Aug 18, 2010

Assault! Jack the Ripper

Successfully blending "ero"-level violence with sexual encroachment alongside the vast fetishistic kingdom as geographically marked by these pioneers of the Roman-porn industry, Yasuharu Hasebe returns from directing the film that marked a trend, Rape!. Hasebe perhaps never thought about the impact or the posterity that would be affected by his works back in the late 70s, the same instance goes for me as I never would have assumed I would have found such a liberating niche of films that encompass many ideas that vaunt about my mind on a day to day basis. Hasebe could be called the visual Georges Bataille of our time bringing to light an often invisible connection between sex, lust, and death. To better suit death as a broad spectrum, murder. Death is an essence that is everywhere; it can appear at any give place or time. We were all created to die, not to live, so why not stalk for personal satisfaction? Hasebe brings these temporal theories to mind with another of his infamous and stunning works of art.

Assault! Jack the Ripper opens inside of a restaurant bakery(?) where, unbeknown to me at the time, is where our two future sadists would meet and become spiritually guided to their deprived enlightenment. Our lead actress is a pugnacious creature who is gifted with an incredibly motivating body but is cursed with a particularly obese face which gives more to her repugnant attitude and appetite. After purposely spilling coffee on a customer's lap after a failed pass, she goes in the kitchen and observes a (what must be mousy) employee work extensively on a cake, prepping it for what appears to be a wedding ceremony. The attention whore breaks silence with eye contact and presumes to drive the blade through his cake, severing the top and sparking the romantic destiny that progresses dangerously in the blink of an eye. At closing time, the evil little afro-troll begs the man for a lift home and harps him until he does. Along the way, they manage to pick up a female prototype of the hitchhiker from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre who rubs cake all over her underdeveloped breasts and slices her wrist open. Trying to flee from the society-inflicted broad, they accidentally kill her and discover an insatiable appetite for fucking hidden just under the cloak of silent sleep.

From this point on, Assault! becomes a dearly departed exercise in psychopathic erotica. Exploring the sexual stimuli featured at the chronological beginning of Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Assault! takes no shortcuts to quenching this man's lust for sex & death. Soon he begins killing for an ulterior motive - hatred for women. After dealing with tubby yelling at him all day and dealing with her sexual needs, it seems he has discovered a new reason to kill; not to fuck but to purge - any and all women. His "cake blade" becomes a phallic extension of which he jams into his victims vaginae and becomes bewildered by this act of carnal retribution on his part. The best films to me are ones that can accept realities and while being fiction, stomping towards these taboos unwavering and that is exactly what Hasebe does. The soundtrack even boasts excellence as we are delightfully treated to a somber Oriental jazz funk that cloyingly humanizes his actions and escape. Should such a man exist with no consequential worries? Probably not but there really isn't a damn thing we can do about it. These evil, awful things happen in the world on a second basis and all we can really do is pray that our loved ones are not affected by the wrath's of the few.

Nearing the end of Assault!, something occurred to me. Not only is Hasebe's Assault! Jack the Ripper a transgressive film in which intimacy is unrivaled in death akin to Georges Bataille's Story of the Eye, but the lead killer's skill transcends bloodshed into something . . . unnameable. In one particular home invasion scene, he makes neat and passion-blazed slices in her pretty abdomen as the struggles and spins against the outside window. Blood trails fleeing from her silk skin, tracing images on the glass panes - Hasebe has turned death into art! Where the killer was once satisfying his hatred for women, now he is applying lacerations to their canvases in what can only be considered fluid performance art. Happiness can he found in even the darkest of places. Hasebe has created yet another excellent film concerning rape with no third party intrusion. Rather than a cops-and-robbers story of a man on the run, this film is strictly interpersonal for its characters and this is such a glorious piece of sleaze you can't help but to cry.


1 comment:

Phantom of Pulp said...

Thoughtful and original review of this masterpiece.

The film has resonated with me for 10 years. Few have that much power.