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Rape has long been a staple ingredient of exploitation cinema, but very few films have dealt with the understandably touchy subject in such a blatantly un-PC and misogynistic manner as Rape! 13th Hour from Yasuharu Hasebe, the director of Assault! Jack the Ripper.
Not only does this film feature repeated violent sex attacks on innocent Japanese cuties by a pair of depraved maniacs, but it actually shows the victims enjoying the experience to such a degree that they willingly return for more abuse, offering cold, hard cash for another round of the same; for that reason, sensitive viewers should approach this film with caution.
OK, now that you've been warned, I can get on with describing this decidedly dodgy slice of deviant filth in detail....
Rape! 13th Hour opens at a gas station where the attendant on duty (Yudai Ishiyama) conceals a red-jacketed stranger from a gang of homosexual thugs seeking to do him harm. After this incident, the grateful fugitiveknown only as Crimsontakes his new-found friend on a little jauntto rape a ballerina!!! Crimson's accomplice enjoys his experience so much that, in-between further excursions with his pal, he ventures out to sample the delights of forced sex on his own.
Although not quite as graphic as the aforementioned Assault! Jack the Ripper, particularly in regards to the gore, Rape! 13th Hour is easily as nasty in tone and certainly packs as powerful a punch. Crimson and his cohort are thoroughly reprehensible fellows and their extremely disturbing assaults are made all the more repulsive by the fact that the women appear to enjoy their ordeal. Director Hasebe is no doubt appealing to an audience that harbours rape fantasies, and this makes the film uneasy viewing to say the least.
Towards the end of the film, Hasebe has Crimson suffer the indignity of rape himself (by his gay pursuers, who not only bugger him but also bash out his teeth in order to violate his mouth), but this does little to excuse the movie's unrelenting mysogeny and general mean-spiritedness. A brutal finalé sees the garage attendant exacting revenge on his friend's attackers by bashing their skulls in with a wrench, before paying another visit to his favourite victim: the sexy ballerina.
Whatever your views on the film's dubious subject matter, there is no denying that Rape! 13th Hour is a technically well made movie and an emotive piece of cinema: the cinematography is superb (lovely use of widescreen) and the soundtracka mixture of classical and baroqueworks extremely well with the visuals.
I'm not going to pass judgement on this film based on its moral turpitudeafter all, I actively seek out potentially offensive filmsso I'll award Rape! 13th Hour a rating of 8/10 for its technical prowess and ability to shock.
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