You knew it had to happen eventually. No matter how you try to work around her, sooner or later, if you’re talking about this company, The Name is going to have to come up.
That’s right, we’re talking about Reiko Yamaguchi, favored star of Pink Eiga Inc. Featuring in their Japanese Wife Next Door parts 1 and 2, The Secret in the Attic and this picture (quite a high percentage for a company with under 25 releases under its belt), she supposedly tops polls conducted by the company and draws in crowds at their many festival and event appearances across the country.
Mainly notable for her bust size, Yamaguchi’s overflowing bosom is apparently being put to further use as mama-san for a “snack bar” (hostess club?) in the infamous Kabuki-cho district of Tokyo, where she is noted for bringing bottles of booze to clients stored between her ample cleavage. Yep, that’s the level of intellectual discussion we’re brought to here…
So let’s get to the crux of the matter, namely Akira Fukamachi’s Semen Demon. Fukumachi, also of Pink Eiga’s The Secret in the Attic, has apparently been directing pink films as long or longer than I’ve been on this planet, so this 2005 offering can truly be said to be the work of the prototypical dirty old man. Sure, he’s probably a barrel of laughs to hang around with (at least if you happen to be another guy), but to judge by the work in question, you probably wouldn’t want him within restraining order’s distance of your sister, or for that matter, mother.
There are no opening credits whatsoever (not even a title card!), so one wonders whether everyone was just desperate to get their names off this thing and disassociate themselves with the entire affair.
A chubby cheeked, black lipstick bedecked female exorcist (Kanae Mizuhara) arrives at the house of a cute ponytail wearing Yamaguchi, looking every inch the young housewife. The visitor commences sniffing her way up the stairs (!) and proclaiming how she feels a demonic presence. She sets up a makeshift shrine and begins a Shinto ritual.
Cut to a surreal flashback sequence right out of Luis Bunuel or perhaps Jean Rollin, with the two women supposedly meeting for the first time at a lonely beachfront – literally, two lawn chairs facing each other, about 3 feet from the breakers. But damn, Yamaguchi sure does look good in her OL outfit and strap heels…
A further flashback, to her sissy of a husband (Kazutoshi Yamana), who not only is quite scrawny (you get the impression Yamaguchi could break this guy in half without even trying) and has an extremely effeminate voice, but actually appears to be wearing eyeshadow and mascara (!). He can also make a perfect U with his tongue, which only increases the weirdness and repulsion factor…
Anyway, they have a very strange sex scene where her arms are strapped to her thighs, and he cuts a hole in her undies…it’s just weird. Did I mention his slick hairless derriere, which you get to see in closeup and very awkward motion? “um…it sounds like he’s a bit of a pervert.” the exorcist offers, understating the matter considerably.
Cue another flashback, where he administers an enema to her on the stairs, for the amusement of his pervy father (Shinichiro Toyonaga, who shares their marital home)…yeah, I know, this just keeps sounding worse (insert a genuine laugh out loud here).
Mark off another one for the voyeurs in our checklist of fetishes and perversions, as the husband brings home a seedy but not unattractive prostitute (Yumeka Sasaki) unfortunately saddled with cellulite-afflicted inner thighs and a huge off center tattoo filling up her midsection, as Yamaguchi watches from behind a partition. In the most unintentionally funny scene, Sasaki picks up and kisses the money while still in the immediate afterglow of orgasm…
Then we get a creepy scene with the father in law, who comes onto her while at her least appealing, looking quite beefy in a red smock. Maybe the old creep read too many of those old “horny housewife and traveling salesman” paperbacks from the 50’s, or something. While elsewhere in the film, Yamaguchi comes off quite appealing and sexy, in this particular scene, I just kept thinking about referring the girl to weight watchers.
Did I mention his heavy Darth Vaderesque breathing throughout the succeeding affair? Or how he leaves his old man white T-shirt, LL Bean grey socks and even his TIE on during the act? Look, I know it’s the director projecting his personal fantasies onto the characters in the film, but it’s just weird, I’m sorry…
Eventually, we work our way back to the present, the exorcist calls up the titular demon, who turns out to be the ghost of a familial ancestor (Koji Makimura), the exorcist gets possessed by his lost wife or girlfriend (I started mentally tuning out a bit, as the film briefly veers into overwrought melodrama for this scene), and they get a comparatively quite boring sex scene for themselves.
With the ghost exorcised, poor Reiko finds herself unable to get laid anymore from either of her housemates, and so she pays one last visit to the exorcist, “to bring the demonic spirit back (!)”
Yes, this is another “family of perverts” picture like the two Japanese Wife Next Door films, but the focus on old guys making it with much younger women (the father in law, the ghost) and sheer sleaziness of the director’s approach displays an obvious leaning towards an earlier, far more heady era of pink filmmaking. As such, it’s far less likely to play as well in front of a mass audience than either of those films, though I will be the first to admit that I found Reiko Yamaguchi far more fetching in persona and aesthetic style here than in the more feted earlier release from the company.
In sum, I found her put upon sweetheart role in Semen Demon far more likeable and appealing than her oversexed slut role from Japanese Wife Next Door, and as such, for all the film’s raunch, I think it would have made a better choice for DVD release…at least for my own collection and sensibilities.
At points seedier than an Henri Pachard film (and inclusive of at least one scene that plays into that director’s favorite fetish), it’s filthy as hell but not as sexy as one might expect – this isn’t exactly, say, Star of Dave: Beauty Hunting here, though like the annoying little kids who try to emulate their more impressive older siblings, hoping some of their coolness will rub off by association, it definitely tries to play in the same ballpark.
Being a dyed in the wool Decadent myself, I certainly enjoyed the picture, and as with all of the Pink Eiga VODs I’ve seen to date, would love to see it street to DVD someday, however unlikely that may be; but it’s decidedly not the sort of film that will fly with everyone…
In fact, those who do get some measure of entertainment out of Semen Demon are probably more of a rarified breed than is usual for aficionados of pink films. If you think what I described sounds kinda kinky, like it might grab your interest, give it a shot, you likely won’t be disappointed. The others have probably already crinkled up their collective noses at this point in the review anyway.
In the grand scheme of things, this is just another softcore picture, enlivened by its willingness to push a few hot buttons and explore a litany of fetishes during the course of its brief running time. It’s not fantastic, but not bad either, and those looking for a light evening of arousal (or perhaps introducing the idea of a few kinks to an open minded ladyfriend) could certainly get some mileage out of the film.
And you have to admit: Yamaguchi sure does look fetching in a slave collar.
Exorcise your inner kinks here.