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Assault! 13th hour - Assault! 13th hour( DVD) [ Impulse Pictures - 2022]

From the late 1970s Assault! 13th hour is a mean-spirited at points downright unpleasant rape thriller-meets roughie pink film. Here from Impulse Pictures- Synapse Film's adult/ erotic focused sub-label is a  DVD release of this slice of nasty sleaze.

Assault! 13th hour ( aka Rape 13th hour, Reipu 25-ji: Bôkan) was made in the year 1977. It was directed by Yasuharu Hasebe, who between the years 1966 and 2009 had thirty-nine feature-length credits to his name. These went from colourful spy spoof Black Tight Killers(1966), onto Yakuza melodrama Roughneck(1969), three Stray Cat Rock films- Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal, Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter, Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss( all from the year 1970). And more than a few rough pink films, like Rape! (1976), Assault! Jack The Ripper(1976), Secret Honeymoon: Rape Train(1977), Attacked!(1978).
 
The film opens on an evening in an unnamed Japanese city, where a young pudgy-yet-square-faced garage attendant (Yûdai Ishiyama) is getting ready to lock up for the night. Suddenly in bursts a man in red jacket and small shades, we later find out he’s known as Crimson (Akira Takahashi). He forces the young man into his work van, and the pair go cruising they notice a woman up at an upstairs window- and promptly break-in, as grand and lush music plays Crimson rapes the woman who's a ballet dancer, as the attendant holds her down.

As the film moves on the attendant starts fantasizing about raping more women. Going to a make-out spot, where he chases through the woods a woman, as in a very inappropriate Benny Hill-like manner we get jump cuts of her having her clothes and underwear pulled off with buoyant music playing before he rapes her. Fairly soon he’s often hanging out with Crimson, as the pair do appartement and shop break-ins, to rape the female occupants. These get quite nasty though never overly fleshy, and most repugnant some of the victims seem to enjoy their attacks after the initial shock.  With throughout bright and cascading harpsichord or grand ballet music is used as a soundtrack, which makes for a jarring-but-effective counterbalance to what's going on the screen.

Added into the mix we have a trio of gay gangsters, who keep following Crimson- in one rather intense and catastrophic scene where the rapist is in a small room with the open pink shirt and necklace lead gangster- he first tries to give him a blow job, then turns himself around- pulling down his pants, before Crimson brutally beats him.
 
The whole film has very dodgy morals, with a distinct air of misogynist nasty-ness going on, as the pair rape one woman after another with seemingly little or no comeback. Takahashi plays the often coldly smirking but dead-eyed Crimson effective, and you do get the feeling he’s a true sadist who will do what he wants, to who he wants. Though we do have a rather strange consensual and almost passionate encounter between him and a trench-coated woman- though maybe it’s just a dream. Ishiyama is equally unpleasant as the attendant- as he fairly soon helps with the first rape, going on to attack more women in a fumbling/ sweaty manner.
Assault! 13th hour is impactful in its charting of these two repugnant characters' actions- and there is really little hope or justice here.  In its latter half we get an unpleasant male rape- including teeth being knocked-out-by a hammer before forced mouth sex occurs, and the whole thing resolves back where it started with their first victim getting visited again
 
This region one DVD features just the film, with English subtitles which can be switched on or off. The presented scan looks largely good, though on a few of the less lit scenes it’s difficult to fully make out what’s going on. With the release been fairly typical of other Impulse film releases, I’ve seen in its bare-bones form.
 
Throughout Assault! 13th hour you can pick up influences of the likes of Clockwork orange, and Last House on the Left. But there is enough here to make it stand on its own as an effectively nasty slice of 70’s Japanese sleaze, which is high with misogynist unpleasantness.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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