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Day-Dream (1964)
"Hakujitsumu" (original title)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 113 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 5 critic

While under sedation in a dentist's office, a young art student has sex fantasies about naked women, vampires and a beautiful patient he saw in the office.

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Title: Day-Dream (1964)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Kanako Michi ...
Cheiko
Akira Ishihama ...
Kurahashi
Chojuro Hanakawa ...
Yasuko Matsui ...
The Nurse
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Storyline

While under sedation in a dentist's office, a young art student has sex fantasies about naked women, vampires and a beautiful patient he saw in the office.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What some women like men to do... to them See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

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Release Date:

4 December 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Day-Dream  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Added footage in U.S. version consists of dream sequences in color. See more »

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Version of Empty Dream (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tim Watley, Adults-Only Dentist, Nipponese style
3 December 2004 | by (Montreal) – See all my reviews

It seems that the law of diminishing returns does not apply to Something Weird Video's catalog. The deeper you dig into their trove of treasures, the weirder the results. The ultra-obscure 'Day Dream' is definitely one of the weirdest. Aficionados of 60s exploitation are familiar with the cheap-jack distributor's habit of importing controversial foreign art films in order to ballyhoo their erotic content. In many cases, the sex content wasn't strong enough for the grind-houses, so they shot Stateside inserts of nudity and other perversions to tweak the product. Often, little attempt was made to have the new scenes match properly, and almost always, the delicate balance of the original was destroyed. A good case in point is the almost biblical Brazilian morality tale 'The Female', onto which some absurd cutaways of foot fetishists were imposed. Probably the only exploitation filmmaker with enough savvy to actually improve an import with sexed-up footage was the incomparable Radley Metzger (see 'The Twilight Girls').

This Far-East import is a double-whammy. Not only are the inserts a real prize, but the original movie is totally bizarre in its own right. It's from the Japanese surreal psychological battle-of-the-sexes genre, which includes 'Blind Beast', 'Woman of the Dunes' and 'Go Go Second Time Virgin', with plenty of sado-masochistic imagery in the style of Edogawa Rampo. The premise is priceless – a young man arrives at the dentist, where a beautiful cabaret singer is also being treated. The dentist has some real quirks – he seems to enjoy taking advantage of his patients' discomfort (shown in great drooling close-up), proffering brandy when they feel woozy (creating a fine cocktail when mixed with the ether). Once the girl is suitably anesthetized, he begins to strip her and applies a tender vampiric bite while the hygienist looks on approvingly. Or is it a hallucination? The picture then follows the laughing-gas-induced daydreams of the young man, who is continually attempting to win the girl with his sweetness and doting admiration. However, she is irrationally compelled to heed the beastly dentist, who treats her sadistically. The latter even ties her up and electrocutes her ('Let's play electrician') for kicks – shades of the Findlays! There's a lengthy scene in a Ginza department store, where even the escalators mysteriously conspire to keep her in the brute's clutches. It all ends with one of those 'Blow Up'-style illusion-vs.-reality climaxes. The film is well-shot, imaginative and an artistic success within its context.

Despite plenty of eroticism, topless and rear-view nudity, and bondage, the prurience factor wasn't strong enough for the late 60s Times Square circuit. So the distributor filmed scenes of full-frontal nudity (both male and female) with lots of groping and writhing. These actors wear facial masks and their puppet-like antics comment on the action like a Greek chorus (or whatever the Japanese equivalent is) – the scenes are cut into the original in brief snippets to seem like hallucinations of the characters or the director's insights into their psychological plights. The masks may be in deference to Japanese theatrical tradition, but they also serve to obscure the fact that the Stateside performers probably aren't oriental at all. The wigs are a good match for the hairstyles of the Japanese originals, but the girls would require some serious armpit hair augmentation to match the hirsute lead actress. (In fact, if I'm not mistaken, the underarm hair has been painted onto the American actresses!).

The lengths to which the American crew go to imitate the bizarre antics of the original are quite astounding. The actors wield strings, plastic webbing, cellophane, etc., to simulate the Japanese props. At one point, a languorous pan through the department store is perfectly matched by an insert which tracks past nude couples apparently discovered undulating on the floor in the midst of the deserted building. Of course, none of this works very well since the original is in black & white and the new material is in living fleshy color (the distributors have an excuse for this, since one sequence in the original happens to be in color to intensify the blood being spattered on the girl.) The spare, minimalist score has been supplemented with some annoying space-age beeps and electronic tones to further the surrealistic mood.

My favorite moment occurs when a kitten in the original footage wanders into the department store scene to lick up some spilled milk. Although the inserts have up to now been exclusively of lascivious nudity, the wise guys who shot them decided to insert a beautifully textured shot of an American tabby sucking up some shimmering white milk on a deep-red background. It's a wonderful, unexpected wink at the audience, especially considering how shoestring producers in those days scrimped for film stock.


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