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July 17, 2013

Nurse Diary: Wicked Finger

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Kangofu nikki: Itazurana yubi
Shin'ichi Shiratori - 1979
Impulse Pictures Region 1 DVD

There's a gag in Nurse Diary: Wicked Finger which I would have thought would appear in a Farrelly brothers movie. A college student discovers that a pretty young nurse has moved across from the way from him, and he can observe her from his window. His sense of passion is aroused at the same moment that the landlady comes to tell the young man to clean his room. The young man takes matters into his own hands, so to speak, and the vacuum clean is used to hoover himself. When a pal comes by, the young man finds himself in a predicament resolved by a visit to the hospital where the nurse happens to work. While this is nowhere near as funny as Ben Stiller's accident with his zipper in There;s Something about Mary, there is a similar sensibility at work here.

Sad to say, this is the high point here. While I appreciate the historical value of getting these Nikkatsu Roman Porno films on DVD, I wish this was a better movie. Most of the flesh on display is from Asumi Ogawa as the gaudily dressed cabaret performer, frequently showing up for impromptu physical examinations. Star Etsuko Hara shows her flexible side doing some yoga exercises, but as the object of affection in the title role, seems underused. This film is probably of greater interest to the completist. It has to be understood that not every film from Nikkatsu was made with any greater aspiration than to get product out in time to fill a theater date. My hope is that some more of the earlier Nikkatsu films get DVD release since they are usually of greater interest both cinematically and in subject matter.

For me, the first rule of this kind of filmmaking is to find any kind of excuse to get the leading lady scantily clad if not outright naked. I think the scene of Etsuko Hara demonstrating her physical agility would have been hot had she not been in blue tights, but wearing a lot less, like a pair of panties. Such a scene would have allowed some of us to also crack attrocious puns about yoga bare.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at July 17, 2013 08:54 AM