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Sunday, May 02, 2010

DVD Review: Groper Train: Search for the Black Pearl

Japan 1984
Dir: Yojiro Takita
Starring: Yukijiro Hotaru, Yuka Takemura, Naoto Takenaka, Tomoyasu Shu, Kaoru Kaze, Kazumi Kimura, Serina Miyabi, Mitsuo Nakayama
DVD Released: 23rd Nov 2009
Cert: NR
Running Time: 64 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic NTSC
Audio: Japanese DD2.0
Subtitles: English
Distributor: Pink Eiga
Region: 0 NTSC

The Film

Groper Train: Search For The Black Pearl

The action kicks off in Manchuria, 1928; a shell shocked Japanese soldier, Gohei Yamamori, making his way wearily through the desert stumbles across a severed hand sporting a black pearl ring. As the credits roll we cut to 1984; a crowded Japanese commuter train, it's Gohei again (much older), fingerbanging a woman (much younger) in the back carriage (snigger). Unfortunately for him he has a stroke mid-stroke and next thing you know he's on his deathbed begging his nurse/wife Matsuko for one last quickie before he'll give up the location of his priceless black pearl. With his last gasping breath he utters; 'pussy print'. Yup, an inked vagina pressed on paper and framed on the wall, unfortunately damaged in a fire.

With no idea how this odd piece of art relates to where the black pearl might be hidden Matsuko (in between shagging her son-in-law) seeks professional assistance and who better to help find a wayward pussy but a private dick; Groper Train series veterans Ippei Kuroda (Yukijiro Hotaru) and his assistant Hamako (Yuka Takemura) are soon on the case. The vagina in question belongs to Gohei's missing niece Yoko so in the hopes of finding her and thus making a new undamaged print Kuroda decides to go pussy hunting...on the train....during rush hour. After multiple gropings and a couple of nasty surprises (bloody tampon, fresh turd) Kuroda strikes gold and finds horny Yoko!

At this point the Great Mystery Writer Seicho Matsuki (Naoto Takenaka) is also called in to assist in the case. First he's going to need a good long look at the original vagina that made the print! Better be fast though because as the investigation progresses Gohei's niece and son are both murdered, but by whom? 

Will Kuroda and Hamako figure it out before they become the killer's next victims? And more importantly will there be a final act homage to Flashdance in which Hamako trains to make her pussy tighter? Yes. Yes there will.

This was my first experience of Pink Eiga and it's some truly weird and wacky stuff. According to the Pink genre 'rules' these films must be low budget, around an hour in length, filmed quickly and most importantly contain a good number of sex scenes. It may seem nuts basing an entire series of films around the uniquely Japanese phenomenon of groping women on crowded trains but what's crazier is that at the peak of their popularity 20 of these were being released per year! It seems that these films provided an outlet for new and experimental filmmakers as evidenced by the off-beat and often genuinely funny and surprising technical elements found in this episode - look out for the view from the inside of a vagina. Oh and the director of this particular entry in the series, Yojiro Takita, won Japan's first, and thus far only, Oscar for best foreign language film in 2009 for the excellent Departures.

The Disc

Distinctly average looking presentation, soft 1.85:1 non-anamorphic transfer with hard-matted English subtitles. Standard 2.0 Japanese language audio mix.

Extras include a 7 minute featurette entitled Riding the Groper Train: An Interview With Mr. Pink, in which actor/director Yutaka Ikejima (about to start production on his 109th! pink film) explains how the Groper Train series came about. There are also a few text based bios about the actors and director.

The Japanese prove yet again that they are the perviest nation on the planet!

Review by Giuseppe Rijitano

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