aka Zûmu in: Bôkô danchi; Zoom In: Rape Apartments
Theatrical Release: March 15th, 1980
DVD Release: July 10, 2012
Directed by Naosuke Kurosawa
Review by Craig Sorensen
So, lets get back to the Nikkatsu Roman Porno series with Volume 5 of Impulse’s ongoing series. This time, it’s the first film in the Zoom In/Zoom Up series, Zoom In: Sex Apartments. I’m not sure what this film has to do with cameras or photography (at least Zoom Up was about a photographer) but I guess that’s beside the point. What this film does have in spades though is Sex Apartments. And again, the film plays much more like a horror film than a sex film.
A young woman named Saeko (Erina Miyai of Lusty Transparent Man), while on her way to meet an old lover, is assaulted (outside of what is either ruins of an apartment complex or a stalled construction site) by a masked, black gloved man wearing a long black overcoat. Shaken by the ordeal, Saeko nevertheless continues on her journey. She meets up with the old flame and proceeds to have lots of sex. Later she moves into his (sex) apartment. He seems to have some peculiar anger problems and for some reason likes to cut up paintings while Saeko is away. Also, he owns a long, black overcoat and black gloves. While this is going on there are a string of murders plaguing the community. A killer in a black overcoat and black gloves is killing young women and setting them on fire. Could Saeko’s assailant and the killer be one in the same? Could her lover be the killer? Is everyone insane in this fucking movie?
So, like other films in this Nikkatsu series, the film seems to owe more to the horror genre than any kind of previous erotic film. In the case of Zoom In: Sex Apartments, the film plays much more like a giallo. From the black gloved killer, the sexualized stalkings and Freudian underpinnings, all the calling cards are there. There’s even a prog-rock like score that brings to mind the early work of Goblin. There’s a definite Profundo Rosso influence here. The film also surprisingly veers wildly into the surreal during the last act. And that’s the kind of thing that I love about this series, you really have no idea what you’re going to get when you pop one of these things into the player. If I were to, say, play a Bavarian sex film or an an American sex film, you kind of know what you’re getting into. And sometimes that’s desirable in a comfort food kind of way. But nothing can compare to the surprise of something unexpected.
As usual for this series, Zoom In: Sex Apartments looks great. Colors look very good. Of course, there’s a hell of a lot of skin on display and skin tones look completely natural. The only audio track here is the original Japanese mono track. It sounds perfectly fine though. Dialog and music both sound great to me. You do get optional English subtitles though so what little sense there is to this film can be followed. You also get a nuts trailer.