In part 9 of THE NAIL THAT STICKS OUT, we delve into the case of Lucie Blackman, the gaijin hostess who never left Roppongi alive.
Welcome to post-World War II Tokyo. The Occupied City. It’s a crime-fest. Aside from yakuza-run markets, gang wars, gambling, and seemingly everybody on the grift, prostitution is so utterly widespread, there’s even a governmental department named The RAA (Recreation and Amusement Association) specifically established to relieve the occupying troops of pent-up libidinal urges that could […]
I do judge books, despite the well-worn proverb, by their covers. I judge them by their creative flair or their uninspired “just slap a massive gun on it and ship it to the stores” laziness. I judge them by their logos, either in homage to a theme or a period, or by the dull standards […]
This is all opinion today, so if you don’t like opinion pieces let’s just get the news out of the way and then you can go about your day: The first issue of John Kenyon’s Grift Magazine is out soon. It has a pretty great line-up of fiction and non-fiction including Ray Banks, Ken Bruen, Scott Phillips, […]
A few months back, I ploughed through Jungle Street by Don Elliott. Elliott (the pseudonym of SF master Robert Silverberg) wrote numerous smutty novels (such as Escape To Sindom, Sex Gang and Party Girl), the kind which once flooded the market with their lurid pulp covers of half-naked buxotics either frolicking with strapping young men or running from them.
By his own admission, noted Mangaka (pro comics creator) Kazuichi Hanawa had long been interested in themes of confinement. An early, unfinished experiment was a manga concerning a masked man locked up in a basement. It’s oddly appropriate then that Hanawa, a noted collector of replica firearms would, years later, be incarcerated in Hokkaido and serve roughly […]
It all depends on how you choose to view it: Fatale is a crime comic. It features square-jawed tough guys making goo-goo eyes at beautiful dames with curling, jet-black tresses and fine suits and shotguns and embittered, trench-coat wearing cops and broad-shouldered goons. Or Fatale is a horror comic. It features gorily murdered cult members and magic […]
We left off last column with a run-down on the first of actress/singer Meiko Kaji’s Female Prisoner Scorpion series and a hint that things were about to get pretty weird. Well, the phantasmagoria goes full bore in the second film in the series, Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (Joshuu Sasori – Dai 41 Zakkyobo). Filmed, like its predecessor, in […]
She sold over a million albums, her films inspired much of Kill Bill, and when she didn’t want to do what she was asked of by executives, she said uh-uh and split for greener pastures. Her name is Meiko Kaji. Possessed with a confidence and an intensity that saw her type-cast as one of Japan’s toughest bad girls, […]
“Oishi sausage des!” –Sion Sono, Guilty of Romance Okay, hands up if you know what a love hotel is? Yeah, right, feel free to skip ahead. For those who don’t: A love hotel is basically a venue that you pay for by the hour to go and have sex with someone. They are frequently themed and […]
Back in my days teaching English in Japan, I raised the topic of murders and why they were so frequently extreme in Japan. One student actually said in reply, “It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality.” Kind of grimly funny, and a nice attempt at busting out some natural speech, but the thing is, I […]
It’s a role of intense emotional shifts frequently conveyed internally. It’s a portrayal of severe emotional and psychological damage created with such subtlety and intelligence it’s hard to imagine any healthy twenty-two year old pulling it off, let alone one related to seemingly vapid child star/fashion designer twins. Yet, here we are. I have a […]
Speaking simply in terms of narrative possibility, Batman is the writer’s best friend. A skillful wordsmith armed with this brooding pulp titan could spin an infinite number of genre-spliced yarns and never would the plot-well run dry.
In a story entitled “The Human Chair,” an anonymous, physically repulsive furniture maker builds a large, beautiful chair that he can climb in and out of to enjoy the sensuous delights of having woman of all physical types sit on him. When the chair—with him inside it, of course—is moved to a luxurious hotel, he […]