Monday, February 13, 2012

21st Century Flower and Snake

I didn't include the last three Flower and Snake films in the chronology of Hana to Hebi in the previous post so let me just say a few words about the 2000s' versions here. Nothing really new. Most of this will probably be old hat to fans of the franchise.

The first two Flower and Snake movies of the 2000s came out in 2004 and 2005, respectively, and starred the lovely Sugimoto Aya. The first of these just seems to be known as Flower and Snake (once again) while the second one is titled Flower and Snake, Paris Shizuko.

Then, in 2010, Komukai Minako starred in Flower and Snake 3.

Flower and Snake, 2004
It's worth noting that Arisue Go handled the rope work for all of these films. He appeared as Onigen in the first one but I'll be darned if I can remember if he got any face time in the second. No face time in the third with Komukai although I believe his hands and arms do sometimes make an appearance.

In my opinion, the quality of these films follows the order in which they came out; the first was the best, followed by the second, with the latest version bringing up the rear.

Flower and Snake, Paris Shizuko, 2005
Frankly, Paris Shizuko was a letdown, especially following the first one which had some decent scenes. The only memorable part of Paris Shizuko for me now was toward the end when Sugimoto got her bra and panties whipped off. I thought there were some missed opportunities in this film and that was frustrating.

Then again, maybe they were trying to make sure they'd get the film on cable TV, so exercised restraint.

Save your money
Flower and Snake 3 was an even bigger disappointment. Not due to the director or the performance of Komukai. In fact, I thought the direction and cinematography were quite good and, honestly, Komukai surprised me. I wouldn't mind seeing her in the next installment, which will hopefully be written by someone who has a clue about SM and what the male viewer wants to see in a film of this nature.

Right now, I can't remember much of anything about it, just that it was dull and frustrating. The outdoor scene was lame, starting with Komukai being bound with her hands in front.

How can you blow an outdoor scene -- at night? Just watch this film and you'll find out.

At the end of the film Komukai endures a series of suspensions involving rope and bamboo, but it was too little, too late.

So, yes, I would be very happy to see Komukai in Flower and Snake 4 (assuming they haven't killed the golden goose with this stinker). Same director, same cinematographer, and a completely different writer. If the new guy needs inspiration, he can go back and watch the first one for a few pointers.

Mizutani Kei
One thing about Fower and Snake 3 that some folks might have missed was the appearance of veteran AV actress Mizutani Kei. I just looked her up. Only 37. My goodness, she must have gotten an early start in the business.

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