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A woman looks back on her family's life in Tokyo before and during WWII. A maid arrives from the countryside to work for an upper middle class family. She fits in well, but everyone's emotions are stirred up with the arrival of a student.
Watching Rape! 13th Hour, I was truly shocked and appalled that it wasn't a serious minded and compassionate treatment of the disturbing subject of sexual violation. Actually I'm lying, it was top entertainment. Sometimes the diktats of morality, social responsibility and the like are nothing but a drear suffocation upon the soul, and Rape 13th Hour slices through them to blissful effect, smile on its face all the while. The plot is scant, we follow a young gas station attendant who falls under the wing of the suave and well dressed Crimson, a gentleman committed to the pursuit of rape. Together they rape various lovely young women, the while watched by a trio of gay vigilantes whose attentions lead to a shockingly aggressive finale. This is only the second film I've seen from Yasuharu Hasebe and probably the better of the two (the first being Attacked!), albeit slightly lacking in the same substance. But with such dedication to showing its two heroes on their spree without conscience or mercy, who needs thematic weight? The film is quite simply shameless, it cares not for victims in any fashion beyond their beautiful bodies, indeed the reaction of one rapee seems to outright mock the conventional wisdom regarding such things, instead appealing directly to sexual fantasy. Having more or less discarded the notion of victimisation or indeed morality outright, the focus is on Crimson and his pal, treating their exploits as hardly anything out of the ordinary, often attractive and even amusing. Crimson comes across as a rape flavoured equivalent of any number of engaging amoral heroes of Japanese cult cinema, as played by Akira Takahashi in a natty red leather jacket he exudes laconic cool, whilst the young gas station attendant is seduced immediately into the joys of rape and is charmingly portrayed by Yudai Ishiyama as an enthusiastic novice with a great new hobby. As far as the women go, only Yuri Yamashina stands out as a ballerina, first and last rapee and something of a catalyst, she suits the abuse well. Hasebe directs with flair, rapes carry a cruelly erotic charge, the violence is brutal and frenetic and there are some nifty visuals including a funny stop/start woodland chase, evocative sheet tearing and great use of feathers in the final scene. Nice scoring too, classical and baroque stuff with Swan Lake making a memorable appearance. All in all this one was a real winner, though it should be noted both that it is arguably highly offencive and that as far as the nastier minded pinkus go this is relatively tame (though plenty arousing for ambush love enthusiasts). Still bags of fun with solid rewatch value though, 8/10 from me.
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