Whore Angels Review

Keeping up with the sheer amount of themed pink cinema series put out by Shintoho throughout the eighties and nineties can prove to be a bit of a headache; they had their share of spin-offs and sequels, and as is often the case the original and more direct Japanese titles varied substantially to those of their westernized translations. Distributor Pink Eiga has obviously worked hard to acquire these pictures, but in doing it seems to have been placed in situation whereby it needs to cherry-pick specific titles from several respective series, some of which entered the dozens within such a short time span. Whether or not they’ve chosen the best of the bunch when it comes to the likes of Groper Train and Pink Salon Hospital is entirely subjective, though there’s no doubting the artistic quality which has laced a large majority of their output.

Following on from Deep Contact - the second film in the Pinsaro Byoin series reviewed here - Mototsugu Watanabe’s (of Sexy Battle Girls fame) Whore Angels is another feature that’s easily approached blind. Rarely did these kinds of movies establish any kind of continuity between previous storylines or characters, despite often using the same titles and cast members; they simply capitalized upon a niche opening in the market and rolled with the punches. In the case of Whore Angels, then, we’re still presented with that end of the world scenario, only instead of asteroids threatening mankind it’s a fight between Heaven and Hell.


The story begins as delinquent drifter Masako, or Joshu Komasa (Shiori Kuroda) as she prefers to be known, happens upon an ad seeking hostesses at the ‘Hot Lips Salon’. Rest assured it doesn’t take too much of an effort to convince the club’s owner (Jimmy Tsuchida) to take on her services…

Soon after being given the OK, Komasa is out walking one evening, whereupon she encounters a confrontation between a young pink-haired girl named Monroe (Nao Saito) and a crazed demon calling himself Rock ‘n’ Roll (Shuetsu Tokaichi). Komasa quickly intervenes, but in saving Monroe, she herself is beaten to within an inch of her life. In an act of kindness, Monroe heals Komasa’s wounds via a magical kiss, and in repayment Komasa finds a job for Monroe at the ‘Hot Lips’.

However, it soon becomes clear that Monroe is no ordinary girl as her talents quickly shoot her to the No.1 performer spot at the club. This grabs the attention of Joe (Shin Yamazaki), a flamboyantly stereotyped mariachi from Italy who needs to see Monroe for some reason, but can’t get close to her because of her new “Blowjob Messiah” status. Yes, she can cure all disabilities known to man, which sees all hospitals within the vicinity losing their patients as they flock to ‘Hot Lips’. This in turns causes a rift of jealousy between other employees, much to the pleasure of Rock ‘n’ Roll, who may have just have found the perfect way to reign Judgement Day upon mankind.


Takao Nakano’s (Killer Pussy, Big Tits Zombie, Sachiko Hanai) award-winning script for Whore Angels is undoubtedly its main draw; a feature which interests more on account of its theological aspects and humour than it does through what it was initially designed for. Whilst Mototsugu Watanabe at this point in his career was certainly no stranger to pink cinema, his more intimate scenes here are in fact quite hit and miss, with camera angles that don’t always convince in the way they have done so elsewhere, and two leading actresses who don’t quite seem fully passionate about what they’re doing during some girl-on-girl action. However, Masahide Iioka’s (A Lonely Cow Weeps at Dawn, Confessions of a Dog) interest in other details makes Whore Angels worth savouring that little bit more. It’s a nice enough looking feature, which despite being chock full of pink hues is lit quite forebodingly at times, providing an ominous quality to what could have otherwise been a serious theme, if it weren’t countered by plenty of gags and exaggerated acting.

But that’s not really a bad thing. Sure it throws in questions about morality, religion and mankind’s sense of greed through the angelic Monroe, but it does so in a brief and non-patronising fashion. Such subtle handling won’t be found in Watanabe’s forceful humour, which is taken to cartoon extremes, but then Whore Angels isn’t pitched as being anything other than a comedy, consistently reminding us that it just wishes to have fun with its material. In that respect it entertains on just the right level. It is what it is: a loud, silly and vaguely poignant 60 minutes of absurdity.


The DVD

A/V

Not a great deal to say that hasn’t already been said in previous reviews relating to Pink Eiga products. This Non-anamorphic, non-progressive 1.85:1 transfer bears the usual trappings of ghosting, aliasing, halos, wonky contrast, compression artefacts and lack of fine detail. Colours are pleasing enough, with natural flesh tones and lively looking scenes later on, but otherwise it’s run of the mill stuff, which has always been a shame with regards to these movies being shot on film.

The Japanese 2.0 audio track does the job as usual, and I can’t really fault it for its at times subdued quality. The most notable thing about this release is that it’s the first one to feature removable English subtitles, with the company now catering for French and Spanish readers. These appear in a yellow font, providing a solid translation free from error.

Extras

We’ve a 12-minute interview with Yutaka “Mr. Pink” Ikejima. While it’s admirable to see Pink Eiga spread the word to overseas audiences, this isn’t an essential feature, not just because Ikejima had nothing to do with the film in review, but also because it covers the same ground seen in previous releases. More interesting is the 8-minute interview with Cinematographer Masahide Iioka, a long time collaborator of Mototsugu Watanabe. He talks of getting into Pink Cinema from a photography background, working on a fun set and explaining the process of how Pink Eiga is filmed and distributed. A photo gallery, cast and crew biographies, artwork and international trailer rounds things off.

Film
6 out of 10
Video
5 out of 10
Audio
6 out of 10
Extras
3 out of 10
Overall

6

out of 10

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