Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls – Impulse Pictures (Blu-ray)
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1979
Director: Norifumi Suzuki
Writer: Jiku Yamatoya
Cast: Shun Domon, Hiromi Namino, Asami Ogawa, Natsuko Yagi, Yuka Asagiri, Yûko Asuka, Hiroshi Nawa, Rei Okamoto, Nagatoshi Sakamoto, Bunta Sugawara, Shôhei Yamamoto
Release Date: October 5th, 2021
Approximate Running Time: 99 Minutes 58 seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVCC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Japanese
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $24.95
"Tatsuya (Shun Domon) is a young man hiding a dark secret. Born a bastard after his mother was sexually assaulted, Tatsuya grows up in an abusive household. Taking on characteristics of his evil biological father, he becomes obsessed with Nazi Holocaust imagery and abducts women for his own deadly sexual games." - synopsis provided by the distributor
Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, “New high-definition remaster of the original negative.”
Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls comes on a 25 GB single layer Blu-ray.
Disc Size: 22.9 GB
Feature: 22 GB
The source used for this transfer is in excellent shape. Colors and flesh tones look correct, the image looks crisp and black levels look strong throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in Japanese and included with this release are removable English subtitles. The audio is in great shape, dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Range wise, though things sound limited, ambient sounds/the score are well-represented.
Extras for this release include reversible cover art, a trailer for Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls (1 minute 56 seconds, Dolby Digital mono Japanese with removable English subtitles), an archival interview with Norifumi Suzuki (14 minutes 36 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Japanese with removable English subtitles) and an archival audio commentary with Norifumi Suzuki and moderated by film critic Kiichiro Yanashita.
Norifumi Suzuki was one of Toei film's most prominent directors in the 1970’s. Notable films directed by Norifumi Suzuki include Girl Boss Revenge: Sukeban, Sex & Fury, Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom, The Killing Machine and Roaring Fire.
And though eroticism can-be found in most of his films, Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls would be his only foray into Nikkatsu’s Pinku cinema. Where most Nikkatsu Pink films clocked in around the seventy-minute mark. Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls one-hundred-minute running time is an anomaly. That said, Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls is never lacking when it comes to elements that have become synonymous with Pinku cinema. Also, Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls has just the right amount of peaks and valleys that help keep things moving at a brisk pace.
Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls narrative revolves around a disturbed young-man named Tatsuya who’s the offspring of a rape. And it is ultimately his search for who he is that drives the narrative. With the narrative tone growing substantially darker the more he embraces his perverse feelings.
There are a few turning points where a shift in his persona starts to emerge. With his biggest transformation coming after he’s reunited with his rapist father. And an ending that gives the impression that Tatsuya has finally found what he has searched for.
Visually Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls is an artfully composed film that uses all the visual tricks that have become Pinku cinema’s hallmark. From its opening moments it’s clear that this is a film where anything goes. Two of the more shocking moments is a scene Tatsuya cums after masturbating to photographs of atrocities and a scene involving a dog, and a woman being held prisoner by Tatsuya.
Though most of the cast are only glossed over, and not given much background detail. The protagonist Tatsuya is a well-defined character who’s superbly portrayed by Shun Domon, in the only feature film he ever appeared in. His only other on-screen credit is an episode of television. Another strength of Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls is its use of classical music that does a good job counterbalancing the depravity on display.
The most surprising aspect of Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls cast who all go above and beyond in their respective roles. Japanese film icon and one of Norifumi Suzuki’s most frequent collaborators Bunta Sugawara has a brief cameo in Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls as a truck driver who gets advice about women from a rapist. Notable cast members include Asami Ogawa (Erotic Diary of an Office Lady, Sins of Sister Lucia) and Rei Okamoto (Assault! Jack the Ripper, The Beast to Die). Ultimately, Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls is the most perverse and demented film ever to emerge out of the fertile mind of director Norifumi Suzuki.
Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Girls makes its way to Blu-ray via an excellent release from Impulse Pictures that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a pair of insightful extras, highly recommended.
Written by Michael Den Boer