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March 30, 2014

Movie Review: Nurse Girl Dorm: Sticky Fingers (DVD,1985, Nikkatsu)

Review By: Rob Sibley

Ah, Nikkatsu.... you can never really go wrong with anything from this company can you? A Japanese company that specialized in producing erotic films shot on 35MM. Every-time I review a Nikkatsu film I'm never sure on what I'm going to get. It's like the prize at the bottom of a cracker jack box.

"Nurse Girl Dorm: Sticky Fingers" despite the lurid title is maybe the most tame film from Nikkatsu. Now that's not a bad thing, in fact now and then Nikkatsu is a bit much for me. But this film is a straight up sex-comedy. You could easily replace the Asian cast with an American cast and you'd feel like your watching Porky's. My guess is American sex comedy's were big in Japan in the 80's and Nikkatsu wanted part of that. So we get Nurse Girl Dorm.

Now I'm only filing this film under the "blue cheese" category because the label putting the film out. That label is Synapse's dirty little cousin, Impulse Pictures. The film... if submitted to the MPAA would get an R. This isn't one of Nikkatsu's BDSM romps or prison camp films. This film is a straight up screw ball comedy with a sex scene about every 10 minutes. It's not really even a feature length film as it only runs Sixty Three minutes. But it's the perfect running time.

This is a film you watch for the laughs, not for the sex. The sex scenes are all pretty tame and most of the time played for laughs. Within the first two minutes, we have a gal pleasuring herself with a vacuum cleaner before she is interrupted. That set's the tone right away. Curious about the plot are you? No I figured you were not. But long shit short, a lot of horny nurses work at St. Elizabeth's Hospital. They sneak their boyfriends in at night to fool around. You have your typical bad girl with a past, you have her crazy ex-boyfriend who walks around the film looking like a hilarious version of "Dark Man". You have fake cops, a strict "dorm adviser". That's just the tip of the ice berg. This film is so much fun it's a shame it's only an hour long.

At times if it wasn't for the sex scenes, this film feels more akin to the later works of Katsuhito Ishii. Who's "Party 7" must have been slightly inspired by this film. Ishii probably was a fan because his films like Shark Skin Man, Peach Hip Girl and Party 7 would make a perfect triple bill with "Nurse Girl" thrown into the mix.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least that the director was heavily influenced by all those fantastic Roger Corman produced "naughty nurse" films. Also the best way I can describe this film is take the entire "Cheerleader trilogy". You know those classics, Cheerleaders, Revenge of the Cheerleaders and The Swinging Cheerleaders. Take those three films, change the cheerleaders to Japanese nurses and bingo you have this film.

Impulse Picture brings "Nurse Girl Dorm" to DVD for the first time. Presented in it's 1.85:1 35MM glory. The print is actually very lavish to say the least. That's what's timeless about 35MM, no matter when a flick was shot on 35Mil and the lighting was decent enough you can usually find a pretty good master print. Unlike most soft-core of the 80's, the film doesn't have that typical "soft" look. It nearly looks like a Blu-ray at certain times.

We great a great 2.0 mono track, in Japanese with burned in English subs. Finally mono is making a come back. I'm sick and tired of DTS 10HD dolby digital Lucas surround-sound. Yes I made half of that up, but when a lot of older films audio is remastered (Looking at you Return of the living dead) you lose the charm. The audio is crisp, clean and clear. The subtitles are perfectly translated.

For extras we start off with reversible cover art, which oddly enough is identical art. No bother though, a commentary track or some interviews would be appreciated. But the excellent linear notes from Jasper Sharp is a treat in itself. Yes, some companies still release linear notes into the keep case. Aren't we already tired with most films coming with Ultra Violet inserts that you never use? So it's great to see Impulse (Aka Synapse) keeping it real and old school.

Well this film is a blast from start to finish. At 63 minutes long it never overstays it's welcome. It's a rather charming, innocent and hilarious Japanese sex comedy romp! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! It may be short but the re-watch value is high.

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