21. Ichijo’s Wet Lust (Tatsumi Kumashiro, 1972)
An erotic striptease. Candle-wax S&M. Absurd sexuality. Lesbian sex scenes. Masturbation and ejaculation of strippers. Legal problems with strippers and the striptease club owner. All of those things are depicted powerfully and beautifully in “Ichijo’s Wet Lust”.
Tatsumi Kumashiro, generally hailed as one of the most important directors in the pink genre, has made not only one of the greatest pink films, but also one of the greatest films in world cinema. “Ichijo’s Wet Lust” is Kumashiro’s masterpiece that can be considered a metaphor of freedom fighting. He has used the pink genre and striptease activities in the film for that. Strippers frequently do get trouble with authority, but generally they want to do what they want to do. They fight for it and they like it.
The last scene, where the main stripper ejaculates among her audience as if she’s getting an orgasm, is as meaningful as if she won the game against authority. Many critics have claimed that this is the metaphor for freedom of expression. It is generally hailed as an unmissable classic of Japanese cinema.
22. Beauty’s Exotic Dance: Torture! (Noboru Tanaka, 1977)
This is the last classic of the Showa Trilogy, directed by possibly the best director of Nikkatsu Roman Porno films Noboru Tanaka. “Beauty’s Exotic Dance: Torture!” is based on the real Japanese painter and writer Seiu Ito; his acts of “kinbaku” are especially shown in this classic. He is famous these days as the father of modern kinbaku and if you want to know about his artistic life, this may be the most suitable film.
“Kinbaku” means tightly binding the woman in Japanese. Ito binds his two wives and another one of his favorite prostitutes, and then tortures them. From there he gets inspirations for his paintings and photographs.
Of course, this film deals with excessive S&M themes. The story is irrelevant but the activities shown in it are powerful, beautiful and disturbing.
23. Flower and Snake (Masaru Konuma, 1974)
The second classic from Masaru Konuma on this list, “Flower and Snake” is also based on S&M themes. Both the female and male leads previously starred in Konuma’s masterpiece “Wife to be Sacrificed”. There are many similarities in these two films, including torturing, sadomasochism and absurd sexual activities.
Naomi Tani has again performed brilliantly, especially during the bondage in rope scene. It is one of the best films of Nikkatsu Roman Porno, which deals with S&M themes, particularly kinbaku.
24. Diary of a Shinjuku Thief (Nagisa Oshima, 1968)
The third film from Oshima on this list, “Diary of a Shinjuku Thief” contains fewer erotic elements but enough pinky elements to be considered a pink film. It is another remarkable example of a Japanese New Wave film where Oshima’s style can be seen very clearly. This film is highly influenced by the films of French New Wave, especially by the films of Jean-Luc Godard.
It tells the story of a book thief who is caught by a girl, and the two gets engaged in a romantic relationship. Their various sexual activities, looting, playing, romantic scenes and politics are very interesting. Its unmissable especially for Oshima fans.
25. Female Yakuza Tale: Inquisition and Torture (Teruo Ishi, 1973)
A pretty good sequel to Norifumi Suzuki’s classic “Sex and Fury”, this film was made by another prolific director, Teruo Ishi, who has made many good pink films and who is famous for his eroguro films, a subgenre of pink films. Ishi has made a great film in “Abashiri Prison” which can be included in the Yakuza genre. Japanese filmmakers are best at presenting women as manly, violent and gangster-like.
Made in the same year as its prequel, this shows the female yakuza gangs who are involved in drug trafficking and pick-pocketing. It’s not as good as its prequel, but with the very sexy actress Reiko Ike, this film is extremely entertaining. Fans of “Sex and Fury” will definitely love it.
26. Slave Widow (Mamoru Watanabe, 1967)
This interesting melodrama from Mamoru Watanabe tells the interesting story of a widow who ends up as the sexual slave of her husband’s creditor, but another twist comes when that lusty and ruthless creditor’s son falls in love with her. Regardless, she is self-respectful woman who wants to escape from all those traps.
The conversations, the plot and the characters are highly melodramatic but it doesn’t annoy audiences. Its sexual scenes are psychologically exploitative rather than erotic. The widow also has purely romantic obsessions toward her husband, which makes her separate from any other man psychologically. It’s a good watch for pink film lovers.
27. Daydream (Tetsuji Takeji, 1964)
“Daydream” is a groundbreaking film in the pink genre, which has influenced many other pink films. Tetsuji Takeji himself has remade it twice and another Korean remake is also there. It shows the hallucinatory sexual gimmicks that are powerfully depicted, which are the main points of this film.
A dentist actually imagines the sexual fantasies of his female patients and many surreal scenes are present. This style was later used in many other pink films. Apart from them, its presentation, sex scenes, performances are skillful. No doubt that it is a classic of the pink genre.
28. Terrifying Girls’ High School: Lynch Law Classroom (Norifumi Suzuki, 1973)
Another very good film from Norifumi Suzuki on this list, it is possibly the best of “Terrifying Girls’ High School” series. Reiko Ike doesn’t have erotic sex scenes in this film, but she plays a rescuer of a prison-like girls school where the female students are tortured to hell if they made even a slight mistake. Of course, it is also based on the S&M theme like most pink films, but this is very different. It’s sort of a female yakuza film where there are excessively pinky elements.
It’s about a very strict female school where the disciplinarians are very ruthless, torture the students and even kill them. The students rebel against the authority after awhile. It may remind viewers of prison dramas and yakuza films and other S&M-themed films.
29. Etsuraku (Nagisa Oshima, 1965)
The last classic of Oshima on this list, “Etsuraku” is one of the five classics of Oshima’s Outlaw Sixties. These classics are some of the greatest films of Japanese New Wave and Oshima fans shouldn’t miss them. Another great and stylistic film is “Violence of Noon” but all films are equally brilliant.
Since “Etsuraku” is the first film dealing with sexual themes, it is obviously a turning point for Oshima. He has mastered this theme and his style in his later works, probably mastered best in his masterpiece “In the Realm of the Senses”.
“Etsuraku” tells the story of a man who is guilty for murder and rape, and ends up being blackmailed; he has to hide a huge sum of money for a year since the blackmailer was the witness of the murder scene. However, the protagonist doesn’t care and spends the money thinking that he will commit suicide after he finishes it. During that year, he spends that money for sexual pleasure and for his romantic life.
30. Rope Cosmetology (Shogoro Nishimura, 1978)
If you like to watch Yasuzo Masumura’s “Manji” based on the S&M theme, then “Rope Cosmetology” is the most suitable film for you to watch. These two films have similar plot, since it’s about a husband who is overtly jealous of his wife, who is in a romantic and sexual relationship with her lesbian lover. What makes “Rope” different from “Manji” is that these lesbians like to get involved in S&M activities. Even worse, they try to do the kind of sexual activities that a female dog would do.
Shogoro Nishimura has made some excellent pink films and “Rope Cosmetology” is his finest achievement. Naomi Tani performs brilliantly like in her other classic pink films. It’s unmissable film for pink film lovers.