A man humiliates teenage prostitutes to get them off the streets. Black comedy based on a Japanese manga.
Directed by Kôsuke Suzuki and based on a manga by Hideo Yamamoto (story) and Tetsuya Koshiba (artwork), Stop the Bitch Campaign is pretty much as weird as its title would suggest. IMDb has described it as action/drama, but I can only assume that is because they seem to have very little information on this particular film. Drama it most certainly ain’t and even classifying it as action is pushing the definition of action a bit. What you get is a sort of bizarre sexploitation/revenge/comedy (although I hesitate to use the word comedy as I didn’t find it particularly humorous) mishmash, and while I’m sure there are fans out there for this kind of stuff, I unfortunately was not one of them.
Not having read the manga, I can’t comment too much about how loyal the film is to the original material or how well has it been translated to the film format. What I can say that from the preposterously over the top acting and over exaggerated mannerisms, it was pretty easy to guess that this particular piece of cinema was based on a comic book of some kind. The plot description of the original manga sounds very far from what the film is about, but having a quick look around some pages from the comic reveals that some of the scenes have most definitely been taken directly from the original source.
The synopsis of the manga mentions demons, but the film has not got a supernatural element to it. Instead it focuses on two sets of characters; two men who run (or just simply work at, I’m not completely sure) a call girl centre (or some sort of call centre for a brother? Again, not totally sure) and a group of young girls who work as prostitutes/run scams on unsuspecting johns. While the girls try to navigate their way through world’s oldest profession without getting hurt or scammed themselves, the two guys in the call centre are hatching a plan to teach young prostitutes a lesson in order to steer them away from this life of vice.
This plan first starts with simply buying some services from a young lady and then making a run for it without paying; a bummer to be sure, but not overly traumatic for any party involved. However, things soon take a much darker turn as one of the dynamic duo decides that the only way to really teach these girls a lesson is to rape them, and sets off on a violent rampage of his own. Meanwhile the other side of the story is told from the point of view of the group of prostitutes. While some of them are simply trying to make some extra cash to buy a new handbag, others are running violent scams in the style of Ye olde “Engineer’s daughter” (a scam where a man is lured in a hotel room or a secluded place and then robbed by the women and her partner, usually posing as a enraged father, pimp or an ex-lover). The two stories get intertwined properly around the half way point of the film, but not before a lot of unnecessary nonsense that will most probably make you want to take a peek of how much is left on this film.
Now, as a bit of a disclaimer I have to mention that the subtitles on the version I was watching were not the best, so some of the finer points of the dialogue were inevitable lost on me. However, looking at the general quality of the film, I very much doubt that better translation would have made me like this film any more. The acting is poor. It’s poorer than poor to be completely honest. The male actors especially do an incredible job in acting as badly one possibly can.
Only thing good about it is, that during the rape scenes (which I have to say are quite vile to watch), the rather absurd ham acting takes away some of the nastiness of the scenes. Quality of the cinematography is shoddy at best and the picture quality looks like the whole film was shot on VHS camera. This wouldn’t necessarily be such a bad thing, but added to the rest of mess, it certainly doesn’t help the film to score any points. The plot jumps about and doesn’t really deliver any kind of proper story. For a little while I was trying to find some kind of social commentary in all this, and had the story had some I might have maybe liked it a little better. At very least it would have given the film a bit more of a motive to exist. As it stands, the whole thing is just a noxious mess with a very bad execution in all fronts.
I can’t say that I would recommend Stop the Bitch Campaign to anyone. If you happen to be fan of the original comics, or are looking for change is pace when it comes to sexploitation, then maybe give it a go. Otherwise I would not bother.