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May 30, 2012

Eros School: Feels So Good

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Erosu gakuen: Kando batsugun
Koretsugu Kurahara - 1977
Impulse Pictures Region 1 DVD

Proof, if any were needed, that being the younger brother of an acclaimed filmmaker might get you in the door, but is no indication of talent. How much of credit, as such, should go to Koretsugu Kurahara, and how much to screenwriter Akira Momoi, I couldn't say. When the foremost English language expert on Roman Porno, Jasper Sharp, declared himself bewildered by this film, there's some meager consolation that one is not alone in wondering what was intended here.

There is none of the visual style of the elder Koreyoshi Kurahara. One could see a tenuous connection between the two filmmakers, with the elder brother paving the way to some degree with his own taboo busting films. And if there is any social commentary, it somehow got lost in what is suppose to be an erotic comedy that is neither erotic nor funny. Maybe it's a film that would appeal to a small segment of humanity that finds humor in a film about a character named "Ryu the Rapist", a much too old juvenile delinquent, who appears at Eros High School with the announcement that he will be de deflowering the school's student leader and athletic star, Misa. There is a tiny chuckle in Ryu's first appearance with his Clint Eastwood snarl and thin cigar, the battered straw hat, and his small pet pig.

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Eros High School has a student body composed of sexually frustrated young men, and girls who have no inhibition concerning beating them up. One of the students, Akemi, is in a co-ed judo class where she and her male partner hit the mat, and nibble each other's nipples. The main rivals of Eros High School go to Agape High School. As everyone in this film is aware that Misa has never menstruated, the Agape girls try to disrobe Misa to discover whether she is in fact female. I guess there is some kind of undeveloped symbolism concerning Eros versus Agape to make this film appear more meaningful.

With the exception of a couple of actresses, everything is underdeveloped here. This can be pretty much be summed up in a scene where one of the boys fucks Ryu's pig. Following a glance at the little pig's swollen genitalia, the young man grinds away for a while before getting caught in the act by Misa and running away. Whatever was imagined before a frame was even shot, the effect is one where the filmmakers tried to outdo each other with outrageous ideas, only to shrink back when it came to the actual performance. Even the rinky-dink piano music can't hide the fact that the attempts at slapstick humor are simply not funny. Even the attempted comic shock when it's revealed that the patron of a porno theater is a transvestite is fumbled. The best part about this movie might be the original Japanese poster, reproduced for the DVD notes by the estimable Mr. Sharp, featuring the exposed chests of the three female stars. Were I able to provide a copy, I would do so. Even though this is a story about horny high school students, one could liken this film to the guy who gets worked up about getting it on with his dream girl, only to find himself flaccid.

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Posted by peter at May 30, 2012 08:41 AM