Monday, September 18, 2023

Terrifying Girls’ High School Animal Classmates – Discotek Media (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1973
Director: Masahiro Shimura
Writers: Masahiro Kakefuda, Nobuaki Nakajima
Cast: Reiko Ike, Makoto Aikawa, Arumi Kuri, Meika Seri, Jun Midorikawa, Emi Jô

Release Date: July 25th, 2023
Approximate Running Time: 86 Minutes 36 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: NR
Sound: LPCM Mono Japanese
Subtitles: English
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $24.95

"At Seiwa Academy for Girls, the surface is all prestige with an impressive study abroad program and top-notch sports department. However, beneath the veneer of excellence lies the dangerous and corrupt Black Roses Society, who rule the school with an iron fist. The arrival of five transfer students - Masami, Masae, Shizuko, Kazue, and Aki - sets off a culture clash between female juvenile delinquents, sadistic jocks, and perverted faculty members. Masami, Masae, and Shizuko quickly fall in line with the bad crowd, while Kazue tries to play it safe and earn a scholarship to study abroad. But Aki, a lone wolf and skilled fencer, refuses to tolerate unfair play. In this jungle of a school, these newcomers must navigate the treacherous terrain and fierce classmates. Who will come out on top and who will be devoured by the pack?" - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 3.75/5

Terrifying Girls’ High School Animal Classmates comes on a 25 GB single layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 15.9 GB

Feature: 15.6 GB

No information is provided about the source used for this transfer. That said, the source is in good shape, and any source debris is minimal. Flesh tones and colors look correct, the image looks crisp, black levels are strong, and there are no issues with compression.

Audio: 4/5

This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in Japanese, and included with this release are removable English subtitles. The audio sounds clean, clear, and balanced. Range-wise, things sound very good.

Extras:

Extras for this release include a theatrical trailer (3 minutes 11 seconds, Dolby Digital mono Japanese with removable English subtitles), and  a slipcover.

Summary:

Directed by Masahiro Shimura, whose other film as a director is Terrifying Girls' High School: Delinquent Convulsion Group.

The narrative revolves around a young woman named Aki Kazahana, who enrolls herself in Seiwa Academy for Girls, looking for answers for her missing sister. Her sister attended this academy, and she has not heard from her since she went abroad to America.

Terrifying Girls’ High School Animal Classmates is the fourth film in a series of films. The other three films are Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom, Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom, and Terrifying Girls' High School: Delinquent Convulsion Group. Norifumi Suzuki directed the first two films in this series, and all four films starred Reiko Ike.

Despite the premise covering familiar ground, a school filled with delinquent girls and authority figures who are exploiting students. The result is still an engaging enough story whose arc does a great job building towards a very satisfying finale that exposes all of the school's dirty secrets. Also, pacing is never an issue since there is rarely a moment for the viewer to catch their breath in between moments of debauchery and girl fights.

Though Reiko Ike is the constant thread through the four Terrifying Girls’ High School films, she portrays a different character in each film, and outside of thematically, none of these films are directly connected. She made a name for herself in the Pinky Violence film genre, and she once again delivers a captivating performance that steals every moment that she is in. That said, her character is more passive than the characters she usually portrays in other Pinky Violence films. Her character is kind of like the character that Clint Eastwood portrays in A Fistful of Dollars, pitting two sides against each other and only interviewing when absolutely necessary.

When discussing Terrifying Girls’ High School Animal Classmates, it's hard to look past the fact that Masahiro Shimura is not in the same league as his predecessor, Norifumi Suzuk. The differences between the two films Masahiro Shimura directed are like night and day. That said, Terrifying Girls’ High School Animal Classmates does have the core elements one has come to expect from Pinky Violence, like an ample amount of nudity, cat fights, and debauchery. Ultimately, there are much better examples of Pinky Violence cinema than Terrifying Girls’ High School Animal Classmates for anyone who is just getting into this genre of films.

Though it is great that a film like Terrifying Girls’ High School Animal Classmates is getting an English-friendly release, the lack of extras is a disappointment since most boutique labels releasing Asian cinema come with extras that provide insight about these films. Terrifying Girls’ High School Animal Classmates is another barebones release from Discotek Media that comes with a strong audio/video presentation.








Written by Michael Den Boer

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