Reiko Ike stars as the daughter of a man who has been pushed into drug dealing by the local Yakuza mob. Having outlived his usefulness to the gang he is murdered and Reiko is gang raped, leading her to attempt a knife attack on the Yakuza boss (Ryoji Hayama) at a swank nightclub. Failing to kill him she ends up in prison, where she befriends a crew of other malcontents (including Yumiko Katayama and Chiyoko Kazama) and meets the Yakuza boss's girlfriend (Miki Sugimoto). Upon release Reiko reassembles her mob and launches a Machiavellian scheme to engineer a gang war between Hayama's Oba Industries and the formerly dominant Hamayasu Clan. The rival gangs begin killing each other off and Reiko works her way closer to her ultimate vengeance.Written by
A typical example of the early seventies action/crime exploitation subgenres that were booming simultaneously in America, Italy and Japan, Criminal Woman might be pinku by the numbers but the guarantees that involves are not to be scoffed at. Starting out as a WIP flick and slowly moving into revengesploitation territory as Reiko Ike fresh out of prison goes after the yakuza gang that murdered her father, the movie is fast-paced, entertaining and stylish as only pinkus know how to be. Memorable moments of violence include a torture scene, mild by today's standards but still a burnt nipple is a burnt nipple, and several highly energetic gunfights between rival yakuza gangs that recall the yakuza movies from the same time, red gun muzzles and all. Genre stalwarts Reiko Ike and Miki Sugimoto are both as good as we've come to expect, thankfully not refusing to shed their clothes when the opportunity arises, and duking it out catfight style twice before the end credits roll. Overall, this is a good enough pinku that genre fans will enjoy, if only because it fulfills the quotient of OTT violence and sleaze we expect from this kind of movie.
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