Maria OzawaHitomi KitamuraSasa HandaNene
Kekko Kamen Premium
Medium: film
Year: 2007
Director: Kosuke Suzuki
Original creator: Go Nagai
Writer: Rui Tsubota
Actor: Maria Ozawa, Hitomi Kitamura, Nene, Sasa Handa, Koichi Obori, Nocchi, Akio Seki, Yoshiharu Hayashi
Keywords: boobs
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 72 minutes
Series: << Kekko Kamen >>
Website category: J-sleaze
Review date: 28 February 2011
It's the middle episode rather than a movie. Kekko Kamen movies come in spurts. There were four in 2004, then another batch of three in 2007 starring Maria Owaza and various other hardcore porn stars. This is the second film in the latter run and it has that problem you get in Hollywood wannabe-franchises, in which they're so focused on the later films in the series that they never get around to resolving anything in this one.
It's not bad, though. It's not boring, which is always a danger with live-action Kekko Kamen.
What's different about this 2007 trilogy is that the story develops from film to film. Kekko Kamen Royale introduced lots of women who took their clothes off a lot, but the exceptions were Sasa Handa (dressed as a boy) and Hitomi Kitamura (who's a gravure idol rather than a porn star). This film gives us much more Handa. This is great. It turns out that everyone really thinks she's a boy, despite the fact that she makes a habit of opening her first-floor dormitory window, standing in front of it topless and not realising that the world can now see her large breasts. She also likes to decorate them with sliced cucumber, courtesy of a collection of phallic vegetables in her fridge. Anyway, this character has no depth at all and Handa wouldn't have been up to the acting challenge anyway, but it's still a silly and mildly interesting plot development.
Personally I hope they're holding back Kitamura's toplessness for the last film in the trilogy, which would make sense since she's the most buxom of all of them. I need to find a copy of Kekko Kamen Forever.
As you can tell, this is not an intellectual movie series. For those who haven't heard me wibbling before about Kekko Kamen, she's a naked superheroine in a live-action Go Nagai adapation. Enough said. Kekko Kamen films are all more or less the same, really, so the only points of interest lie in what minor variations they happen to have spun on the formula this time. Firstly, the 2007 films have porn stars in the cast and quite a lot more nudity. Kekko Kamen Royale had the "bimbos in the one-way mirror" scene and hence wins the porn-o-count, if "wins" is the word, but this isn't that far behind in silly exploitation. Note the jiggle-tastic shot where Kekko Kamen runs up some stairs, for instance.
Secondly and more surprisingly, this film's a musical. There's the Kekko Kamen theme of course, which not only gets played whenever the title character shows up, but also gets sung a capella by three women in the last scene of the film, basically because they feel like singing. However there's also the "Supa-Supa-Supa Supappa" exercise video number, which they like so much that they do it three and a half times. Handa gets a randomly inserted song that's been shot like a shampoo commercial, set in a field of feathery grasses. Satan's Toenail gets a Punishment Song. Structurally it's a poor example of a musical, since the songs haven't really been integrated into the film and you could cut most of them out and never notice, but a musical it most certainly is.
The Punishment Teachers are of course the second thing you'll want to know about a Kekko Kamen film. (Or else the first if you're female.) There are three this time and they're getting silly enough that they're like bad Monty Python sketches, but at least you can't say they're repeating themselves. The first is an otaku who inflicts surreal punishments like making Kitamura wear joke shop disguises and then taking pictures of her to put on the internet. No, not nude photos. Just photos of the plastic comedy nose. The second is a gigantic slob who's always eating and has smelly CGI breath. Finally the third is a leather whip boy, although his costume is more Blue Oyster Club than scary gimp and he's not in the movie much anyway. The slob actually gives Kekko Kamen a bit of trouble, but these are not serious baddies and it seems a bit harsh when they end up six feet under. Some Kekko Kamen films have her letting her enemies live, but not this one. Ah well.
What about the performances? Does it matter? The men are hamming it up, while the women are... less bad than last time, actually, but Kitamura still has the brains of a peeled grape. I don't know what she's doing instead of acting, but it occasionally has camp value.
The production is deliberately silly, although it's not aiming at the surrealism we've seen in other entries (e.g. the goldfish in the urinal). Kekko Kamen's fight scenes are done with comedy CGI, with the combatants never in the same shot. There's a character whose parents named him "Pervert" and has uncontrollable flatulence who turns the air yellow. However you've got to admire any film that has a room full of schoolchildren in their twenties (if not thirties) chanting "Satan Satan!"
Is this a good film? Don't be silly. More realistically, is it a good Kekko Kamen film? Um, sort of. By this franchise's standards, it's about halfway. It's not boring, but it's also never making you snort tea through your nose at its outrageousness. Kekko Kamen at its best can be one of the funniest things on the planet, especially if you're watching the anime version, but this film is merely watchable. I didn't mind it. It's okay. It also has a gratuitous scene in which women take their tops off and talk about how big their boobs are, although I notice they still haven't given Maria Owaza any dialogue. (Look at how the film insists on treating her as an important character despite the fact that she's technically an extra, simply because the actress has sold more porn films than the others.) Is her acting really that bad, or are they saving her for Kekko Kamen Forever?
Personally though, I quite liked it. It's okay, although it helped that I'd given myself an eight-month break since my last Kekko Kamen movie. In its own way, it's solid. It knows what it's trying to do and pretty much achieves it. If you're watching Japanese straight-to-DVD sleaze, there's far, far worse out there.