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Konketsuji Rika

Rica

Japan 1972
produced by
Kazuto Anzai, Michiyoshi Takashima for Kindai Eiga Kyokai, Office 203/Toho
directed by Ko Nakahira
starring Rika Aoki, Kazuko Nagamoto, Masami Souda, Michi Nono, Fuminori Sato, Masane Tsukayama, Yasuo Arakawa, Satoshi Moritsuka, Yoshihiro Nakadai, Kazuko Imai
music by Shiro Takemura

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Available on DVD !

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Rica's (Rika Aoki) life was doomed from an early age: she was conceived when her mother (Kazuko Imai) was raped by a GI back in the 1950's, and now she's not even 18 years old and her mother's lover Hirose (Satoshi Moritsuka) tries to rape her ...

Soon enough, Rica becomes the leader of a girlgang, and soon enough she makes her first killing, a member of the Tachibana gang who has impregnated and then dumped one of her girls. Subsequently, Rica is sent to reform school, where she almost immediately makes an enemy of Reiko (Kazuko Nagamoto), the Queen Dragon, and she would fight it out with her as well wasn't she all that desperate to get out to save her girls who have since been sold off to Vietnam as whores for the GIs by the Tachibana gang. But Reiko doesn't arrive at the scene in time to save them anymore, on the contrary, she agrees to let the boss of the Tachibana gang turn her into a stripper, just to save the girlfriend of Tetsu (Fuminori Sato), a man who has saved her life repeatedly.

Eventually though, she falls out of favour with the Tachibanas when she becomes witness to one of their crimes, and suddenly she's on their hitlist - and when she defends herself, it's not long before she is sent back to the slammer ...

Now it's time for a showdown between Rica and Reiko, but during this, Reiko kills a guard by accident and the reform school is set on fire - which gives Rica and Reiko plenty of opportunity to escape, but for some reason Rica is blamed for the murder of the guard, and now she's desperately trying to track down Reiko to set the record straight - but instead she stumbles upon her mother, who is now a heroin addict and a bum whore ...

Eventually, Rica tracks down Reiko to the Ozaka gang, and she asks the gang's boss to set up a duel between herself and Reiko, to which he agrees - but the whole duel is a mere trap, the Ozaka boss only wants to capture Rica, Reiko and Reiko's gang to sell her to Vietnam as GI prostitutes ...

Fortunately Tetsu has kept an eye on Rica and he frees her in the nick of time, and ultimately the two make up a plan to save the other girls from the Vietnam-bound ship, even Reiko, who Rica now decides isn't so bad after all - but during their rescue mission, both Tetsu and Reiko are killed, only Rica is left the last woman standing, and she drifts away on her Harley in the end ...

 

In early 1970's Japan, bad girl (or sukeban) films - mainly blends of crime drama, gang movie and a bit of erotica - were almost surefire hits, with studios like Nikkatsu and Toei leading the way - and many of their films were flashy and elegant enough they still seem fresh even today. Rica was Toho's attempt to cash in on the trend, with (at least artistically) only limited success: The story of this film lacks the stringency needed for this kind of movie, instead it's all over the place, neither the action nor the sex even attempt to be anything special to set this film apart from others of its kind, and last but not least, Rika Aoki just lacks both the charisma and the looks to carry a movie of this kind.

That said, the film's not all bad and at times actually rather entertaining, there just are so much similar but better films around.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD