Two Japanese men help a Vietnam war deserter escape from Japan for Sweden. They plan to fund the escape by selling LSD pills. After word of the drug deal gets spread around they find themselves fending off rival gangs.
Tough girl biker Ako (pop singer Akiko Wada) comes across Mei (Meiko Kaji) and her girl gang (the Alleycats/Stray Cats) as they are about to have a knife fight in Shinjuku, Tokyo with another gang of girls. When the second gang calls in their boyfriends for help, Ako joins in and turns the tide for Mei and her gang and becomes a leader figure for the girls. Meanwhile, Mei's boyfriend Michio (Koji Wada) wants to join some right-wing nationalists, the Seiyu Group. To prove himself, he induces an old friend Kelly (Ken Sanders) to throw a boxing match so the Seiyu Group can cash in betting against him. But when the boxer, encouraged by Ako and Mei, wins the fight, the Seiyu Group takes their anger out on Michio until Mei and the Alleycats rescue him. But Mei and the girls are now on the run from the powerful group. Mei is eventually killed and Ako leaves Shinjuku, roaring away on her bike.Written by
Thematically interesting, but as a piece of entertainment it's often dull
In the first of what would become a successful five-film series, Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss is a passable and sporadically entertaining introduction to the 'girl gang' genre and one of the key entries in a series of films known as 'pinky violence'. Anchored by a performance of undeniable presence by Akiko Wada, who plays a no- nonsense biker and who surprisingly didn't appear in any of the sequels, the film gets bogged down by a plodding series of events and set-pieces that are too free-spirited for it's own good, and lingers far too long on various pop performances from flavour-of-the-week bands.
Plot-wise, the film doesn't have much going for it. Ako (Wada) is a drifter who picks up Mei (Meiko Kaji - later to play the eponymous Lady Snowblood (1973)), who is caught up in a beef with a rival girl gang. A fight ensues, and Ako chases away the gang and the various yakuza that have gathered for the entertainment. It becomes apparent that Mei's boyfriend Michio (Koji Wada) is caught up in a plot with the Seiyu Group, a powerful Yakuza organisation, to throw a boxing match. Naturally, things don't go quite to plan and Michio is hunted by the Seiyu Group, but not if Ako has anything to say about it.
Visually, the film is often splendid, using ultra-chic locations, split- screens and obscure camera angles that give it a trippy aesthetic. It's colourful yet undeniably grim, encapsulating the rebellious hippy spirit that undoubtedly made it's way over from America in the late 1960's. Reversing the usual gender roles, the Stray Cat girls are a rather repulsive lot, even though they plays our heroes, and Ako especially berates men for being weak if they refuse to stand up and fight, even when one is beaten to a pulp during a boxing match. It's certainly interesting thematically, but as a piece of entertainment, it's often extremely dull, stretching out it's wafer-thin plot when it should be giving us girls kicking ass.
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