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July 24, 2015

Movie Review: Prison Girl (2008)

While I am “assured” that the arrival of one of Japan’s pink films in my care package this time around was “accidental” and that I didn’t have to watch it, I figured, what the hell. I can man up and watch some soft-core porn. It’s for science! Or, work. Orsomething.

Prison Girl stars Asami as Ayaka, a bored housewife who’s been having some very strange dreams lately. She keeps having nightmares about being in prison where she is man-handled and abused at the hands of the Warden and the guards. She thinks that settling into the role of housewife must be at the core of these dreams, though she’s had them since she was a teenager. 

On the advice of her husband, she starts regular visits to a psychiatrist. He seems to think that psychological disorders can be caused by not enough sex. Maybe that’s her issue. So she and her husband should talk about having kids. After all, kids make everything better!

In addition to the prison, Ayaka also dreams about being showered in blood and laughing maniacally. The nightmares become more frequent and it’s glaringly obvious that she enjoys them. When she’s not dreaming about being groped, she’s fondling herself in the real world. The shrink then has a new theory - she’s feeling guilty about something and that’s why she keeps dreaming of prison. Like guilty over keeping a secret. Like secretly being a prostitute.

Wait, what? Where’d that come from?

Eventually, Ayaka’s dream world and waking world begin to merge. Is she the repressed housewife dreaming of prison life or is she a criminal, charged with murdering her husband, who dreams of having the regular life of a wife? You can contemplate that while staring at Asami’s perfectly perky breasts. 

I’d heard about these pink films but knew nothing about them. Doing a little research I discovered this: they’re Japan’s answer to soft core porn. Pretty simple, actually. Hey, I’ve watched the American version of soft core. I’ve had Cinemax. It’s kinda fun, titillating, filled with mostly young, mostly pretty people with hard bodies that the majority of us will never have. So why wouldn’t every other country have the same thing?

The only thing with Prison Girl, though, is it came off (see what I did there) as very dark and very violent. While researching the genre I found a review for this film and it was described as sexual, but not sexy. I wholeheartedly agree. While I’m sure there are some rape fetishists out there that will get off on this film (believe me, I’m not judging), I think for the average Joe this goes beyond play time and safe words.

While pink films had their hay day in the 60s, they’re still being produced today. Prison Girl definitely had the look and feel of a film from the 80s, a throwback style that added to the sexploitation. Though the attempt at a plot is appreciated (the mind bending reality of a wife/criminal was actually kinda cool), there is no pretense that this movie is anything other than soft porn. And that’s okay! 

Apparently Asami is a cult icon in this genre and I don’t doubt it. Even I can appreciate a nice pair of tits. And she sure does have a pretty mouth.

I can’t judge the acting too much because sometimes I miss stuff while reading subtitles. But like any porn flick, the acting isn’t the reason you watch anyway, amirite? I have to admit that Asami was rather engaging, though, and not just for the sex scenes. I liked her as the prisoner - she was feisty and tough, the complete opposite of her wife role. The characters were tropes, obviously, and the obligatory lesbian cell mate scene was trite. Maybe this is just because I’m a woman but most of the violation/groping scenes just made me think of my yearly visit to the OBGYN. So not sexy.

What really grossed me out were the sound effects. They were very...squishy. That’s the only way I can describe them. You know when little kids make fart noises? Yeah, that.

My first foray into pink films was really not that bad. The film was only 70 minutes so it went fast. I never had the chance to get bored. It sure wasn’t as much of a train-wreck-on-its-way-to-hell ride like that mess of a Bill Zebub film. I still get pains in my gut just thinking about that disaster. So for those enthusiasts of the genre, and fans of Asami, you might enjoy this. Even if you don’t like your porn on the dark side, this might be worthy of adding to the collection anyway.

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