|Rape! 13th Hour (1977)|
|Writers:||Yoshio Shirasaka and Chiho Katsura|
|Starring:||Akira Takahashi, Yuri Yamashina, and Yūdai Ishiyama|
Although it is easily the most controversial and nasty film from within Hasebe’s violent pink run (a line of directed films that also included Rape!, Raping!, Assault! Jack the Ripper, and Attack!!), it is also the most easily misunderstood. Do not get me wrong, this is an exploitation film. This is a true blue piece of nasty filth, and Hasebe pandered to his audience in the most gratuitous way possible. However, in pandering this heavily, Rape! 13th Hour can also be seen as a way of taking this particular subgenre to its logical conclusion. If audiences wanted rape, the Hasebe was going to give it to them, and he would give it to them in the most shocking and over-the-top way possible. It might be a middle finger to his audience, but at the same time it also covers many of the same themes that were covered in the previously mentioned films. If you look at each of these movies, they all cover human selfishness in some manner. Afterall, this is the heart of the despicable act that is rape. The only difference this time around is that Hasebe instead focuses on the selfish individuals and not solely the victims of their horrid behavior.
Getting right down to the main idea behind the film, it seems to focus on the corruption of a regular person. The apprentice character is ultimately a regular Joe who is stuck in a rut and not very fulfilled with his life. When he sees the serial rapist of the film, he sees a man who has everything he wants. He’s a fashionable guy, he’s calm and cool, but most importantly he takes everything that he wants. The apprentice is far from this mold. He has no luck with the ladies, and he never gets what he wants. As he follows this serial rapist, he tries to become like him but has a hard time leaving behind his decency. He tries to rape women, but finds himself unable to do anything when he has no feelings for these women. The movie is ultimately a documentation of his transformation from a civilized being into a corrupted and selfish man. The roaming pack of homosexuals, a group that are semi-duplicated in Hasebe’s Attack!!, ultimately show that within this society of corruption there is only punishment at the end of this road. No matter who you are or what you have, there is the chance of someone being envious of it. There is a slight subplot going on between the serial-rapist and one of the homosexual men, but it is not very developed and doesn’t really offer much to the story. The main point is that our lead rapist is is tormented by other men who seek to torment him in the same way that he inflicts harm upon the world. It becomes a cycle of violence, selfishness, and total brutality.