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September 22, 2012

Strip Mahjong: Battle Royale

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Mark P. Forever - 2012
Danger After Dark Region 1 DVD

Prior to the beginning of Strip Mahjong were some trailers for other Danger After Dark films. Suicide Club was my introduction to Sion Sono. I've written about the superb Epitaph, and should probably see it again, as the book, Virtual Hallyu points out several cultural and historical points that I missed. I hope that this reactivated label brings more films of this quality to DVD.

Strip Mahjong really isn't the kind of movie made for any kind of serious critical consideration. On the other hand, if you want to see a bunch of reasonably attractive Japanese girls in various states of undress, baring their breasts, this might do, especially with a six-pack or two of your favorite beer at your side. I will be honest, though. One of the girls has a very pronounced overbite, the kind that makes you wonder about casting decisions, or if someone was doing someone else a favor. To call this soft core might be overstating what's on the screen.

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There actually is a plot. Four young women with huge debts from playing mahjong are kidnapped and forced to play a game in which the losers shed articles of clothing, and the winner leaves alive with a suitcase full of money. The game is played on a special television broadcast, with a slimy host, his snarky assistant with the aforementioned overbite, and some hooded guy wearing nothing but a jock strap. There might be some drama for the few people who actually know the rules of mahjong. For the rest of us, it's just a matter of watching the girls attempt to outsmart each other, and seeing what bits of clothing they will be forced to discard. The only depiction of sex is a lesbian tryst between Runa Shimotsuki and Kaori Sasaki, that some may find titillating.

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I tried to find out about the director with the name Mark P. Forever, and came up with nothing. Research did show that the actresses are AV (Adult Video) stars of varying popularity in Japan. As for the one with the biggest onscreen credit, the singularly named Nina, some readers may want to explore her other work. Others may simply enjoy reading the titles in her filmography. The same could be said for the long limbed Runa Shimotsuki. Also, Hitomi Usano, and Mako Higashio, the girl with the pronounced overbite, have their share of fans. Those with greater interest will find more to explore on any of these actresses as none can be described as being camera shy.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at September 22, 2012 08:33 AM