Shungiku UchidaNoriko KijimaReiko HayamaMika Yano
The Torture Club
Also known as: Chotto kawaii aian meiden
Medium: film
Year: 2014
Writer/director: Kota Yoshida
Original creator: Makoto Fukami, Alpha AlfLayla
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Keywords: boobs
Actor: Reiko Hayama, Noriko Kijima, Yuki Mamiya, Kanako Mochida, Nami Motoyama, Shungiku Uchida, Mika Yano, Haruna Yoshizumi
Format: 107 minutes
Website category: J-sleaze
Review date: 11 March 2019
No, it's not horrifying. You might expect a Japanese film of this title to be unwatchable unless you have a cast-iron stomach, but in fact it's completely different. There's not a drop of blood. Instead it's silly sleaze with schoolgirls, who participate in their school's torture club because they're lesbians.
You might be wondering what torture has to do with lesbians. If so, you're thinking too much for this movie. (It's based on a manga, by the way.)
Our heroine is Noriko Kijima, who's always wanted to attend a religious school where there are crosses on the walls, choral music on the soundtrack and an all-female, all-lesbian population. (I think the world's entire population is lesbians, though. I laughed at a shot of schoolgirls walking through the park, in which absolutely everyone appears to be half of a couple.) I'm not entirely sure what the film's copious religious iconography was supposed to mean, unless someone's seen a connection between being Christian and/or Roman Catholic and being into BDSM.
Kijima has trouble with the school entrance exam, but somehow she gets through! She soon discovers, though, that the Torture Club had infiltrated some Torture Questions on to the exam. These revealed that she has a talent for torture (eh?), so they abduct her and tickle her with a feather duster! This is more threatening than it sounds, because they're tickling her in a sensitive place that could make her wet herself. However this still isn't a very serious Torture Club, as is demonstrated by the fact that it's school-approved and you just nod and go with it. No one's going to get arrested. No one's in danger. A more accurate name might be the "Compulsory Nudity And Kinky Bondage Gear Club, With The Slightly Chubby Girl Usually Being Topless For No Reason". The club has a habit of tape-recording conversations for blackmail purposes. It wouldn't surprise me if they were also shooting video footage, given its commercial potential.
There's something that could loosely be called a plot. In fairness, the film's trying to be a film. It's got huge character growth and important journeys of self-discovery for almost all of its cast. (This isn't enough to make the film good, but at least one can acknowledge that efforts were made.) Kijima will turn herself into a completely different person, while her lesbian love (Haruna Yoshizumi) will have a corresponding journey in the opposite direction. This film is (slightly) more than an excuse for softcore porn, although I'll freely admit that I'm splitting some fine hairs there. (It's feature film length rather than the shorter pink length, for instance.)
That said, though, I'm not convinced that it makes sense. Torture is meant to make you stronger (eh?), while romantic love is banned because it'll make you weak.
Is it a good film? Don't be absurd. It's ridiculous and you'll be rolling your eyes all the way through. Is it entertaining? Hmmmm. The lesbian sex scenes go on too long and I'd suggest fast-forwarding them, but every so often the film would do something so shamelessly daft that I'd laugh. It's also worth mentioning that its cast aren't all porn stars. Some of them are just bikini models, or even (to some extent) actresses.
This film isn't properly kinky. It's a sort of plastic pretend-kinky that's not trying to put you on the edge of your seat and that never feels as if anyone's in real danger. The purpose is nudity and mild audience fetishes. (Facial urine! Shower room self-spanking! Girls wearing mankinis!) Most of it isn't even camp, really. If you watched ten Japanese films called The Torture Club, this would probably be the most lightweight and forgettable of them. However you will see what looks like a sleazier version of the Master's Tissue Compression Eliminator.