During the 1970’s while American cult film lovers were frequenting the Grindhouse and drive-in scenes, in Japan, Nikkatsu was making a name for itself with its “Roman Porno” erotic line. Between 1971 and 1989 the studio released over a thousand “Pink Cinema” films, and now thanks to Impulse pictures, those of us in America are finally going to get to see (at least 25 of) them for the first time. Subtitled, chock full of half-naked Asian cuties and filled with all manner of bizarre Japanese fetishism, let us examine this collection in order of release and see if American audiences have a “yen” for this sort of thing?
NURSE DIARY: WICKED FINGER is surprisingly the first attempt at looking at Nurses as objects of affection in a Roman Porno reprint thus far in 16 volumes. Truth be told, most of the films of the series have a basic premise that is based on a traditional occupation that pretty young Asian women perform. From the female teachers to the comely pearl divers of past films the occupation of Nurse is a perfect choice for yet ANOTHER film about a pretty, civic minded young Asian girl in a revealing work uniform who struggles to help serve mankind until that strange day when she wakes up and discovers that every man in her life is inexplicably a rapist, womanizer or vicious criminal kingpin with eyes for only her…Don’t try to make overall sense of it. I am sixteen volumes deep into this series and I can tell you there is indeed none. Let us watch NURSE DIARY: WICKED FINGER and ingest another medical grade dose of Roman Porno.
This film starts out normal enough at least in basic concept; pretty young Ryoko is a nurse who is moving out her dorm so she can better pursue her relationship with Dr Edagawa, her illicit married lover of two years. Along the way her affair is disclosed by none other than her mousey looking roommate Keiko who is jealous that her roommate is moving on with her life and may never return her feelings of secret lesbian longing. After the doctor ends the affair to save his career, marriage and reputation Ryoko has a quick fling with a very plain looking man across the street named Tsugawa who has been watching her through the blinds ever since the day she moved in. The night they spend together is so uncontrollably passionate and heartfelt that she agrees to leave with him on the train the next day and abandon her nursing career forever. Yet on the way to the station she is met by none other than Dr Edagawa who tells her that he is willing to leave his wife for her. Sounds like Ryoko has a choice to make…at least she might in a normal film.
Yet because of the usual nuances of this particular series, I need not tell you that this simple, perhaps touching plot of romantic turns is filled with some sharp plot bends that are beyond twisted. For one thing there is a scene Tsugawa becomes so enthralled watching Ryoko through his window that he masturbates with a portable vacuum and has to be rushed to the hospital to have it surgically removed, the attending nurse? None other than Ryoko herself! By the end of the film, Doctor Edagawa actually turns out to be an insane letch who drinks straight rubbing alcohol and is having an secret affair with yet another women, a crazy cabaret dancer. When the performer’s husband comes around later in the film to confront Doctor Edawaga about his sexual improprieties, he nonchalantly summons Ryoko into his office then chloroforms into unconsciousness and then offers her up to the angry spouse as a type of peace offering to do whatever he wants with sexually. The lesbian nurse Keiko (who has always been obsessed with Keiko) walks in on this strange coupling and instead of immediately going to the authorities starts to join in on the action. Ryoko soon wakes up, escapes from the strange pair who is mauling her in her semi-conscious, semi clothed state and is offered an envelope of cash by Dr Edagawas wife to leave their lives forever (and probably not to prosecute him for the brutal rape of her he arranged in his office moments ago). She takes the Yen and throws it up in the air in disgust and the film freezes to credits as the characters in this film start to madly scramble for the dollars, giving new definition to the term “Money Shot” that the genre of adult film has likely never before seen.
This is more prime Pink Cinema Madness. Disgusting to the brain, cruel to the libido and offensive enough to the sensibilities of the most bizarre flesh film aficionado, I am giving this strange nurse themed Nikkatsu attempt at “bedside manner” a three out of five on basic principle. (or lack thereof).
Liner notes from Jasper Sharp and the theatrical trailer highlight this edition.