|Quick Draw Okatsu (1969)|
|Starring:||Junko Miyazono, Reiko Oshida, Reiko Ônobuta and Kô Nishimura|
|The Plot: A sequel in name only, this entry into the Legends of the Poisonous Seductress series introduces the audiences to a brand new leading character. This time out, Junko Miyazono plays the young and beautiful Okatsu, who is an adopted member of a very strong swordsman school. She takes after her adopted father much more than her half-brother Rintaro, who doesn’t want to have anything to do with his biological father’s school. When Rintaro decides that he has had enough, he runs away from home in order to be with his now-pregnant girlfriend Saki. When he attempts to earn money for his new life, he ends up in a crooked gambling den where he is hustled into a massive debt. While in this den, he is introduced to Rue (Reiko Oshida). Rue is acting as a thorn in the side of the evil government officials who run the gambling den, and whom she feels has perverted the local government. As it turns out, though, this gambling-debt scheme was a preconceived plot by the evil official Shiozaki so that he may finally take Okatsu as his lover. His goal turns out to be hoisting Rintaro with this massive debt, and forcing Okatsu and her father to be liable for the money. When this madman inevitably gets what he wants and tortures the beautiful Okatsu and kills her father, he unleashes the scorn of this powerful young woman and her revenge will be ferocious.
While these Poisonous Seductress films may be viewed primarily as a catalyst for better things that were to come from the pinky violence genre, I am a firm supporter of this series due to its own merit. Relying less on overly exaggerated stereotypes or wild sexual exploitation, these films instead deliver some very strong performances and feature awesomely scripted stories rife with intrigue and horror. A prime reason that these hellish stories seem to work, and hellish they most assuredly are, is due to the excellent performances from Junko Miyazono. A actress who isn’t so well known here in the states, these movies are her biggest tickets to fame in the West. In the original film, as well as this sequel, Miyazono plays her character as someone who has a very direct arch and path that she must follow. Beginning the story as a believably naive young woman who hasn’t had to endure a tremendous number of hardships in the world, in both films we watch as the world seems to lump one punishment on top of the other for this poor character. Although the first movie was brutal on the audience emotionally, this sequel takes things even further. This time around we watch as both her father and her brother are murdered in brutal fashions, and then both she and her sister-in-law are sold into sexual slavery. Although these movies do avoid excessive nudity and exploitation in that regard (although they do love some violence), they are far from soft on the audience. As you grow to sympathize with the character of Okatsu, the story brutalizes its audience. Indeed, she is put through hell throughout this movie.