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  Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom! Hey kids leave those teachers alone!
Year: 1973
Director: Norifumi Suzuki
Stars: Miki Sugimoto, Reiko Ike, Seiko Saburi, Misuzu Ota, Rie Saotome, Tsunehiko Watase, Yuko Mizusawa, Yukiko Asano, Ryoko Ema, Emi Jo, Rena Ichinose, Rika Sudo, Takako Yamakawa, Kaya Hodumi, Nobuo Kaneko, Kenji Imai
Genre: Horror, Sex, Action, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: What we have here is nothing less than the greatest schoolgirl sexploitation action-horror epic of all time. From switchblade-wielding sex kittens and improbable motorcycle stunts, to gothic torture dungeons and steamy girl-on-girl shenanigans in the toilet stalls, this lunatic grotesque sleaze-fest has it all. Not to mention a funk-tastic porno-style soundtrack, twisted social satire and two superstars of Japan's "Pinky Violence" scene presiding over a crazy cast of karate babes, plucky nymphomaniacs, deviant schoolteachers and yakuza scumbags.

A girl screams in terror over the crashing waves of the Toei Films logo. Bound naked by a Gestapo gang of evil schoolgirls, a hypodermic jabbed in her arm, Machiko watches helpless as a glass vial fills with her bright crimson blood, while stuffed animals perched about this mad scientist's lab gawp in frozen horror. She makes a break for it, but winds up pushed to her death off the rooftop. Cops calmly cart away her corpse and promise the vice principal they'll write this up as an accident.

Welcome to the "School of Hope." Over a rapid-fire montage of quiet classrooms, obedient students and clean-living health regimes, its elderly principal proclaims their mission: to produce Japan's next generation of dutiful housewives and mothers. Except this reformatory for delinquent schoolgirls comes across more like a Frankenstein fusion of St. Trinian's (2008), A Clockwork Orange (1971) and a Nazisploitation movie. Now three new recruits have been shanghaied into its hallowed halls: teenage troublemaker Noriko Kazama (gorgeous, pouting Miki Sugimoto) is one badass mama and beautiful with it; razor-wielding cowgirl Remi Kitano (Misuzu Ota) took on a whole yakuza gang; sultry sexpot Kyoko Kubo (Seiko Saburi) gave a hapless truck driver the hand-job of a lifetime that led to multiple car crashes across the crowded motorway.

These three juniors quickly fall afoul of the so-called Disciplinary Committee, led by bad girl Yoko, whose lieutenant Tomie cops an eyeful of comely Kyoko soaping herself in the shower. Equally hot for gals and guys, Kyoko doesn't mind at all. The girls also find a friend in winsome Tomoko Nishida - so sweet and innocent you just know something awful awaits her. She and her classmates worship the near-mythical Noriko and pledge they'll help trace the killers of her pal Machiko. In an infamous sleaze set-piece, Kyoko ambushes Tomie on the toilet and rides her spread-eagled to an orgasmic tell-all. Their intimacy accompanied by an oh-so-romantic piano sonata.

Our heroines discover Vice Principal Ishihara (Kenji Imai) is the real power behind the scenes, with an unholy army of dirty cops, yakuza gangs and corrupt politico Mr. Sato (Nobuo Kaneko) in his back pocket. Beneath a respectable fa├žade, Sato spends his spare time molesting any girls Ishihara sends his way. Eventually he gets his grubby mitts on poor Tomoko, whose fate is no less harrowing for being expected. Ishihara is no less licentious. Though engaged to a wealthy, prim schoolteacher, he is getting busy with Yoko on her side. He gives her free reign to indulge such creative acts of sadism as shoving a hot light bulb inside Tomie's intimate area, forcing one girl to gulp a gallon of water and piss themselves in front of a crowded classroom, and stringing up Noriko for some topless torture with electric nipple-clamps ("Americans use this technique in Vietnam!"). But Noriko has an ace in the hole: equally badass biker babe Sakura Josui (Reiko Ike - Sugimoto's rival for the crown as teen queen of the Pinky Violence scene), who rides her motorcycle right into class!

Morally reprehensible? Absolutely, but criticising Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom! on those grounds is rather like complaining a rose is too red. This was the second instalment in Toei's four-part film series and as with such scandalous stablemates as Sukeban: Girl Boss Guerrilla (1972), Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs (1974), and Sex & Fury (1973), the studio aimed them at young, urban males, eager for bloodshed, bullets and boobs. Beyond those requirements however, anything was permissible and filmmakers like Toei's resident comedic anarchist Norifumi Suzuki embraced the genre wholeheartedly.

Suzuki is almost wholly unique in combining an adolescent glee over softcore sex and hardcore horror, a painterly eye worthy of Mario Bava, an endearingly silly sense of humour somewhere south of Benny Hill, with a seemingly all-consuming urge to unleash savage social satire. The early Seventies in Japan were an era where big business powerbrokers and ultra-conservative politicians allied themselves with yakuza thugs to bring left-wingers, the student movement and social reformers under their thumb. In its own cockeyed way, Lynch Law Classroom is a rallying cry for social upheaval, Suzuki's chance to lob hand-grenades at every clapped-out, corrupt institution he can think of. Being this is half counterculture, half exploitation pop cinema, his weapons of choice include shock, horror and sex, sex, sex!

So it comes as no surprise when the "good" girls retaliate by gang-banging their elderly principal and broadcasting his ecstatic ejaculations for the whole school to hear ("This is heaven! Who cares if I never win the gold medal for education!"). Or stage a wild satanic orgy and blackmail the participating politicians. Or crack yakuza skulls in an outbreak of ultra-violence. Away from the depravity, Suzuki includes inspired moments of spot-on parody (e.g. the disgraced principal slinking away while the girls sing a well-known Japanese hymn for retired schoolteachers) and bleak poetry, wisely playing poor Tomoko's ordeal totally straight - for maximum emotional impact.

While Reiko Ike is ice-cool and Miki Sugimoto has a hellcat's gleam in her eye, almost all the male characters are utterly despicable. Save perhaps for super-cool journalist Wakabayashi (action star Tsunehiko Watase), and even he plays Yojimbo letting chaos erupt everywhere while making cash on the side. Inevitably, it climaxes with a great big cathartic free-for-all as hundreds of schoolgirls trash the whole campus. Burn, baby, burn!

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

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