Daisuke YamanouchiJapaneseSalmon SakeyamaAyumu Tokito
Blood Sisters
Also known as: Senketsu no kizuna: Kichiku reipuhan o shinkan saseta shimai
Medium: film
Year: 2000
Writer/director: Daisuke Yamanouchi
Keywords: ero-guro, boobs, low-budget
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Actor: Kahori Asakura, Tadashi Matsuzawa, Toshimaru Murai, Salmon Sakeyama, Ayumu Tokito, Eisuke Tono
Format: 67 minutes
Url: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0371941/
Website category: J-sleaze
Review date: 10 November 2011
It's another Daisuke Yamanouchi film, which means it's cheap, badly made and would be pornographic (soft, not hard) if it weren't so vile. Anyone finding it arousing is a broken, scary person who should stay away from other human beings. I liked it, although of course I'm a Yamanouchi fan. It's nowhere near the gross-out masterpieces of the Red Room movies (he says, still not having seen Muzan-E), but it's less silly than Kyoko vs. Yuki and on a par with Girl Hell 1999.
The storyline is rape-revenge, like Last House on the Left but going even further. The story begins with Kahori Asakura standing by a lake. There's a hand-drawn sign nearby about molesters, which Tadashi Matsuzawa walks up and pulls out of the ground by way of introduction. They exchange a few cursory words, then the robot-like Asakura takes Matsuzawa back to her apartment and takes off her clothes as if her body doesn't belong to her. Matsuzawa asks if she's a prostitute, but she doesn't react even to that. "What are you doing? You want to do it with me, don't you?"
They then have disturbing sex. Matsuzawa gets rough and Asakura lies there like the dead, clearly in no way enjoying it but equally doing nothing to stop him. She's the one who brought him back to her place, after all. Afterwards she cries.
Even the apartment is covered in plastic and makes her look like a serial killer, which Asakura explained by saying she's just moved. However it's explained better by the carving knife that now makes an appearance.
This is typical Yamanouchi. Theoretically it should be exploitation trash, but Yamanouchi is pushing it into psychological territory that's disturbing. You hardly notice the nudity, because Asakura clearly has near-crippling emotional problems and Matsuzawa isn't exactly one of the Care Bears either. It's horrific. In a normal movie, this scene would be devastating and I refuse to dismiss its emotional weight just because of the straight-to-video production values and the audience it was made for. All that was the pre-credits sequence, by the way.
The film now jumps back a year. This is a happier time (although not for long), with Asakura standing by that lake with her sister, Ayumu Tokito. However when they're walking back to town, Asakura hurts her foot and so the two of them accept a lift from four men in a van. Asakura didn't want to, but Tokito accepted for her.
This was, to put it mildly, a mistake. The gang rape that follows goes on so long that we're halfway through the film by the time it's finished and it's sufficiently extreme that afterwards there's debate about whether Tokito's dead. At one point someone shoved stones up her because she's been raped so much that she's gone slack. After that unsurprisingly both her and the man are covered in blood. All this is grotesque, but it's also clearly more about power and dysfunctional male psychology than it is about sex. One of the rapists stays nude and reclined throughout, merely ordering others to perform acts on him. (This includes forcing one of his fellow rapists to give him a blow job.) At one point he yawns and tells his sexual partners to do it faster. Meanwhile another of the four is a retard who just sits in front of the action and masturbates. This feels like Yamanouchi's comment on some of the people who buy this kind of video.
That's the first half of the film. I'll let you imagine what happens after that.
As a piece of movie-making, it's clearly been done on the super-cheap. Visually it's somewhere between a school production and what you'd expect from straight-to-video, although the film's content is obviously nothing like you'd be able to get from schoolboys. Most of it's either shot on location or on the cheapest, most anonymous sets you could find. If I tried to make a movie, it would look like this. (I wouldn't do this story, though.) It's a bit like a gross-out Japanese Dogme 95, except for the bits about "no genre" and "no violence". There are one or two moments where the actors don't perpetrate the latter as convincingly as they might have done, e.g. one stabbing in particular, but the gore effects work. They look real.
Towards the end, the story takes a new direction. The subtext of revenge films is what these acts are doing to the victim and here Yamanouchi's found a new way to explore a broken psyche. You'll be deeply confused, then the penny will drop. In its own way, that twist makes it even more horrible. (Also the crying near the end, if you think about it, adds another layer of darkness by leaving open the possibility that Tokito's feelings might not have been what Asakura thought they were.)
I should talk about the people involved. Most important is that I recently discovered that imdb had been lying to me about Yamanouchi. He didn't stop making movies. He simply got more pornographic. There are thus plenty of Yamanouchi films that you won't find in imdb, quite a few starring porn star Riri Koda. Zetsurin Gifu: Shonanoka no Mofuku Gibo (2005), Beautiful Lesbian Sisters: On the Day of Mourning... (2006), Rental Oneesan: Yokubo Kaseifu (2006), Kogan Muchina Chibo: Murasaki no Shitagide (2007) and Seishitsuji: Watashio, Ikashite! (2007) are among his more recent, pinker work. As for the actors here, do you really need me to tell you what kind of other films they've been in? Go on, guess. You can do it. Kahori Asakura isn't particularly good, to be honest, but this isn't a film where she has to be.
This is a brutal film. It's a study of people who've been bent out of shape and are now, strictly speaking, mad. The effects of this on the women's sexuality are particularly horrifying. Terrible deeds are committed, then returned. It's saying appalling and true things about men. Hardly anyone in the world's going to watch this, but I think Yamanouchi's oeuvre is artistically important and I approve of the fact that it's also had a English-language DVD release. More people should watch it.