The Plot: At the School of Hope, an all girl home for juvenile delinquents, a young girl named Michiko is found dead from a dive off the top of the school. Although the principals, who are in tight with the police department, have the incident written out as an accident – the reality is that the ‘disciplinary committee’ were behind it. This disciplinary committee is made up of a group of students put in charge of handling anyone who steps out of line, given free reign by the psychotic vice principal. However three new arrivals at the school are about to shake things up forever. Noriko (played brilliantly by Miki Sugimoto, well know for her juvenile delinquent flicks) takes on a leadership role amongst the girls. Her background as the leader of one of the most powerful girl gangs in Japan follows her, and she is in search of the truth behind Michiko’s (her former right hand) death. ‘Razor Blade’ Remi Kitano is a young woman most noticeable for her appearance as she wears a cowboy hat, boots and carries a razor blade with her at all times. Koyoko Kubo uses her sexuality to get what she wants, with either men or women! These three girls, along with the help of a nosy reporter looking to find a lead on the young woman killed at the school, are in search of the truth behind this awful school and won’t stop until the School of Hope is split wide open!

The Review: I am a lover of all Japanese cinema, and if you’ve taken the time to search out as obscure a title as this film today I suspect most of you are as well. My experience with Japanese cinema started with Battle Royale and Takashi Miike’s Audition, each released roughly around the beginning of this decade. Although I sometimes feel like I’ve been watching forever, I realize that’s only a short amount of time and my experience with Nippon cinema from earlier than that has been relatively light. I’ve seen a few Yakuza flicks here and there, quite a few samurai tales but I have up until this point avoided much of the Pinky Violence genre. The reason for this would probably be rooted in my experiences with the Yakuza films of the era that I have had experience with, which at the time of my watching I simply didn’t find as much to love in them as I kind of thought I would. So after a few disappointments (and I’d rather not even go into which films, as I think I may actually enjoy them if I went back to them later) I essentially marked off most films from the 60s and 70s as being nice to look at but painful to sit through, due to boredom. However, when I finally bit the bullet and did a swan dive into the Pinky Violence genre with Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss last month – my mind was blown. Not simply a flick made for the sake of art or for the sake of entertainment, it turned out as a fun combination of the two. A high aesthetic that still delivered the goods that an exploitation crowd might be accustomed to. That film, unlike the one we’re focusing on today, was actually almost virginal in it’s attention to sexuality. Something I didn’t expect. The genre after all was created by Toei studios in direct competition with Nikkatsu studios who had found success with their Roman-Porno (softcore sex flicks with some deviance thrown in there) line. The Pinky Violence subgenre can be seen as the action and violence oriented version of much of the same content, but each film keeps surprising me with the level of depth and the way in which it doesn’t simply rely on the exploitation elements to sell the story. The actual story sells itself, the violence and craziness is just a fun little addition.

When discussing Terrifying Girls High School: Lynch Law Classroom at any length, you have to mention the jaw dropping first shots. I mean, you really can’t grab your audience any better than to start your film off with both boobs and blood. With Lynch Law Classroom, you’re given both – quite literally. The very first shot is that of a group of teen girls in their school uniforms, wearing red surgical masks and red leather gloves ripping open the blouse of another school girl to reveal her breasts. These lunatics in red we will later know to be the Disciplinary Committee, but for now they’re anonymous boob revealing schoolgirls in the eyes of the viewer. When the knives come into play on this topless girl, I’ll give you one guess where they cut her. Well, two guesses. The correct answer is her LEFT breast! The Japanese fascination with breasts are even more drastic than even we Americans could dare to muster. I suppose if you couldn’t see a vagina on screen without pixels covering it you’d focus all your attention on breasts as well. So, after a little degradation and torture the disciplinary committee starts to draw blood out of the hapless girl’s body via an intravenous drip. All of this sleaze brilliantly inter-cut between scenes of an English classroom and a Tennis match on school property. The dynamic of all of this sleaze paired with the mundane and peaceful activities just around the corner actually works quite well. This young woman is literally being bled to death and forced to watch her own life force fill up a glass container. Once the blood reaches a certain line, she is told that she will be dead. What a way to start a film! I won’t spoil the death sequence but it doesn’t actually come via the blood loss.The blood draining and breast slicing is just the tip of the iceberg, the following ninety minutes are chock full of several very bizarre sexual torture sequences. Not to mention tons of bits with high school girls having sexual encounters with senior citizens, oh and there’s even an orgy! Keep reading!

Yep, there’s a couple of orgy sequences of sorts alright. The most entertaining of which involve the girls, five of them, bedding the principal and recording his throes of passion so that they can play it for all of the school to hear. His cries such as “Sucking on your pretty boobs under your school uniforms!” and “Your uniforms really turn me on!” are actually pretty darn hilarious in the context of the movie. Even if it is a bit odd to have girls who are supposedly in their teenage years molesting this man of roughly sixty years of age. Strange, funny and maybe even a slight bit disturbing, all depending on how you look at it. Jail bait or not, the line “Sucking on your pretty boobs” is a real keeper no matter what kind of movie you’re talking about. The actual disturbing bits come from the torture sequences which take the sexual deviance to all new limits. Nipple torture isn’t really anything new to Japanese cinema, but Lynch Law Classroom certainly seems to be in love with the concept. With two metal wires running from nipple to pubic hair in order to transfer an electrical shock throughout the body, the torture as you may have guessed can be pretty creative. My personal favorite would be the forcing of a lightbulb inside a young girl’s “special place” and then forcing her to do fifty push-ups. You’d think a lightbulb inside the vagina, lit up and boiling hot, would be enough but I suppose the push-ups are an added bit of humiliation. As you may can guess from my back and forth discussions on sex and violence at this point, the film can be kind of episodic in nature, with the film taking on a lot of subplots and giving them dear amounts of attention before moving along to the next. Whether it be scenes of torture or characters who come from out of left field (such as the opposing gang that challenges Noriko in mid school lesson). It certainly seems like the sort of film with a comic book background, although it is not to my knowledge. The way characters are woven into the story with so little backstory behind their actions, it just seems so far and away from your usual dramatic storytelling. Essentially, there’s nothing very ordinary about this movie.

The three main characters of Noriko, ‘Razor Blade’ Remi and Koyoko Kubo are all three such interesting characters. Despite this being a film where women have their nipples tortured and are subjected to all kinds of degradation; these three women are all shown to be so strong and on top of all situations. They use sex in order to get what they want and to turn the tables on any men who get in their way, but it really walks that line in going between pure sexism to a film about female empowerment and the triumph over a male dominated system. It’s a little quirky, I know. With all of this there’s also a bit of political commentary amidst all of the nipple electrocutions and vibrator lovemaking. The latter half of the film takes on a serious youth wish fulfillment theme with the “adult” characters being squarely pitted against the youthful avengers. With even the school superintendent reading from the book of laws before raping one of the students. There are moments where firehoses are turned on the riot squads and they are the ones being beaten and pelted. There’s also the infamous shot of the Japanese flag being burned amidst all of the rubble. REALLY potent stuff for the time it was released, both in levels of violence, sexuality and political backstory. So what is the overall consensus here? Although two thousand words into this review I haven’t even given a hint about any negatives at this point. However great the film may be, I have to say it doesn’t give off an incredibly emotional response. It is fun for the amount of time you’re involved in it however but you can’t go into it expecting much more than a fun time and some really amazing looking women fighting off hordes with their sexuality and deviance. In the end it ranks up with a four out of five, and it is richly deserved. Definitely recommended!

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