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Double Shot of Roman Porno
Pink Films and Roman Pornos were known as good flicks with extra skin as a bonus. These films were often created by reputable writers/directors/cinematographers who were given carte blanche with the f
Published on April 30, 2012 | Filed under Review

Pink Films and Roman Pornos were known as good flicks with extra skin as a bonus. These films were often created by reputable writers/directors/cinematographers who were given carte blanche with the films as long as they contained the required amounts of nudity and sex.  I’m no stranger to Japanese Pink films but I had never seen any Roman Pornos but thanks to the fine folks at Impulse Pictures, I’ve finally gotten a peek. Let’s dig in.

First up we have True Story of a Woman in Jail: Sex Hell (1975). I’ve seen plenty of Women In Prison flicks and honestly this one’s not too different. We begin with our heroines being booked into jail whereupon they’re subjected to brutalizing courtesy of the more experienced inmates. Soon they hatch a plan to bust out, and yeah, it’s pretty standard fare plot wise. Obviously the writers weren’t interested in doing any heavy lifting.

That being said Sex Hell is pretty damn awesome. Beautifully directed with great film stock, the film looks much better than most of its American, and certainly miles above it’s South American, competition. The women are beautiful and the characters are badass. It may be stereotypical but it works damn well and I found myself thoroughly entertained through its short run time. The direction is strong as well with great performances and a strong visual style. This one’s a winner and belongs firmly towards to top of the Women In Prison heap. Did I mention there’s pube pulling and gratuitous female urination. Yeah, there’s that too….

Next up we have Debauchery (1983), a film about a bored housewife that gets into extreme sex through a high class brothel. With a strong desire for new experiences and raw sex she embarks on a journey that she may never return from.

Similar to, though not as all encompassing as, The Story of O (1975), Debauchery is basically about domination. Specifically the domination of our main character by various men.

Debauchery lacks the fun exploitative vibe of Sex Hell, trading it in for a more serious approach. The film isn’t really sexy. It does push the boundaries of the no genitalia/pubic hair law in Japan to it’s furthest extreme but it’s used more shock than titillate. A scene involving Ben Wah balls and a lot of discomfort comes to mind. The film is more of a dark journey through the hell of sexual obsession than a fun roll in the hay. Our heroine embarks on her sexual journey by being raped and then bought by vicious men whom only want to degrade her. The film goes into overdrive when her husband’s friend buys our heroine and keeps her as his sex slave for days, steadily escalating his abusive behavior. I don’t want to give anything away but I’ll just say dark alley, plus homeless dudes and leave it at that. It’s a tough flick that would pair well with Hardcore (1979). Again, well directed and acted, this one has a more engaging plot and is certainly the better film of the two.

True Story of a Woman in Jail: Sex Hell and Debauchery are both superb releases with completely restored pictures and very informative liner notes. The films also show that Roman Pornos have more to offer than mindless sleaze. The are very different films that use sex and nudity in very different ways. The two are a great pair to show off what the genre has to offer to the serious cinephile.

Author:
Uncouth enjoys all manner of exploitation cinema. He is a video editor by trade and a cinephile by obsession. He runs Toxic-Graveyard.com and contributes to Lunchmeat Magazine. He is also a specialist at finding creepy crawly things under rocks for his kids.

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