FAIRY IN A CAGE
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
An evil Judge is super mean and loves to torture people after kidnapping them. A pretty girl and a Kabuki actor get snapped up and tortured. One of the Judge's men falls in love with the girl, and goes against his master to try and set her free.
Is it good movie?
This 70's exploitation flick is another one of those movies with very
little plot and a whole lot of rope bondage, which is great if you're
into that sort of thing. This one mixes all kinds of rope bondage with
primitive torture techniques which are designed to make the viewer
uncomfortable. Some people apparently really like this bizarre, erotic
form of torture and I'll admit that the flick is shot artfully, though
it more than occasionally leans into porn. Seriously, there's a ton of
nudity throughout this movie. If you're not into dudes forcing
themselves on naked, bound women, avoid tis. It's not for kids.
If you can't stand forced sex acts of genital torture and other weird
things like that, you might want to avoid this. At one point, people
are covered in itchy liquid and have to just rub up on one another to
satisfy that. Weird, I know. There's even a strange pee scene thrown in
for good measure. Though this is not the kind of film that turns my
crank, Naomi Tani is our "rope queen" here and she plays the role quite
well. She's both attractive and pretty sympathetic at the same time.
The movie claims to be ultra controversial, but after so many years
having gone by, is a bit tamer than you might think. The film is shot
quite well, and seems to have a higher budget than most exploitation
films I've seen. The WWII setting is a bit of a throwaway excuse to tie
up a couple of people and torture them, but the setting is put together
with a certain authenticity and care. It's kind of jarring to see a
film of this nature filmed with care and a certain theatrical sheen, if
that makes any sense. Still though, I feel like over half of the film takes place with the poor girl screaming with almost no dialogue.
There really isn't much else I can say about Fairy in a Cage. It's not
my style of flick, it didn't turn me on and didn't overly
disturb me (though the film is quite hard on its female protagonist and
I don't advocate this sort of thing being done to anyone, period!). If
you're a big fan of this sort of genre (Japanese Exploitation), then
you'll want to add this one to your collection. Otherwise, unless
you're into plenty of torture veiled by thin historical motivation, you
might want to avoid this. It's a bit random and specialized for the
average horror fan.
Video / Audio
Video: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen that
holds up really well, coming off quite colorfully given the age of the
Audio: Japanese mono 2.0, relatively
unimpressive. Thankfully, not dubbed.
All you get are liner notes from
Japanese Film Scholar Jasper Sharpe, which provides some
historical context, and a few other notable things about the history of
the film and some of its cast.
I can't help but feel like this film has a pretty specific audience,
but I don't think I'm included in that audience. I'ts neat to get a
foreign perspective on an older genre, but I can't say I identified
with it enough to recommend it. Again, if you love the art of rope
bondage and seeing a pretty girl all tied up, this is one for your