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Office Love: Behind Closed Doors

Review by: 
Ofisu rabu: Mahiru no kinryôku
Release Date: 
Impulse Pictures
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
Yasuaki Uegaki
Rei Akasaka
Kurumi Jôgenji
Junpei Kusami
Bottom Line: 

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?

Volume 22 is a look at office romance we haven’t seen since Volume 15, HORNY WORKING GIRL: FROM 5 to 9.  And while that was a wacky comedy based on a certain Dolly Parton movie, OFFICE LOVE teaches us that life is lonely at the top; even if you are have constant sexual trysts with secret multiple sexual partners all in the name of loveless but premeditated career advancement.  Let us take a look at this look at “office love” and see why it brings new meaning to the “profession” of sleeping your way to the top of the success ladder.

Reiko is a beautiful Japanese business executive who also moonlights as a call girl. Yet her secret night life is directly related to her employment at the travel agency as she only seems to date her direct competitors at the company.  In order to facilitate this she keeps a secret room far away from her life as an absentee single mother, and the numerous men in her life meet her there for the usual Nikkatsu unrepentant, aggressive, loveless acts of unrated sex that you expect from the series by now. 

Several men suddenly appear in Reikos life.  Takayuki, The father of her child makes a reemergence, and he even alienates his own fiancé to make an attempt at making her a one woman man.  Also there is a young man named Hidaki who works at the office and has had eyes for her for quite some time. Reiko of course rejects both suitors. After all, she is currently having concurrent affairs with most of the company’s highest ranking staff and is extracting huge sums of money and influence and shows no signs of stepping down, now that she has achieved an ultimate secret influence over the men at her workplace that even Sun Tzu never wrote about.

And then the unthinkable happens, during a business meeting, several business executives realize they all have the same golden key to Reikos love nest.  She is politely allowed to resign, but now she is alone.  Who will she select, Takayuki or Hidaki?  A normal Hollywood love story would make Reiko choose between these two men and have some semblance of a storybook ending, but because this is a Japanese Pink Cinema film, there is only one way it could end; usually the way that is most bombastic in its wrongness.  Reiko arranges both men to show up at the same time at her love nest and despite their obvious objections, she seamlessly seduces them into a threesome with her.  The next day the men wake up stare at one another and leave Reiko without much to say and catch an awkward ride on the train together. It is generally understood by the fact they throw their keys away that they will never return to her whatsoever. 

Of course Reiko is oblivious to these developments; she lay in her bed smiling softly; yet somehow wickedly. In the closing credits she dials her young daughter on the phone. When her daughter asks her where she has been, she replies “Tending Flowers”  This seems like a bizarre bit of fortune cookie nonsense lost in translation until you realize that Reiko has had the uncanny habit of running over flower pots and crushing them whole (like so many men’s hearts apparently). Very few movies I have seen are this absolutely filthy and yet as emotionally chilly as this.  Imagine PRETTY WOMAN as directed by Darren Aronofsky with an all Asian cast and you get a pretty good idea how this plays out.

The sex scenes are unrated as usual and the scene where Reiko pissed in the mouth of one of her johns was something I could have lived without. Still, I can’t remember the last time I have seen one of these films where a woman was the cruelest, coldest most sexually precocious character of the entire cast. I give it four for its unflinching glimpse into the life of a beautiful woman who is an unrepentant corporate whore in every sense of the word.

Extras include a trailer and liner notes by Jasper Sharp

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