Yokosuka Otoko-gari: Shoujo Kairaku (1977)

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During the mid-to-late 1970s, the Nikkatsu studio and others were glutting Japan with violent softcore exploitation films featuring women being hideously raped and tortured (notably in Rape! 13th Hour and the horrific Zoom Up: Rape Site). Coming in the midst of that cycle, this pinku eiga film from the same studio and director Toshiya Fujita was something of a surprise. The film begins with the fairly standard device of having a woman assaulted and raped while her husband is forced to watch the entire incident. Where it departs from standard pinku eiga formula and strays into something entirely different is when the victim's 17-year old sister Kikko (Kaori Ono) and her friend Meiko (Jun Nakagawa) decide to take revenge on the rapist (Akira Takahashi). They quickly find and capture him, but -- unlike the swift and bloody executions typical of American rape-revenge films like Last House on the Left or I Spit on Your Grave -- really turn the tables, torturing and whipping their male prisoner until he begins to like it. Whether merely reversing genders on the typically sexualized Stockholm Syndrome themes of such films really constitutes a breakthrough is open to debate, but it certainly makes for a change of pace and could raise some interesting questions for genre devotees. Shigeru Yazaki co-stars.