Fairy in a Cage (1977) – By Duane L. Martin

The time is World War II. A perverted Judge named Murayama uses the military to imprison beautiful women, so he can satisfy his sexual perversions by torturing them for information. His woman is equally as twisted, and when the wife of a wealthy merchant named Najimi catches the judge’s eye, she soon finds herself in his cells, along with a kabuki actor who she had started a fan club for who was accused of taking her money and feeding it to anti-government types. The two are tortured by the judge and his wife, but a new guard named Taoka starts having sexual feelings toward Najimi, and ultimately helps her escape. Now they’re on the run, and she’s helplessly at his mercy as he has his way with her as well. How will it end for them? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

This film like all of the Nikkatsu Roman porno films, is full of sexual perversion, rape and violence. This one seems to be a bit more story driven than some, but in the end, it all comes down to the same thing, just as it does in all of these films…sex. That is the point of them after all.

I can’t say the story itself is all that disturbing, at least not to me. I guess I’ve seen so many of these films that I’ve become desensitized to them. Unless you’re into bondage and torture, it’s hard to find the sex in a film like this appealing. Especially, as I’ve said a million times now, the Japanese men in these films approach sex with women like 12 year olds on crack. Why? Honestly, I have never figured that one out. I don’t know if it has to do with the repressive nature of Japanese society or if it’s just a cultural thing or what, but it’s hard to find it erotic.

The story itself is surprisingly pretty solid given the nature of the film. I’ve noticed that in these Nikkatsu films, there’s a great variance in the quality of the stories, as well as the sex. Some excel at one or both, others fail at one or both. You never really know what you’ll get until you see it. In the case of this film, the story, acting and characters are good, but I found the sex to be lacking. Most of the sexual situations in the film fell into the vein of sexual fetish and torture. There was some actual sex, but again, I found it to be lacking.

If you see this one, see it for the story, not the sex. The ending was weak as well, but all in all, this one definitely had one of the better stories of the series and is worth checking out if you like these types of Roman porno films.

This release, from Synapse’s Impluse Pictures label, has a new, high definition transfer from the original 35mm camera negative, newly translated English subtitles and liner notes from Japanese film scholar, Jasper Sharp.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out it’s page on Synapse’s website here, and if you’d like to pick up a copy for yourself, you can get the DVD or blu-ray from Amazon, or from any of the other usual outlets.