Monday, January 16, 2012

Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls (1979)

Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls
This is a pretty fucked up movie.  I mean, even for a Japanese movie it's pretty fucked up.  Norifumi Suzuki took rape, incest, bondage, torture, bestiality, existentialism and theology and combined them into 100 minutes of exploitation gold.  It's smut for the thinking man.  One minute Suzuki has you contemplating the the basic goodness of mankind, and the next minute a German Shepherd is eating out some chick.

And now the plot.  A depraved killer breaks into the home of a professor and his lovely wife and does some punching and raping.  Nine months later the professor's wife gives birth to the killer's son, Tatsuya.

The professor hates his wife for liking the assault and for giving birth to the rapist's son and so he repeatedly binds her, whips her mercilessly and has sex with other women while she is forced to watch.  Little Tatsuya sees it all.  Eventually his mother kills herself and Tatsuya blows his load on images of the Third Reich and dreams of treating people like Holocaust-era Jews.

After Tetsuya grows up, there is a boating accident and the professor dies, so the 20 year old inherits a shit load of money and a giant house and proceeds to kidnap beautiful women, torture and rape them in his dungeon while wearing a demonic metal mask.  I'm pretty sure that's what most people would do if they won the lottery....  Some of the women are killed and others are let go after they've learned some lesson about themselves - after they've removed their "mask" and come to an understanding of who they truly are.

While trying to teach an uppity pop-star how much of an ungrateful pig she is, Tatsuya lets his guard down and is hit on the head with a stool.  In the commotion, one of the kidnapped girls manages to flee topless from the house into the arms of a stranger on the street.  This stranger turns out to be Tetsuya's biological father and together, the killer/rapist father and his killer/rapist son join forces to kill and rape together until the twisted end.

When looking for this movie you may find it under one of its other titles, and it has a few:  Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls, Star of David: Beauty Hunting, Beautiful Girl Hunter, and the original Dabide no hoshi: Bishôjo-gari.

I like this film because it isn't just about the blood and boobies.  It also makes the viewer question what makes us evil.  Is it nature or nurture?  Is original sin real or is evil a conditioned trait?  True, the copious amounts of boobies and '70s bush added to my enjoyment of this movie and the overall depravity made me uncomfortable at times (also a sign of a good exploitation film)  but it's the cerebral aspect of these Japanese sexploitation films that separate them from the rest, and Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls is one of the best that I've seen.

Violence Rating:  3.5 out of 5
Booby Rating:  5 out of 5

"No shoes, no shirt, and I still get service."