Junko Miyazono returns as QUICK-DRAW OKATSU the daughter of a swordplay instructor who takes on a power-hungry magistrate in the second entry in the LEGENDS OF THE POISONOUS SEDUCTRESS series. Joined this time by Rui a wild young swordswoman the two sexy avengers embark on a blood-soaked quest for revenge after Okatsu is raped and her father slaughtered by one of his assistants. Okatsu and Rui slash their way through dozens of evil men in order to settle the score with those who wronged them in this swordplay classic which features some of the best fight scenes of the series. (description dvd cover)
Quick-Draw Okatsu is the second part of a trilogy with a rather odd title: Legends of the Poisonous Seductress. To be honest, after having seen the film I’m still not sure how this title refers to Okatsu. Apparently – I say ‘apparently’ because this is the only film of the trilogy I own – Quick Draw Okatsu has little to do with part one, Female Demon Ohyaku. It took only the concept of the first film and reworked it completely. And this one is in colour. The third film was called Okatsu The Fugitive, a sequel to this movie. The main thing all three movies have in common: lead actress Junko Miyazono.
Quick-Draw Okatsu introduces us to Rui, a feisty young girl in a fighting outfit/miniskirt. Rui is played by Reiko Oshida, who only made ten movies in her life. The titles of her films speak for themselves: School for Thieves, Blossoming Night Dreams (a.k.a. Tokyo Bad Girls), Crimson Bat Oishi: Wanted Dead or Alive and Delinquent Girl Boss: Worthless to Confess (in which she played the lead). I don’t see Quick Draw Okatsu as a pinky violence movie (despite what it says on the DVD), but rather a female swordfighter movie. Okatsu is that swordfighter and it is she who Rui bumps into when chased by some men who work for the (corrupt) city commissioner. Okatsu is the (adopted) daughter of a famous fight instructor. Her word is good enough for the men to leave Rui alone. The instructor, Makabe, also has a son. This son, Rintaro, hates fighting and dreams of becoming a farmer with his beloved girl, Saki (who is pregnant, but has only informed Rintaro). Makabe is furious his son doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps, which has often lead to arguments. After another fight Rintaro leaves the house for good and tries to get more money by going to a gambling house. We, the viewers, see immediately the game is fraudulent, but Rintaro doesn’t and soon he’s in great debts. He tries to prove the game is rigged, but is unsuccessful. At which point Rui steps in and proves Rintaro was right. Rintaro grabs some money on his way out, which is the real start of the Makabes’ trouble. Since Rintaro has disappeared, the stolen money is demanded from Okatsu and her father. Okatsu offers to make good what her brother did wrong, which city commissioner Shiozaki and his henchmen reinterpret as Okatsu offering her body. Okatsu doesn’t want that, so they keep her locked in a cellar. Her father intervenes and demands they can punish him as much as they want to, if only they’ll let his daughter free. The henchmen pretend to oblige, but use the opportunity to torture Makabe while his daughter has to watch her father’s body being brutalized while being raped by Shiozaki. This (long and) relentless sequence made me check if Ken Loach hadn’t directed this movie. No, the director was one Nobuo Nakagawa (also the director of the cult classic Jigoku a.k.a. Hell).
After killing Makabe, it looks as if Okatsu’s days are numbered too. Luckily for Okatsu, Rui has managed to find out where Okatsu was held and jumps inside the house to save Okatsu. Shiozaki hears of Okatsu’s escape and has her announced as a dangerous killer.
Okatsu is alive with only one plan: to find the men who were responsible for her rape and the death of her father. She’s happy she still has a brother… Erm… Actually, her brother has been murdered rather cowardly and his lover was sold to a brothel. Okatsu finds out about this the hard way. Because in this film things can apparently only go the hard way.
Despite all the rapes, deaths and swordfights Quick-Draw Okatsu is not an exploitation movie. It’s violent and depressing because it’s so bleak (try and count the good characters in this film on one hand). At one point we see Saki being forced to undergo an abortion (and the question whether Okatsu will make it on time to stop the abortion). The bag with medical equipment is shown in lurid detail, Saki is shown being tied down to the table, but the bag is placed smack in the middle between the camera and Saki’s spread legs.
Quick-Draw Okatsu is in no way a ground-breaking film, all the things that happen have been seen in other films, but it’s executed rather well. It packs a lot of punch. Sadly, just not enough to become a classic or a cult classic, but it’s a good film.
Synapse Films released the trilogy on DVD. I wonder if they’ve been successful: on the IMDb the movies didn’t get too many votes. (At the time of writing Female Demon Ohyaku scored highest with only 41 votes.) Then again, not everyone who has seen the movie will go to the IMDb and vote. But still it is an indication that these films are quite obscure. The DVD comes with trailers for all three movies. Judging by the trailers, I would recommend this movie most. Female Demon Ohyaku comes a close second: it looks even bleaker (or is that the black and white factor?) and the sadistic scene where Ohyaku has revenge on a couple looks original. (The man will be guillotined if his wife moves: her hair is tied to a rope, which is connected to the guillotine’s blade.)
There’s also an audio commentary with details on the movie and its genre on this DVD, which is packed in a double-printed sleeve (so you can choose between the Synapse cover and the film’s original poster). For my money, this movie should get a 7.5/10. I’ll end this review with the link to the YouTube trailer, but first another shot of Rui, spying it out.