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May 20, 2012

Movie Review: Debauchery (1983)

Directed by Hidehiro Ito

Starring Mizuho Nakagawa, Shinsho Nakamaru and Tatsuyo Nanjo

This early 80's Japanese soft-core porn sat unreleased on dvd for decades. Fans of this genre have waited patiently, and now Impulse Pictures, with its acquisition of the Nikkatsu Collection, has brought it out of mothballs, spruced it up (just a little) and is now re-pimping these retro BDSM soft-core gems from The Far East for our viewing pleasure here in The West. Break out your popcorn and paper towels kids, Debauchery is finally here!

Ami, (Ryoko Watanabe) is a frustrated housewife with a loving and caring husband who wants nothing but the best for her. Unfortunately for him though, a loving husband is not what his wife craves. Bored with the routine sex she is getting at home, Ami plunges herself into the decadence of the Tokyo underground sex scene. She applies for and gets a job as a prostitute working for the elite Madame Machiko Society Club. Here she experiments with discrete (and ultimately not-so-discrete) sex games and discovers she enjoys the thrill of sex and humiliation at the hands of anonymous men. The sexual perversions she allows herself to be subjected to become more and more sick and depraved with each client. Bondage, whips and beads are just the beginning as she is completely consumed by the new secret life she has chosen. As the danger level rises, it becomes apparent that not only is she putting her reputation and marriage on the line, but her very life as well.

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By today's standards, Debauchery is fairly tame as far as porn goes. But for its time it was extremely controversial and surprisingly violent. So violent in fact, that members of the Nikkatsu company were indicted for thrusting borderline obscene material into the public's face. And although ultimately cleared of the charges, this dust-up helped to cement the taboo mystique of this and a few other similar films Nikkatsu became infamous for.

The bondage and violent, simulated sex scenes are actually well choreographed and convincingly realistic for the most part. And the message that seems to be laid out (right or wrong) is that for every violent, sadistic male walking the street, there is a sexually repressed woman out there more then willing to play the game with them.

The film restoration is fairly well done and the star of the show, Ryoko Watanabe does a decent enough job in the lead role. She is by far the best looking of all the actors and actresses involved and actually looks pretty fabulous suspended from the ceiling, naked and bound in leather straps. The only thing I found annoying was the fact that a few of the scenes were blurred out in some type of attempt at censorship. I realize the Japanese are fairly sensitive about certain areas of the body being off limits on film, but it just wasn't necessary as there was nothing even close to actual penetration being shown.

Collectors of Asian bondage films will definitely want this in their collection though, if for no other reason, it does have historical significance within the confines of its genre. Rating this on a Spank-Meter is pretty subjective, if your into bondage and pain, I'd rate it fairly high especially being a non-X-rated film. If you fear your delicate sensibilities may be offended then obviously you don't want to go anywhere near Debauchery. As with everything else in life, its all a matter of taste.

Reviewed by KennyB

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