“Female Yakuza Tale” – A.J. Hakari

Alright, I’ll admit it: I just don’t get softcore flicks. I understand that half the appeal (okay, so all the appeal) is seeing women prance around in less clothes than they were born with. But that fans forgive their often aborted stories begs the question of why they don’t just rent something from that back room of the video store with the funny smell instead. So it will come as a disappointment to you sexploitation aficionados out there that I cared even less for Female Yakuza Tale than I did for its precursor, Sex & Fury. But while the latter had the benefit of some crazy action and colorful directing, this doesn’t even make it a third of the way with its story before bolting to the nudity well.

In this tale of blood-soaked blades and bare breasts, Reiko Ike reprises her role as woman about town Ocho. Having recovered from wounds left by the climax of Sex & Fury, she’s ready to move on with life and dole out justice with the deadliest umbrella known to man. But not five minutes pass before Ocho is accosted by a group of ruffians who proceed to frame her for a wave of killings known as the “Crotch-Gouge Murders.” Needless to say, Ocho is mighty miffed and promptly sets out to find those who set her up. Along the way, she finds an ally with Jyoji (Ryohei Uchida), a scorned gangster looking to get back at the Yakuza boss that made him take a fall. The two soon learn they share a common foe, one using a bevy of beauties to transport contraband through a most uncomfortable means.

Sex & Fury had the trouble of having too much to do; Female Yakuza Tale struggles to pad its way through 85 mere minutes. It’s an outright mess that doesn’t even possess the know-how to keep something as simple as “let’s kill the bad guys” in check. The shindig begins on a promising note, with a manageable plot focused more on revenge than the political nonsense that hampered the first flick. But trouble checks in shortly after the opening credits, when we start following Jyoji, whom we don’t yet know, on a moment’s notice. We see him flee his fellow thugs and shack up with a nun/assassin for a good ten minutes or so, during which you wonder if a different film got spliced in by mistake. Sex & Fury pulled the same song and dance, but while it eventually bundled its many threads together (albeit untidily), you leave Female Yakuza Tale unsure if it ever solved its own mystery.

Some readers will claim I’m missing the point, that the story, just as with a James Bond movie, takes a back seat to both the action and the ladies. This works up to a point, which Female Yakuza Tale speeds by with an ear-shattering whoosh. The flick delivers on the female form, but the presentation couldn’t be more monotonous. About ten minutes alone are dedicated to the villains just rooting around women’s private parts, and the many other sex scenes are stacked on with none of its predecessor’s artistry. Worse yet is the lack of action; all we get is some opening swordplay and an embarrassing final fight that recalls Blazing Saddles more than samurai cinema’s best. Ike still looks great and can hold her own when the chips are down, but nothing’s done here to differentiate Ocho from any other pinky starlet with the same tough girl routine.

Female Yakuza Tale has twice the skin of a Hanzo the Razor outing, but with twice less the fun. It could’ve coasted by just fine on sheer craziness, but its half-hearted pretensions of tying its bevy of beauties with a story are even more insulting than a regular porno with no story at all. If titillation is the name of your game, Female Yakuza Tale will suit you just fine, although those cultivated folks who enjoy brains behind their bodies will find more than their expectations gouged.

Rating: ★½☆☆

-A.J. Hakari

Read more of A.J.’s reviews at ReelTalk Movie Reviews, Classic Movie Guide, and Terror Tube.

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