Supposedly the 8th (or 3rd, depending on the source) of 11 entries in Nikkatsu’s Female Teacher franchise (1973-1982), Dirty Afternoon is another peculiar amalgam of porn, drama, and that netherworld of Wrongness often present in the studio’s adult film output, and like some of the early seventies productions in Impulse Pictures’ Nikkatsu Roman Porno series, the roots of the formerly legit studio still run through the veins of this ostensibly hardcore hybrid.
It’s tough to use the term ‘performers’ when its clear there’s a higher level of acting and dialogue in some of these Nikkatsu offerings, and while director Kichitaro Negishi isn’t a grand visual stylist, his integration of adult material doesn’t jar the core drama of a woman (the beautiful Yuki Kazamatsuri) who seeks to make amends to the man whom she once fingered as her rapist while teaching a class in the mountains.
When memories of the long-buried trauma flood back, her relationship with an otherwise decent partner falls apart because he’s unwilling to support her difficulties – a situation that begins when an ex-student (Angel Guts’ Yuusuke Koike) calls the teacher from jail after being arrested for pimping herself to older men.
Director Negish, who subversively emphasizes the inherent ugliness and brutality of the rape instead of following the studio’s preference for full eroticization, also focuses on the increasingly common problems of both women as the teacher’s hunger for more intense sex directs her to the kind of anonymous, unfulfilled dalliances that have plagued the student ever since her father was arrested - an event that blemished the family name, and ruined her relationship with an older sister (Ayako Ohta), and their mother who gives sex for discounts at her place of employment.
Dirty Afternoon swerves into Wrongness when the teacher, the ‘innocent’ rapist, and his daughter engage in bad behaviour on a protracted vacation. Their weekend trip ultimately enables the settling of past wrongs, satisfies seething hunger, and magically reigns in the daughter’s waywardness. Negishi also engages in parallel edits as one activity is counter-balanced by another in the finale, and although each party ends up in ‘a better place,' it’s still a demented story that feigns meaning when the ultimate purpose is titillation from a steady round of hotel and beroom trysts.
Some of the sex scenes are fogged and blocked – suggesting hardcore content, if not simulated material that contained taboo views of the actors’ naughty bits – but the straight dramatic segments were shot at real locations, as was the finale which features a substantive group of happy-go-lucky, geriatric extras who may or may not have known they were part of a smut film.
Kazamatsuri gives her familiar genre archetype an unusual level of depth through a solid dramatic performance (her dialogue scenes with the ex-boyfriend are particularly strong), and she pretty much sells the film as it moves from adult to Wrong content, especially in the ludicrous beachside entanglement which brings peace to both victim (the teacher) and accused rapist (the father). Add a score consisting of songs with lyrics complimentary to the film’s conflicts, and Dirty Afternoon almost works as a genuine adult / drama hybrid - arguably the kind of film some Hollywood filmmakers have toyed with making, but knew full well any effort would yield career suicide.
Impulse’s DVD features a clean transfer that’s not too soft on details. Besides a short essay by Jasper Sharp, the only extra is a teaser trailer.
A number of the actors in Female Teacher did make the odd straight film, with Kazamatsuri perhaps better known for small roles in Ichi the Killer (2001) and Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003). Director Negishi later directed several crime films, including Detective Story (1983) and Kizuna (1998).
© 2013 Mark R. Hasan