Sunday, January 18, 2009

Review: Maruhi Shikijou Ichiba: The World of Roman Porno

Reprinted from Eigazoku

For those not familiar with the term Roman Porno (Romantic Porno - classy eh?), the term came from Nikkatsu Studio's classifications of its pinku softcore/sexploitation films primarily from the '60s and '70s. The thing that differentiates a Roman from a regular old porn film is the directors of the former were given a lot of free reign in their films thus allowing more room for characterization, drama, action, and the like. The only requirement of a Roman was a certain amount of nude and/or (simulated) sex scenes per hour were required to be in the film. Several well-known cult directors have come out of this system including Yasuharu Hasebe (Stray Cat Rock series), Noboru Tanaka (Angel Guts series), Shogoro Nishimura (Gate Of Flesh), and Masaru Konuma (Flower and Snake).

So, now, we have in our hands Maruhi Shikijou Ichiba (tr: Confidential: Sex Market, a 1974 Roman Porno directed by Tanaka) The World of Roman Porno, a CD (and seedy) collection of various tracks from films spanning 1973-1978. As could be expected, a great majority of the tracks have a funky undertone to them, from the wailing Dennis Coffeyesque guitar fuzz of "Photograph" to the high strutting "Hitozuma Shudan Boko Chishi Jiken M1-A". Besides the funky stuff, there is a wide variety of moods to choose from: rock, pop, blues/enka, a nice Fender Rhodes/soprano sax duet, even a full-on lushly scored tune by an orchestra (I'm assuming this is where the romantic in Roman Porno came from). Packaging is nice but not spectacular by Japanese standards which can be very lavish. The CD comes in a promo-still covered digipack case, a mini-fold out poster is also included which contains liner notes in Japanese about the collection as well as advertisements for the label's (Hotwax Trax) other releases.

A very solid collection of music for Japanese genre film fans, my only objection being that, clocking in at an average of 2:30 per track, I wish there were more included especially for the price, expect to pay $20-$25.

Sample some of the tracks here via Windows Media Player at Movie Grooves

Buy it here from Dusty Groove

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