easily one of his better movies, and also one of the better violent pink movies in general. What's most interesting about the film, however, is how all other characters seem to lose their mind because of the fear and paranoia caused by the serial killer, and end up committing almost as many crimes and murders as the actual killer. The ending is also very effective.
Screenwriter Chiho Katsura should be given special attention. He specialized in violent pink films in the late 70s and early 80s, and wrote most of Yasuharu Hasebe's films, as well as the film's sequel, Rape Apartments (1980). He also write films like House (1977) and Futari (1991). Katsura was clearly above your standard genre writer, constantly opting for different approaches which ranged from satirical to psychological and from romantic to plain brutal and bleak. Rape Site may not stand out as his most intelligent film - in fact there seems to be quite a few lapses in logic - but it's another fine addition to his body or work.
Overall, Rape Site is pretty lovely smut, and quite interesting from a historical perspective as well, but obviously not for all viewers. Look forward to Synapse / Impulse's upcoming DVD (and maybe BD?), which will hopefully be announced soon. Violent pink fans should love it.
||ズームアップ 暴行現場l [DVD]
Region: Region 2
Release Date: October 4th, 2016
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 NTSC
Catalog #: BBBN-3069
Buy from: Amazon.co.jp (Japan only), CDJapan
Cast & Crew
Full cast:Erina Miyai (宮井えりな)Yôko Azusa (梓ようこ)吉沢由起浜崎まや