She Cat (1983) – By Duane L. Martin

Dr. Cat Kagami works at a women’s medical clinic with her friend and fellow doctor, Dr. Hiratsuka. One night, as Cat and her friend attend a mutual friend’s party, a mysterious woman shows up carrying a bag, and she desperately wants to talk to Cat. Before she can tell her why she’s there however, three guys standing at a distance outside of the apartment start shooting up the place, ultimately killing Cat’s friend, but she wasn’t the real target. The real target was the mysterious girl with the even more mysterious bag. What’s in the bag? I don’t want to reveal that here, because I’d have to give the whole story away, but let’s just say it involves the son of a rich and powerful doctor who wanted to marry the daughter of the head of an electronics corporation, but has to get rid of some old baggage first. Now Cat not only finds herself in danger, but she also finds that someone she trusted, wasn’t so trustworthy after all. What follows is a film full of sex, intrigue, violence, rape and…confusion.

Ah, Nikkatsu sex films. They all have a plot, and some work better than others, but this one, they really tried to do something special with it, which is also why it ended up being longer than the typical Nikkatsu sex film. Unfortunately, the plot makes very little sense other than at it’s basic core, there seems to be plot elements that are left out completely that would have explained some things better, and just in general,the story is a complete mess.

Cat…is a doctor, but as the story progresses, suddenly she’s throwing scalpels like throwing daggers, shooting and killing people like a trained marksman, and even slits a throat like a trained assassin. The hell??? I mean seriously, where did all this come from? We don’t know, because it’s never explained. Neither is her relationship with the bar owner friend of hers who ends up helping her. Suddenly this guy is totally involved and even ends up involved in a shootout with the bad guys in his efforts to help her, and yet we don’t even know anything about their past relationship really.

The sex in the film is pretty typical of these films in general. Lots of rape, and women who struggle at first, but then give in. There is one particularly harsh scene where a girl is raped shortly after having an abortion. I was like, "Seriously? Come on now." I mean, you get used to seeing the rape thing in Japanese films, because the Japanese seem to be obsessed with that rape fantasy, but doing it to a girl right after she’s had an abortion, that’s just distasteful, even by Japanese standards. Yeah it’s just a film, but come on. There’s nothing hot or erotic about seeing a girl raped after she’s had an abortion. They sort of crossed a line there. There’s also this whole side thing with Cat knowing a lot of transsexuals through her own transsexual friend who gets shot at the party, but that really doesn’t have anything to do with the story. It’s just sort of an aside thing that allows for some bits of humor to be thrown in.

This release contains newly translated Japanese subtitles, the original theatrical trailer and liner notes from Japanese film scholar, Jasper Sharp.

The movie, taken as a whole is actually pretty ok. Not better than that though. The main plot is pretty straight forward, but there are other plot elements that are just a mess, and the ending makes no sense whatsoever. Aside from the violence, which was actually pretty cool, there’s really nothing in this movie that makes this one stand out amongst all the other Nikkatsu films. It’s just yet another one in the pile. I can’t give it a wholehearted recommendation, but if you like the Nikkatsu films, then check it out. There are parts of it, as I said that are pretty cool. The parts that aren’t so cool, are confusing at best and boring at worst.

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