Meiji · Taishô · Shôwa: Ryôki onna hanzai-shi
1969 / 92m - Japan
Love and Crime poster


January 31, 2021


A slightly more subdued Teruo Ishii film, though mostly because there's something else going on than just the usual exploitation elements. Not that you should expect a full-fledged drama, but Ishii's film is not unlike the inquisitive films of Wakamatsu that try to dig deeper into the darker corners of sex and romance.

A coroner gets the scare of his life when one night his wife is brought in. Inside the body he finds traces of semen, which baffles him as he never suspected his wife of cheating on him. He delves into the police archives to look for similar cases, hoping to find an answer to what might have motivated his wife to do what she did.

While essentially a mini-anthology, the strong thematic link between the different segments makes it feel like a more traditional narrative film. There are definitely some good moments here, though overall the exploitation elements with dark psychological overtones don't always mix that well. At least Ishii fans won't be bored.