Gaijin Rider



TV and Movies - 0-9

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Delinquent Girl Boss:
Ocho The She Wolf (1969)
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A.K.A.: Wolves of the City 2
          Wolves of the City: Ocho the
          Furyô banchô: Inoshika Ochô
DIRECTOR: Yukio Noda
LANGUAGE: Japanese
ASPECT RATIO: Cinemascope 2.35:1
DURATION: 89 mins

Ocho the She-Wolf is a bit of a weird one.... even for Japan ...and that's saying something!

Cutting a long story short... you get an amoral (pre-Bosozoku) motorcycle gang in Nazi regalia pitted against evil Yakuza, with the tide eventually turning when the legendary hell-bitch Ocho the She-Wolf teams up with the gang.

The movie looks great.   Yukio Noda frames shots with six, seven, sometimes even a dozen interacting characters spread across the screen, yet it all seems sooooo effortless.

Modern directors don’t seem remotely interested in using shots like these anymore, which is a shame, but it may also be a function of today’s screenwriters choosing to limit the number of characters who interact simultaneously.

In any case, that was just one thing I loved about this movie!

But.... that said, Ocho the She-Wolf is a pretty mixed bag.

It relies upon numerous violent set pieces, but where the dialogue sequences feel so carefully thought out, the action is pure Keystone Kops.

Because Noda continues framing large numbers of actors in single shots, his performers seem more intent upon hitting their stage marks than making these confrontations look realistic.

They reach their required positions in the scenes, but these hardened gangsters handle pistols and machine guns as if they were rubber snakes, dealing a major blow to what should be the visceral thrill of such moments.

By packing the screen during the gunfights Noda forces the audience to accept that nobody can successfully shoot anyone from five feet away... *shrugs* Well I suppose the same criticism can be leveled at Star Wars... so what the Hell!

It feels very 'bang-bang-you’re-dead' amateurish, complete with wounded gangsters clutching their chests, spinning around, and falling to the floor.

In the end the plot ushers us through various deals, deceptions, and shootouts, and you finally get the inevitable showdown between the bikers and the Yakuza.

This is the most unlikely sequence of all, with bikers motoring around none too swiftly inside a confined warehouse while still miraculously being missed by a hailstorm of screaming lead.

But by now we know what we’re going to get and we just have to go with it.

At one point Ocho puts out a gangster’s eyes and proudly informs him (as if he can hear through the mind-numbing pain), “You’re the seventeenth victim of Ocho of Inoshika’s eye attack!

This movie does attack the eyes rather beautifully, and if you look past the Vaudeville antics of the action scenes you will definitely enjoy it.




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