Monday, April 2, 2012

Exciting Audiences in Japan, HK and the World

Blood Ritual
I'm not sure how things are now but when it came to sexy, salacious cinema, Hong Kong filmmakers were right up there. Like Blood Ritual with one of the best opening scenes ever. Killer Snakes and Bamboo House of Dolls also come to mind.

And this one: The Imp

A lot of folks might not know that a Japanese gravure model-turned actress by the name of Murakami Rena (村上 麗奈) lived in Hong Kong for awhile in the early '90s and appeared in several Category III films. According to Wikipedia, she first worked there as a stripper and then transitioned to films.

One of the films she made in HK was called Escape from Brothel. If you ever have a chance to see this one from 1992, I heartily recommend it.

The film stars beautiful Chinese actress Pauline Chan but in one scene where both Chan and Murakami have been stripped naked by thugs, Ms. Murakami bears the brunt of an indignity involving the handle of a baseball bat.

And then things get wild.

It appears Ms. Murakami made both hardcore and softcore movies in Japan prior to leaving for Hong Kong. I'm assuming the "AV" (adult video) label refers to the hardcore stuff. One AV she made in 1988 was called Rena Murakami Final Ecstacy which was directed by Hiroki Ryuichi, well known for directing Bakushi, I Am an SM Writer and, of course, Vibrator.

Ms. Murakami also has the distinction of having been directed by Kobayashi Satoru in a self-produced film called Murakami Rena: Kyūkyoku Meigizuma. Wikipedia points out that Kobayashi was the director of Japan's first pink film, 1962's Flesh Market.

Her softcore work in Japan includes this 1990 direct-to-video release: Code Name 348: Onna Keiji Sashiba.

Code Name 348: Onna Keiji Sashiba
Upon returning to Japan in 1993, Ms. Murakami performed as a stripper at Asakusa's Rockza. (Side note: the last time I was in the neighborhood, Ozawa Maria was headlining).

Around that same time, says Wikipedia, a "minor scandal" occurred when news leaked that Ms. Murakami had had sex with the Sultan of Brunei during his visit to Japan in 1993.

Here's an old VHS tape of Murakami performing as a stripper. Hers is the photo at the bottom right.

Ever since I first saw Murakami Rena in Escape From Brothel (without knowing anything about her) I became a fan. She'd only be about 44 years old now. I bet she still looks great but it does appear she has long since retired from adult entertainment.

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