The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai is, without a doubt, the weirdest movie I have ever seen in my life. Dubbed by one critic a "weird, hilarious wet dream for intellectuals," this film attempts to meld satirical, political messages with lots of kinky sex. As a Japanese film being distributed in America by Palm Pictures, it's unrated; if it were to be rated, however, it might be pushing its luck just to get an NC-17 rating over here. Before some of you start scrolling back up to hit that Add to Cart button (and you know who you are), let me just add that the sex scenes can be as disturbing as they are erotic, as some of them equate to rape. You need to know what you're getting into, as those who rarely venture down some of the dark cinematic paths that I walk may find themselves shocked and embarrassed pretty darn quickly. The politics of the story won't appeal to all intellectuals by any means. Frankly, I think a lot of folks are like me and won't completely understand the message the story is trying to convey, but leftists will pretend to understand it just because they will interpret it as anti-Bush. As a conservative, I can't say that anything in this film particularly bothered me (it's nothing compared to, say, any given day in the U.S. Senate – only with a lot more sex). The cover of the DVD asks the question: Can a genius call girl save the world? I still don't know, as the ending seems to go off in a whole different direction.
Sachiko Hanai is a call girl who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up taking a bullet right in the middle of her forehead. Remarkably, not only does she survive, she gets up and walks out of the place.Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
George W. Bush and Sachiko Hanai - A Love StoryJuly 14 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
I am a big fan of the Japanese Pink Film genre. Quite different from straight porn, they were a hugely successful category of film mainly in the 70's, where they played to packed theaters, but now mainly exist on straight-to-video releases and still manage to thrive. Most of the time they are just cheesy as hell; some hot naked girls and only a stitch of plot, like the Ninja Vixens series. Sometimes they are dark and plumb psychological depths, like the infamous Flower & Snake. And sometimes they are just plain weird.
"The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai" is clearly in the last category. Although it started out as a straight Pink Film, with the more explicit title of "Horny Home Tutor: Teacher's Love Juice", director Meike Mitsuru decided to re-cut and re-shoot it as a flick that has all the nudity and sex required, with a bizarre plot that could play at an Indie film festival. In fact, this is the first Pink Film ever to get distribution in US theaters, mainly on the festival circuit.
The story revolves around Sachiko Hanai, a prostitute who works at an Image Club doing a "seduce the teacher" routine that is a common fantasy of Japanese guys. One eventful night leaves her with a bullet in her head and in possession of the cloned finger of George W. Bush. The bullet has logged against her brain, giving her a genius-level intellect and various mental abilities. Bush's finger has a mind of its own, being able to move and communicate to Sachiko via television screens, as well as some more subtle manipulations.
While the political message is hazy at best, with the cloned finger being hunted by North Korean agents in order to gain access to Bush's fingerprints and thus America's nuclear arsenal, it is mainly just decoration and a bit of a McGuffin. The real fun is just in following Sachiko Hanai's glamorous life, and her lust for knowledge and other things. Along with her genius IQ, the bullet also delays all of her body's responses, so that she experiences things after the fact, such as when she makes a super-spicy curry but thinks it is too bland until and hour later when her mouth is one fire. Given that this is a Pink Film, several of her other body responses also happen to delayed and hilarious effects.
The lead actress, Kuroda Emi, makes a very hot school teacher and isn't ashamed at all in showing off her talents. This was her only flick, and she soon gave up the Pink Film genre for a new career as a fighter in the Mixed Martial Arts circuit. Most of the other actors are veterans of Japan's various underground genres, like Hotaru Yukijiro who appeared in the strange zombie flick Stacy. The sex in the film isn't explicit, but is definitely good enough and it is great to see Emi do her stuff.
The DVD for "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai" is a winner, with some cool extras thrown in. The original incarnation, "Horny Home Tutor: Teacher's Love Juice" is included, as well as a funny little short featuring the Sachiko Hanai character and a George Bush puppet doing a Smack Down style fight against another girl in a ICBM missile costume. That is actually where the cover image comes from, and Emi does not appear in that outfit during the main movie. The only disappointment is that the 2006 documentary "The Making of 'Sachiko Hanai'" isn't included, but otherwise this is good stuff through and through.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A wacky, tripped out, one-of-a-kind erotic comedy!May 24 2007
Daniel J. Hamlow
- Published on Amazon.com
Palm Pictures has put some pretty interesting foreign movies such as Akarui Mirai (Bright Future) with Asano Tadanobu, but Hanai Sachiko No Karei na Shogai is one of the most brash, funny, and downright sexiest films I've ever seen, hence the X-rating, so be warned.
Call girl Sachiko Hanai is shot in the forehead by a North Korean agent. She survives, but the lodged bullet penetrates the center of her brain (via some mind-blowing but crude animation) and turns her into an intellectual genius. We can tell because she starts scribbling physics equations on the wall with a piece of chalk, and she becomes fascinated with French philosophy, and the genius of humankind--"all that is man's passion released towards the Universe." However, one amusing side effect is the havoc it plays on her taste buds. And the bullet hole makes for a grisly parody of the red bindi Indian women have on their forehead, although in Sachiko's case, it signifies the major nerve point in the human body--see what the bullet did to her?
Sachiko runs into the bookish Professor Toshio Saeki, and so touched is he with her intelligence he doesn't think twice of having an affair with her. He is one of the funniest characters. I mean, someone who gets turned on by anyone saying "Noam Chomsky?" Sachiko then tutors his shy and antisocial son Mamoru. Did I say shy and antisocial? With Sachiko, not for long, and what better reward to get right answers than by her removing a piece of clothing. What was it Van Halen sang, "Got it bad, so bad, I'm hot for teacher"?
Mamoru is keen on military defense maneuvers and missiles. "We'll always have wars. It's a good occupation," he says. This leads to Sachiko learning how "the TDF missile system is manipulated by the Bush administration, neoconservatism and the military industry that supports it." And speaking of Dubya, he gets a great drubbing here for the war in Iraq. He appears via some crude animation but by someone wearing a mask of freeze frame pictures of him. Turns out that Sachiko accidentally took Dubya's cloned finger that the North Korean agent's after. However, the scene of the finger violating her on the rooftop is queasy, not because it involves a writhing Sachiko being aroused, but because it's horrible to have Dubya to that to anyone, especially a sweet cute intellectual call girl like Sachiko.
The mission accomplished" speech is horribly but funnily dubbed, with references to his superweapon that pinpoints America's enemies one by one. "My intention is to have "naturally friendly wars" he says. Naturally friendly wars....RIGGHHHHTTT!
As for the North Korean agent, he's not exactly a nice guy, shooting people and even violating the professor's wife--a kind of nasty scene right there. But he ends up having a conscience later on. Hey, if it happened to Darth Vader in Jedi....
The film is clearly a throwback to the late 60's/early 70's softcore underground flicks such as Doris Wishman's Double Agent 73 or Pete Walker's The Tale of Tiffany Jones, but since when did Chesty Morgan or Tiffany go full-frontal or have something white squirted on them?--and I don't mean mayonnaise! Check out the dayglo pink cover of the DVD, not to mention Sachiko's outfit. Typical go-go girl/exploitation. And Sachiko being exploited by whoever she meets is straight from Candy by Terry Southern, although she does tend to give of herself to begin with. Then you have apocalyptic elements of Dr. Strangelove and elements of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911.
Emi Kuroda as Sachiko is clearly the star and a likeable one too, with or without clothes. Her teacher outfit at the beginning is a knockout. And her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner is definitely more appealing than Borat's. Sheer, unabashed, sexy delight for liberals, aficionados of 70's softcore cinema, and anyone who loves contemporary Japanese cinema. Sachiko, please be my teacher!
"Those who tell others to face reality are usually not facing it themselves."--Mamoru to Sachiko.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
loopy Japanese sex farceAug. 7 2007
Roland E. Zwick
- Published on Amazon.com
It's hard to know just what to make of the Japanese film, "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai." Is it a parody of a softcore porn flick or just a softcore porn flick itself? I tend to think it's the former, since, along with its myriad (and fairly graphic) simulated sex scenes, the film is also a wildly funny, tongue-in-cheek absurdist farce, replete with social criticism and political commentary for the deeper thinkers in the crowd. Not all of it works equally well, but you at least gotta' give `em props for trying.
Sachiko Hanai is an attractive young tutor with what a polite person might describe as an "active interest in sexual expression." Despite her job as a teacher, Sachiko is no great shakes in the brains department, until, that is, she is accidentally shot in the forehead by a secret agent from North Korea. Due to the bullet's strategic placement in the cerebral cortex, Sachiko suddenly becomes a super genius, able to comprehend French philosophy, complex laws of physics and arcane mathematical equations with no trouble whatsoever. She also develops a paranormal ability to peer into the unseen mysteries of the universe and to foretell future events. Her condition, however, does not curtail her appetite for sex; in fact, if anything, her newfound intelligence seems only to exacerbate it.
Indeed, much of the fun of "Schiko Hanai" derives from the incongruous juxtaposition of raw sexuality with intellectual pretentiousness. There's something immensely funny about watching people make passionate love while debating the finer points of dialectical materialism and String Theory or using Susan Sontag and Noam Chomsky as aphrodisiacs. The actors help to pull it off by playing their scenes with a straight-faced, deadpan seriousness that enhances the humor.
The plot gets even weirder when Sachiko finds herself in possession of the cloned, self-animated finger of George W. Bush and the machine that would allow it to unleash an arsenal of deadly nuclear weapons on an unsuspecting world. How's that for a storyline?
I frankly have no idea what this spy thriller cum sex comedy is really all about, but I had a great deal of fun watching it just the same.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Easily the weirdest movie I've ever seen -- and definitely for adults onlyJuly 11 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai is, without a doubt, the weirdest movie I have ever seen in my life. Dubbed by one critic a "weird, hilarious wet dream for intellectuals," this film attempts to meld satirical, political messages with lots of kinky sex. As a Japanese film being distributed in America by Palm Pictures, it's unrated; if it were to be rated, however, it might be pushing its luck just to get an NC-17 rating over here. Before some of you start scrolling back up to hit that Add to Cart button (and you know who you are), let me just add that the sex scenes can be as disturbing as they are erotic, as some of them equate to rape. You need to know what you're getting into, as those who rarely venture down some of the dark cinematic paths that I walk may find themselves shocked and embarrassed pretty darn quickly. The politics of the story won't appeal to all intellectuals by any means. Frankly, I think a lot of folks are like me and won't completely understand the message the story is trying to convey, but leftists will pretend to understand it just because they will interpret it as anti-Bush. As a conservative, I can't say that anything in this film particularly bothered me (it's nothing compared to, say, any given day in the U.S. Senate - only with a lot more sex). The cover of the DVD asks the question: Can a genius call girl save the world? I still don't know, as the ending seems to go off in a whole different direction.
Sachiko Hanai is a call girl who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up taking a bullet right in the middle of her forehead. Remarkably, not only does she survive, she gets up and walks out of the place. Strangely enough, almost no one throughout the rest of the film will even mention that big, glaring entrance wound in her forehead. It does have some definite effects on her, though. Her senses react to stimuli long after they should have, she starts devouring all the books she can get her hands on, she sometimes hallucinates, she has the ability to predict certain things about the future, she suffers from periodic bouts of masturbatory passion (apparently a delayed reaction to her increasingly unemotional sexual encounters), and - oh yeah - she becomes some kind of super genius who goes around quoting all kinds of philosophers. It must also make her irresistible to men, as all of the men she comes in contact with throw caution to the wind and use her to sate their own perverse desires.
It turns out that she stumbled away from what should have been her murder with a certain object that a North Korean spy really wants back. In hallucinatory fashion, President George W. Bush (actually, just a crude caricature of him) appears to her and tells her that the object contains a cloned version of his own finger (which he then manipulates in a Bill Clinton-like manner). She stays with a professor for awhile, serving as a tutor to his son (and boy does she know how to make a teenaged boy want to learn the answers to all of her questions), but the North Korean bad guy keeps searching until he finds her. As for that professor, he prefers philosophical discussions to dirty talk, all but busting a nut at the very mention of Noam Chomsky. (See, I told you this was one weird mamma jamma of a movie.)
I won't pretend to have completely understood this movie, especially the ending. Still, I enjoyed watching The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai, mainly because it is unlike any other film I've ever seen. I feel pretty confident saying that a lot of people won't really understand or enjoy it at all, though. That is one of the reasons I've tried to stress the fact that this is a "pink film" that walks a fine line between soft porn and true X-rated material, especially in terms of a couple of nonconsensual sex scenes. You even get a few money shots here and there (although the first one is completely unrealistic for any man walking this earth). I'm not criticizing the film for its sexual content (far from it, actually); I'm just trying to make sure potential viewers know about it in advance. Just know what you're getting into before watching this film, and be sure to keep it out of the hands of any minors.
On a final note, don't hit Stop when the credits begin to roll, as there is some additional material tacked on at the end.
Other reviewers have covered plot lines and the gist of this movie, however I enjoyed this film and I sent the purchasing information to many friends. This film is rather graphic (not gory, but sexually graphic), yet the combination of "discourses on existentialism" connected with sexuality and "satire on the Bush administration" is interesting.
This movie is trippy. I watched "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai" straight, but I would recommend having a margarita before watching it. This is sort-of like a new style of '70s B movie, and unlike anything else that I have seen; therefore, this movie is difficult to categorize. I agree with another reviewer that John Waters fans would probably enjoy this film. Also, people who enjoy obscure movies such as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show (25th Anniversary Edition)" will probably like "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai."
The send-up of "W" (from a Japanese perspective) is very strange and worth watching. If you read between the lines, during a certain scene in which "W's" cloned finger goes on an adventure....well, let us suffice to say that That One Scene summarizes a World View of the current situation.
Some of the more delicate folks might need to fast-forward through the sex scenes, but I am letting people know about this movie , because you probably will not see much publicity about this film. PALM PICTURES produces such films as "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" (which has a Marylin Manson cameo).
Mark Schilling, of the Japan Times, states that this movie is "A weird, hilarious wet dream for intellectuals!" I agree. This movie would also cause some serious wet dreams if teenagers got their hands on it. This is definitely one to keep away from the children, yet the movie is fun for adults. I have a feeling that many people will skip to certain scenes and show those particular scenes during parties and get-togethers.
If you have the slightest clue about what is going on in the world you will enjoy the non-sexual aspects of the film. I will definitely watch this film again, most-likely after having a margarita, and I will share scenes with friends so that they will acquire their own copy.
I believe this film could become a Cult Classic amongst the Philosophical and Intellectual crowd. Many activists and Alternative Thinkers will enjoy "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai" as well. Having sampled this film, I have purchased The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things from PALM PICTURES.