Mako and her girl friends enter a dispute with rival street gangsters The Eagles, a band of racist macho pigs led by the evil Baron, who hate half-breeds (descendents of afro-American and ... See full summary »
Mako and her girl friends enter a dispute with rival street gangsters The Eagles, a band of racist macho pigs led by the evil Baron, who hate half-breeds (descendents of afro-American and Japanese couples). When one of the girls start dating a half-breed, they start a terror campaign to take all of them out of town. Mako and her gang fight back, helping their new friend Kazuma find his long gone sister. Written by
Filmed back-to-back with _Nara-neko rokku: Wairudo janbo (1970)_. Meiko Kaji and the Alleycats were shuttled back and forth between the two sound studios, although the male leads all stayed put. See more »
Even though Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter was only released third in the Nora-neko rokku series, it was actually filmed back to back with the second entry Wild Jumbo and marks Yasuharu Hasebe's return as director in the franchise after Toshiya Fujita who would also make the fifth and final movie besides the second one. After the light, even comedic Wild Jumbo, Sex Hunter is a step toward the darker mood of the original film and carries a strong anti-racism message despite the lurid title that makes the film seem sleazier than it really is.
As with the previous movies, Sex Hunter deals with youth gangs in a big city in Japan. This time the story focuses on two gender-based gangs: the girl gang led by Mako (Meiko Kaji) and the guys' gang called the Eagles led by Baron (Tatsuya Fuji). The two gangs can somehow get along with each other, but tensions are created by the relationship of Mako and Baron and especially the latter's intense hatred for people of mixed race. The girls cannot accept the Eagles' assault campaign against their half-blooded friends, such as Kazuma (Rikiya Yasuoka) who has come to the city to look for his long-lost sister, and eventually things escalate with dramatic consequences.
As already mentioned, the mood is significantly darker than in Wild Jumbo. There is more nudity, blood, drug use and sexualized violence (even an outright "rape party"), even though in general the title "Sex Hunter" can be called exaggerated. Nevertheless, the film is still a recognizable Stray Cat Rock movie as all the trademark elements are there: extremely groovy psychedelic rock and jazz music, lots of aggressive driving in roofless Jeeps and some camera trickery to heighten the intensity of certain scenes. The use special camera techniques has been toned down from Wild Jumbo though; this time the only specialties are some flashy editing and a diminished screen size that forces the mise en scène to seem very cramped and crowded but also starts to get annoying after a while. But as said, gimmicks are not used as extensively as before and most of the movie is conventionally good-looking and well shot.
The story about the Eagles' racism adds a welcome societal touch to the plot, as does the tragic ending at an abandoned watchtower (why he fires those last shots is open to interpretation). The girls' friendship and the roots of Baron's racism in his childhood also belong among the more interesting plot lines and could have actually deserved more screen time at the expense of some of the action. On the other hand, stylized visuals are what these movies are known for, philosophical and plot-hole-free stories not as much. In any case, Meiko Kaji and Tatsuya Fuji, the staples of the franchise, are as fun to watch as always; in addition I especially liked the appearance of the girl pop group Golden Half in the psychedelic club scenes (keeping up with the movie's theme of racial acceptance, the group was known for its members being of mixed heritage themselves).
I guess it largely depends on personal tastes if one prefers the serious Sex Hunter and Delinquent Girl Boss to the more lighthearted Wild Jumbo. As for myself, I like all of them but might ultimately give an edge to Toshiya Fujita's entertaining caper story. For anyone interested in Japanese tough girl gang cinema, all five films are recommended viewing though. Sex Hunter appears to be the most well known of the five based on the number of IMDb votes and reviews (perhaps the title attracts fans of Hasebe's rape-themed pink films?) but I maintain that the other four Nora-neko movies are cool too if you like this one. Good entertainment with a serious undercurrent.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?