|Girl Boss Blues: Queen Bee’s Counterattack (1971)|
|Writers:||Norifumi Suzuki and Takayuki Minagawa|
|Starring:||Reiko Ike, Keiko Yumi and Miki Sugimoto|
|The Plot: Girl Boss Blues: Queen Bee’s Counterattack begins with Reiko (Reiko Ike) setting up a salaryman in order to blackmail him. When the businessman isn’t looking, she places two girls in the trunk of his car while she proceeds to seduce him. She leads him to a love motel with the hopes of knocking him out and stealing all of his money. This introduces us to Reiko’s gang, known as the Athens gang, before they head out and try to steal another vehicle. Reiko’s group is then extorted by a motorbike gang who demand that the girls take a ride with them. These ruffians attack the girls, but they are soon rescued by a friendly yakuza named Jiro who knows Reiko very well. Afterward we meet young Yuko, a high school girl who wants to join Reiko’s gang. After her initiation, which involves popping her own cherry, Yuko is a full member of the group and is soon being taken care of by Reiko. However, when the group runs into trouble with a local yakuza syndicate, Jiro stands out as their only hope for survival. Unfortunately, both Yuko and Reiko have developed feelings for the young man.|
Directed by Norifumi Suzuki, the film packs in everything that you would expect from this director. Easily one of the most visual filmmakers of the era, his movies often come across as technicolor dreamscapes. His films are usually dictated by genre ideals more than true experimentation in narrative devices, but the visual flourishes found in his movies can only be described as brilliant. This movie is no different in that regard. Featuring amazing use of color, where bright reds are almost so blazing that they damage your retinas, the creation of “style” within these movies is almost immediate. Suzuki, despite his style, remains married to his genre ideals. From the overcompensation of plot, to the overdose in exploitation, Queen Bee’s Counterattack brings both the positive and negative effects of genre-dedication. The pinky violence genre, if it has one negative attribute, it is that these films can often devolve into something purely episodic. Queen Bee’s Counterattack certainly falls into this category. Repeating itself many times over, at times the movie seems to be a series of “scams” pulled off by our leading ladies. These scams are then followed by antagonism from the local yakuza, wash, rinse and repeat. The film does try to compensate for this, however, by incorporating two or three continuous subplots that travel throughout the movie. It doesn’t work to the effect that Suzuki likely hoped, but if there is any glue within the narrative it is the love triangle that Reiko is involved in (between the biker and Jiro) as well as the small bits where we meet the former-yakuza who has recently been released from prison. This former-yakuza forms a sizable amount of screen time, but his story seems absent from the movie at times. As if his narrative were on a completely different plane than that of Reiko and her Athens gang.