Naoyuki TomomatsuJapaneseKenji Sugawara
Eating Schoolgirls: Osaka Telephone Club
Also known as: Kogyaru-gui: Oosaka terekura hen
Medium: film
Year: 1997
Director: Naoyuki Tomomatsu
Writer: Naoyuki Tomomatsu, Chisato Ogawara
Keywords: ero-guro, horror, boobs, gangster, yakuza
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Actor: Yuuki Fujita, Michiru Kato, Kozue Aoki, Shiro Misawa, Nobuyuki Hasegawa, Tadao Kawamoto, Tsuyoshi Ootsubo, Kenji Sugawara, Dan Takebashi, Maria Yamazaki, Naoki Yokota, Tetsuya Yuki
Format: 60 minutes
Website category: J-sleaze
Review date: 8 March 2019
It's an early-ish work from Naoyuki Tomomatsu, the director of lots of sleazy, silly films (some of which are very good). This one isn't silly, though. It's arty, abstract, vile, dense and more than a bit surreal. I don't think anyone actually eats a schoolgirl, but that would have fitted in quite well.
It's a pink film, a thriller, a gangster movie and some kind of arthouse symbolism-laden arthouse flick. It starts with a cloud of feathers falling on a chair in front of a television in a dark room. Two people then have phone sex, for which I assume the man's paying money. It feels that way. The woman's doing all the talking and describing what she's doing as she fondles her own boobs, fingers herself, brings herself to orgasm with a felt tip pen and so on. The two masturbators come simultaneously.
We then meet two men in the street. One is withdrawn and quiet in a way you'd probably cross the street to avoid, while the other's ranting non-stop about sex in a way that makes you assume he's mentally ill. (His blonde hair is also a mistake.) We then meet their gangster employers. They have some porn playing on TV in the background and you don't want to know where that footage came from. Unfortunately we later find out, in what's by miles the most distressing and stomach-turning scene in an intense film. I was astonished to see the girl alive afterwards, if only because it seems crazy that they'd have left a witness alive to testify. (At one point, they get out a two-foot-long syringe and do something slightly baffling. It's never a good sign when something's so disgusting that you can't even tell what it is. Was that water? Cooking oil? Acid? Shortly afterwards, though, I decided that it was probably just an enema.)
There's also a man who likes to stab people to death while dressed as a schoolgirl. He takes murder requests by phone and ejaculates on corpses.
This is a dense film, shot and edited in a intense, slightly random fashion. You're not always completely sure what's going on, whether you've seen this actor before or whether you're meant to be taking what's happening literally. The second-biggest challenge for anyone watching this film (after its content) is that it's hard to tell who's who. Is the stabby-killy transvestite also the bloke who invites an angel into his apartment and appears to be all about his memories of his late mother. (His father probably murdered her with a knife. There will be a child-drawn mural of this.) Similarly, there are quite lots of scenes with female characters and I'm pretty sure some of those were really the same actress(es), but it's hard to tell amid the nudity, stabbings, gang rape and Oedipal religious symbolism. (With a bird in a cage.) It's also not clear that we should be taking everything literally. This film has a lot of madness, delusion and scary mental states.
There also isn't much dialogue, although the film's not making a point of it. It's just that most of what's happening is non-verbal.
There might be an offensive problem with the rape scenes. It's unclear, for the reasons discussed above, but I think the film might be underestimating the trauma involved for the woman. More than once, I think it's possible that the woman shortly afterwards gets horny. If I'm not misreading, then... no. Just no.
This film is gory (in one scene to the point of horror-comedy), gross, intense and fairly confusing. The ending isn't what you'll have been expecting. (If it was, increase your medication.) Is it just me, or was Japanese V-cinema going through a spectacularly vomit-inducing phase around then? See also Daisuke Yamanouchi, although this isn't at his level. I admire and respect this film, while also acknowledging that it's also a problematic depravity explosion that 99.99% of the human race would call unwatchable. However you won't often see a grimy, straight-to-video film do all that while being arty and symbolic.