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September 06, 2012

Nympho Diver: G-String Festival

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Shikijo Ama: Fundoshi Matsuri / Lusty Ama: Loincloth Festival
Atsushi Fujiura - 1981
Impulse Pictures Region 1 DVD

Nobody asked me, but I would have suggested "Fundoshi Festival" as the secondary title for this film. I think it has a nice, alliterative ring to it. For those unaware, fundoshi is the traditional underwear worn by Japanese men, more commonly up through World War II. A type of fundoshi is worn by sumo wrestlers.

As for the basic story, coastal villages were famed for their female divers who wore very little, and dove for abalone and pearls. While there have been films about these "girl divers", it was a series of films from Shin Toho, mostly in the late Fifties, that emphasized the erotic possibilities with wet clothing clinging against the skin, and filming underwater where there were possibilities of placing the camera in more unusual angles. An excerpt of one of the films, Girl Divers of Spook Mansion, might still be available on Youtube. That film was shown as part of a tribute to Shin Toho at the Far East Film Festival at Udine, Italy. As they've done with other films, the Roman Porno squad took some inspiration from past exploitation movies.

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Most of what we have here is good natured comedy about a small town trying to reverse its declining fortunes by inducing some attractive young women to come work as divers. Persuading these women is Nobuo, the goofy son of the mayor. As it turns out, Nobuo is caught in a triangle between the Tokyo girl who accepted his proposal of marriage, and the local girl, daughter of the woman who owns the bar where everyone meets. As it turns out, there are more than these two women who are competing for there claim on Nobuo.

Unlike any of the earlier "girl diver" films, the camera never goes underwater. Aside from a scene purporting to be that of a traditional fertility celebration, where everyone shows up wearing fundoshi, the "g-string festival" in the title, the most significant display of flesh is to be seen on the movie's poster. I do have to give some credit, where as most films presentation of intergenerational love is with an older man and a younger women, Nympho Diver also has the coupling of a mature woman with a younger man, although further details might give some viewers pause. The woman in question isn't the only matron in this film to make clear her sexual urges.

Nympho Diver isn't a bad film, but it's not particularly memorable either. The women are generously proportioned, but this is an ensemble show with no real star. Too put this in some perspective, Nikkatsu was a true film factory in churning out these films. But if you're like the audience of this movie from thirty years ago, you could do worse than this lightly enjoyable time waster.

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Posted by peter at September 6, 2012 09:35 AM