Estranged sisters Akane and Kozue attempt to rekindle past times by embarking on a camping trip weekend like they once used to enjoy. When they're involved in a minor accident that leaves their vehicle incapacitated, they're forced to spend a chilly night in the woods in an empty shelter. A strange man comes across the chilled sisters and invites them to stay with him at his house not far from the shelter. When the sisters believe warmth and safety are upon them, the tables soon turn when four of the strange man's friends come over and turn out to be escapees from a sexual aberrant asylum. When Kozue is able to escape with the aid of a mysterious female archer, the two plot their revenge and plan to leave none of them left alive.
Director Ainosuke Shibata is at the helm of the rape revenge film "Camp" which stars Japanese adult film actresses Miyuki Yokoyama and Rei Ayana, two of JAV's lesser known actresses, as the degraded sisters Kozue and Akane. The first act barely sets up the background of a typical exploitation (or horror) plot line consisting of the sisters accidentally wrecking their vehicle on the side of an isolated road, unable to obtain a cell signal, and then aimlessly venture off into the dark woods, off the road, to seek shelter. To understand the sisters' plight, one must understand the sisters themselves. The sisters' background involves Akane holding a uninformative grudge against her more beautiful sibling Kozue because while camping, Akane caught her sister doing the dirty with Akane's boyfriend late at night, but what Akane is unaware of was that Kozue was being raped by her boyfriend. Akane's jealously becomes their downfall upon the encounter with the sexual fiends and Akane becomes the ultimate victim. Akane is so desperate to get away from Kozue and be around guys who drool over her that she's becomes naive and blind to their real and devious intentions.
Akane and Kozue's hosts put the word pervert to shame as their sexual fantasies go beyond the conventional sexual intercourse and common fetishes such as foot and hair fetishes. One guy likes to brutally tenderize his female victim until she urinates and then, to not haste to waste, aggressively laps up the urine. Once he's fulfilled with the tongue slurping and lapping, he saves the rest in a bowl and savors the flavor like a fine chianti. Another pervert uses a butane lighter and penetrates the sisters as if it was his own fleshy member. The excitement in him builds and builds until eventually he turns on the lighter while still inside their actual fleshy box as if ejaculating. If these two haven't turned your stomachs, imagine what the other pervs have in store for the sisters!
From a realistic beginning to a whirlwind of deviancy, the film then starts to fade off into absolute absurdity. When Kozue exacts her revenge with the help of the female archer, she wields a hand held bow that seemingly projects out deadly Nerf darts to which none of the warped individuals seem to be afraid of, but then again, they are escaped nut jobs. Their necessary death scenes are fairly lame when compared to the film's rape revenge inspiration to the film "I Spit on Your Grave" directed by Meir Zarchi. The old saying "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" does not ring true for "Camp" because, in my opinion, the rapists got off easy with the cheesy, uninteresting computer imagery deaths. Another film flaw was the time span between Kozue's escape, learning a hand held bow, and returning to the scene of the degrading acts is also a bit loose. I found that Kozue's ability to learn the bow expertly comes about in just a matter of time neglected scenes making the third act and the ending seem abrupt.
Misogynist Yoshio and his submissive wife Saeko are on the road trip to somewhere and end up being the reluctant chauffeur to a bank robbing serial killer. Yoshio may not be a saint to women himself, but when stacked up against their kidnapper, he's an absolute puppy dog in comparison as the kidnapper seeks to have his way with Saeko. Things between the three become even more complicated when the upper hand for each other see-saws back and forth creating an already tense situation to spiral even more downward and out of control.
Pinky violence enthralled "Hitch-Hike" features much of the same cast members as "Camp." Miyuki Yokoyama headlines both films, starring also as the quiet wife Saeko to Yoshio's brutish and disrespectful husband played by Hiroaki Kawatsure. Kawatsure was one of the deviants in "Camp." Also, and once again, director Ainosuke Shibata is behind the camera capturing the extremities of one of Japan's notorious pop cultures. The "Hitch-Hike" plot is more air tight than "Camp" and doesn't seem to fall short of completing the storyline nor contain any time and spacial confusion.
Kawatsure's Yoshio makes out to be a complex character who, unknowingly to himself, finds himself to be an enigma. Yoshio's contradictory and misogynistic attributes toward his wife Saeko, along with their kidnapper's lustful thoughts and actions, makes Kawatsure an anti-hero in a way as he's, in his own mind, should be the only person degrading his humble wife or in his view, his property. Saeko sits on the back burner most of the trip until the kidnapper has his way with her. Yokoyama does a fine job seemingly going unnoticed through what could be considered mainly a manly aggressive film until her opportunity to strike occurs.
The effects are a tad better than "Camp" with decent dead center head shots and blood splatters. The martial arts fight sequences are neat and artfully sculptured, but are slowed down to accommodate punch and kick throw accuracy and become jagged on screen. However, as far as Pinky violence films go, "Hitch-Hike" doesn't go to the extreme and tames itself and the same would also be said about "Camp." For a company with the reputation like Troma's, I thought, or had hoped rather, that the "From Asia with Lust" double feature would be an all or nothing twisted tale times two such as the title has hinted or intended. The taboos are there and evident without question, but they are babied and gently skated around as if not to break the bank on going for the too extreme. Only moments of Pink brilliance shine through but not enough to label this a genre gem.
Video / Audio (2.5/5)
Troma's compact double feature with a combined total of a 148 minute runtime has a 16:9 widescreen presentation. "Camp" looks fairly marvelous with a sharp and surprisingly detailed image during daytime and nighttime scenes with little to no loss in quality. Shoddy CGI aside, "Camp" wins outright against "Hitch-Hike" which falters to some eye gouging aliasing of the fighting sequences and during the speed away scene of the van. I wasn't expecting much of this Troma release in the way of video quality, but I really took notice of solid image quality from the this release.
The Dolby Digital audio doesn't break the mold, but also doesn't seem unbalanced or contain any type of interference which makes the cramped double feature stand out again. However, "Camp" beats out "Hitch-Hike" once again. Both titles are accompanied with English subtitles and the subtitles with "Hitch-Hike" start to lag behind the Japanese dialogue about half way through the feature. Eventually, the lag time after the spoken dialogue clocks in at 4 seconds and then the subtitles appear creating a bit of annoyance when you're trying to watch the next scene and the subtitles have yet to show themselves.
The films' trailers are the only extras on this double feature.
Troma's first volume of a Pink film double "From Asia with Lust" is a whole new venture for the company and while I'm not yet sold on Troma's first volume picks, a far less extreme Pink film selections, I have faith in a company that shells out shock and schlock for a living and "From Asia with Lust" volume two will have this reviewer curious to see if Troma can raise the bar. I would recommend these double feature just to get your feet wet as starter films and gradually work your way into the erotically richer, more violent genre.