Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

A woman waits in a gogo club and she looks like a math teacher. Clearly she does not belong here. Then when the man walks in and this woman pulls out her knife and tries to stab this dude, we can also clearly see that this woman could very well be the worse assassin ever. Then they rape her. That’s what they do in movies like this. This would be the beginning of the Japanese exploitation movie ‘Criminal Woman: Killing Melody’, a genre of movies that are almost all universally awesome… at least of the half dozen I’ve seen for whatever that’s worth… and ‘Killing Melody’ would not disappoint.

So Maki, as played by Japanese Exploitation Goddess Reiko Ike, is carted off to the hoosegow to serve her time, because even though she completely missed the guy she was trying to kill, she did manage to stab some innocent bystanders. In prison, even though Maki might look like a schoolteacher, she has a lot of heart. She disrespects her fellow inmates by ignoring them, and they don’t like that. Hell if know why. Queen bitch Massayo, as played by Japanese exploitation Supreme Goddess Miki Sugimoto, particularly doesn’t care for Maki which leads to arguably the longest courtyard knife fight in cinematic history. Sure, Massayo completely kicked her ass, but eventually Massayo just had to quit because Maki would not stay down. We were hoping Maki would stay down because this fight went on way too long. Like we said, the girl has heart.

The reason Maki tried to kill that guy in the club, yakuza boss Oba (Ryoji Hyama), is because he had her father killed. Maki readily admits that her dad was no good, a terrible man, a worse father and not worth the air he was breathing… but that’s besides the point. I guess. So some say prison is good for rehabilitation while others say that all prison really does is create better, more skilled criminals. Guess which one Maki has become after she emerged from her three years?

Maki, hooking up with three of her prison homegirls, has a plan to completely destroy and eviscerate Oba and his yakuza organization. First things first, girlfriend needs some money. Time to turn some tricks. Money in hand, it’s time to get some guns and set the plan in motion, that plan being pitting warring Yakuza clans against each other until not a

single one of these bastards is left standing. One problem, Massayo is also out of jail and she is Oba’s woman and Oba is providing her with a lifestyle that she finds favorable. However… say a better deal comes along… Massayo isn’t the kind of girl that won’t weigh out her options.

Regardless, the plan is set in motion and though there are a few hiccups along the way… think bondage, torture and the possibility that a lunatic might take a chainsaw to your titties… the plan works well. Under the word ‘Regret’ in the dictionary could be Boss Oba, who is really wishing he didn’t have that crazy chicks loser of an old man put in the dirt. And that prison knife fight that I thought was the longest in cinematic history? As it turns out it was second longest because the longest knife fight is still going on right now. And this movie is thirty-six years old.

One of the things you have to love about these Japanese Pinky Violence films… or not… is that there isn’t a lot of ambiguity in these things, the sympathy factor for almost all of the characters is low, if not completely non-existent, and the focus of these movies is relatively narrow. Bad people doing bad things to other bad people. That’s a level of simplicity that we can completely relate to.

Case in point, Maki is turning tricks and gathering firearms to avenge her father, but not because she loved the guy, because she didn’t, but because it’s the principle of the thing. Her girls are helping her out, not because they like Maki, but because there’s a damn good chance that there will be some money or maybe some drugs they can peddle to get some money by the time the job is done. I would say that this is a movie featuring bad girls trying to get over on some dudes who are just a little worse, but no… these chicks are just as bad. Of course none of this information stopped us from cheering for these the young ladies as they started laying these bad dudes to waste. And that’s the magic of a pinky violence flick.

While director Atsushi Mihori’s film doesn’t reach the levels of glorious insanity that was ‘Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs’, my personal favorite of the genre, there was still plenty of exploitation nonsense to enjoy. Nudity, bondage, rape, murder, mayhem, and disaster all on display. A group of Yakuza gangsters whose vile behavior is only surpassed by their stupidity and complete gangster incompetence. A star in Reiko Ike who has played this singular character so often in her brief career that she could theoretically pull this off in her sleep, and a co-star in Miki Sugimoto whose acting style is such that she actually seems to be acting in her sleep.

Is there a message here? If there is one, it probably has something to do with never turning your back on a Japanese woman. Or if you have a Japanese woman strung up and bound in your basement, you might want to actually use that chainsaw you were threatening her with instead of trying to rape her. Those probably aren’t good messages so were going assume there was no message, just eighty-five minutes worth of raw dog, good natured, hyper violent exploitation goodness. We’re cool with that.

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