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AKA: Youjuu Toshi
Genre: Horror with softcore hentai elements
Length: Movie, 80 minutes
Distributor: R1 DVD from Urban Vision
Content Rating: 17+ (violence, death, nudity, sex, rape, disturbing imagery, language)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Demon City Shinjuku, Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend
Notes: The version I have viewed has been heavily edited. I know this mainly because I've had scenes from this movie described to me that I only partially recognized (or didn't recognize at all). Keep this in mind when you read the review.

This film, directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, is based on a novel by Kikuchi Hideyuki (Vampire Hunter D, Demon City Shinjuku), which has also been adapted into a 1992 Hong Kong live-action film by Peter Mak, Yao shou du shi.
Rating: Three StarsThree StarsThree Stars

Wicked City

Synopsis

For hundreds of years, peace has reigned between the humans and the denizens of the demon world. It is a tentative peace, though, and each time the treaty is to be renewed, there is an attempt at sabotage by those who want the peace to end.

Taki is a member of the organization known as the "Black Guard". As the time for renegotiation approaches, he is assigned to protect the famous and renowned Dr. Joseppe Maiyart. To aid him, he gets help from a woman from the demon world, Maki.


Review

This movie is yet another title I have some mixed feelings about. It is a horror movie, and I like horror movies in general. Infamous for its occasional and gross scenes, I was very surprised to find that a lot of the scenes were less about sex itself, so much as the usage of sexual imagery as symbolism. For example, there is a scene with a demonic woman who can change her entire chest and stomach into a large vagina. Granted, that's one of the scenes that has been heavily edited in the version I've seen, but the point still stands. Anyway, I'll get back to that a little bit later.

For being a rather old movie, the art and animation is quite decent. The art style reminds me, in fact, of the one used in Monster City. As for the dub... the voice actors aren't really doing a bad job, but a lot of the lines used in the translation is so amazingly trite and stereotypical, making what would probably be romantic scenes and even dramatical ones sound stupid. Of course, there's also the issue of unneeded swearing, but that might be a problem only in the UK dub.

The plot is actually quite interesting too, and it's made all the better due to the interaction between Taki and Maki. Of course, Taki himself didn't make the best of first impressions with his opening scene showing him winning a bet about whether he'd be getting into the panties of some girl, who ended up being a little bit more than what he bargained for. (Actually, a lot more, but I'm not gonna spoil anything here, save from the fact that that scene made me stare in horror at what MIGHT have happened had his reflexes been a little bit more lax.) The arrival of Dr. Joseppe Maiyart doesn't exactly improve things either, what with him being a pervert and a lecher. (A rather creepy one at that.)

I guess one of the good things about this movie is that it always carries with it the undercurrent of "I don't think they're telling us everything here." It's a rather suspenseful movie which intrigued me, despite its occasionally cliched plot twists. It IS an old movie, after all.

One thing I liked about the movie itself were the great assortment of demonic assortments thrown at you in the duration of the movie, coupled with some marvellously disgusting transformation scenes. Among horror titles, this is one of the things I live for. There is one exception, though.

The aforementioned woman with "the full frontal vagina."

From the descriptions I've heard, it makes me glad I've only watched the edited version, because I found it disturbing enough to see the main character so hypnotically entranced with a woman who is feeling herself up like that. Having to see him ... er, quite literally "entering her" would probably not have been the most pleasant of sights. >_<

Anyway, outside of that and a rather corny romance scene later on, I don't have anything too bad to say about this movie. Well, that and the dialogue. It's "quick fix" horror with occasional and casual sex thrown in for the heck of it, so don't go in expecting a masterpiece that warrants purchase. It's a great choice for the late night horror rental district, though, if you can bear with a couple of scenes.

A pretty decent horror flick.Stig Høgset

Recommended Audience: Adults only. There's violence, there's demonic residents quite literally being blown to bits and, of course, there's loads of nudity and some sex to go with that. There are some vague rape scenes in it too. And let us not forget the disturbing imagery. (Look, ma, I'm repeating myself!)



Version(s) Viewed: UK VHS release (Manga Entertainment), English dubbed
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Wicked City © 1987 Kikuchi Hideyuki / Japan Home Video / Tokuma Shoten / Video Arts
 
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