Captive Factory Girls 1&2

Title: Captive Factory Girls 1&2 (The Violation/The Revolt)
Rating: 3/5 (Violation), 3.5/5 (Revolt)
Genre: Exploitation, Thriller
Director: Mikio Hirota
Language: Japanese

Sometimes its worth clarifying the difference between “low-budget” and “no-budget” as to the casual observer they would probably amount to much the same thing. This readily falls under the 'no-budget' heading and tell tale signs include cap guns, hand-held camera's, acting that feels like it was shot in a day and bra size being the most important thing when deciding on which actress should get the lead roles. For at least half the cast this certainly holds true, and most of the others are male and thus relegated to as minor a role as possible. For those that remain, the acting remains hilariously awful with awkward pauses where lines were probably forgotten, politely waiting for the other to finish their sentence when in a heated argument and plenty of opportunities for naked frolicing, albeit against their will.

Since both short films are so similar, I thought I'd write this as a double feature. Both involve a curious building; a secret steel factory in which gangsters force those incapable of paying their debt into working there as compensation. The first film follows the tale Natsumi as she willingly allows herself to the clutches of the tyrannical factory in order to find her lost lover; a journalist who went missing whilst working undercover, whilst the latter concerns itself less with escape as much as revenge. With an all new cast of workers – presumably because the rest refused to return – the lead accepts work at the factory to help her boyfriend out of debt, only to discover the truth behind the factories inner workings. Hatching a plan to escape using the tools at their disposal, they work together to make sure the sadistic owner gets his comeuppance.

The workers are treated like prisoners not allowed to leave, and it follows the story of the segregated female workers far more intently than the rest of the cast, supposedly carefully chosen for their task as only a woman would be too stupid to recognise a revolver's cylinder when they made one. Naturally. Should they not work as “efficiently” as they should be, or fall behind in their duties they would suffer a monetary penalty to work off, and whilst you might expect beatings to come into the equation you'd be wrong. That'd be barbaric. Instead they use that time old motivation technique to get their workers to shift. Otherwise known as rape. This may not technically be a prison, but it certainly pays homage to the old “Women In Prison” exploitation genre.

The main thing that concerns me with these no-budget exploitation flicks is whether or not they'll get carried away filming their stars, or whether they'll actually devote enough of the film to an actual plot. I'm not looking to watch a porno; there's plenty of actual porn flying around for that, I want the cheap schlock effects that barely covers the blood packs, the hilariously bad acting and plot holes the size of a prison bitches asshole. There are times where the director does indeed get a touch too carried away, and indeed I'd have preferred some better looking stars (or at least slightly less butch ones) – but they would have probably cost them money they didn't have. Hell, I'm not even sure these people got paid. For all I know they just asked random people on the street if they wanted to be a film – and yet, this all allows for a duology of films of short but sustainable length that elevates it to be amongst the better in its class.


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