It’s new arrivals day as the latest batch of hardboiled jailbait are incarcerated in the toughest juvenile detention center that never existed.
With a title as blunt and intriguing as “Sex Hell“, one might either assume a Hell-centered genre movie or a film about rape and trafficking. Typical for these older films, the original title was actually released as “Jitsuroku onna kanbetsusho: sei-jigoku” which has been renamed a few times over the years and of course confused with many of the other Asian films which use the words “sex” and “hell” in their titles.
In the interest of this review, we are referring to the recent Synapse release which has been nicely re-coded, re-packaged and re-presented for fans of the Asian genre. “Sex Hell” is also one of those titles that would classify for a CAT III rating, though upon search I couldn’t exactly confirm this officially. Intuition tells me it would though. (It tends to also fall into the “Pinku” erotica category in presentation)
Classifications and names aside, we thought the film worked nicely into some of the sub genres we cover. Essentially in these films you get alot of soft-p@rn, erotica screen time and prison rapings. That notion is often not always clear as some of the assumed rapes seem to be almost “welcome” in many of the cases.
In storyline, a group of girls have been sentenced to a juvi prison arrangement for misdeeds. Buildup is pretty much thrown out the window as they get right into woman on woman eroticism and woman prisoners who are taken aside to get raped by doctors and security guards. You can expect plenty of “careful prisoner search” scenes as a given here. The story evolves as we get more involved with the girl gangs within.
Main characters include convicted murderess Mayumi (Hitomi Kozue), return prostitute offender Harumi (Maya Hiromi), and the prison gang leader who calls herself Queen Bee (Seri Meikai)
Initially its pretty rough as they welcome to the new girls by roughing them up and pissing on them. The sleaze comes shortly after with further back stories being released and a few lesbian relationships brewing up.
“Sex Hell” comes from a period when prison films involving women were a hot topic and crowd pleaser. It incorporates the elements of girl gangs and violence picking up trends from the Prisoner Scorpion films. The combination of genres elevates this one above other pinku releases with a more complex interacting of flashbacks and erotic scenes building on its foundation. At first glance it may reflect a simple means to providing one erotic segment after the other, though this later provides to be a base for its intended storyline.
It’s no surprise that Asian filmmakers wasted no time in jumping on the trend since they tend to do these kind of films so well. Even though there is never any real p&rn scenes displayed in detail in this film, I’m kid of curious if there might be versions floating around that don’t R-rate the material (Note: encounters entailed hidden penetration scenes, or covered per video treatment). Ratings aside, Synapse has given new life to an older film that otherwise is circulating in less than favorable copies. It fits in great with their erotic lines and crosses over into the darker edgier erotic films that they are noted for releasing.
Viewers might also appreciate the cheesy Japanese pop ballads that somehow seems to work their way in perfectly. It’s a perfect example of 70’s sexploitation served up in Asian style.
Sex Hell (1975)