Muraki, head honcho at Pornoc Publishing (clue: they don’t publish People’s Friend) sees a porno flick involving a schoolgirl being raped by several men. Immediately he’s captivated by her. Who is she? He aims to find out, trawling the sleazy city streets until he finds her working in a cheap, low-class brothel. Haven’t I seen you somewhere? Dirty old fucker! She’s weird though, really weird and Muraki soon learns that that porno-rape was no simulation - it was real! Yep, in Japan, 1979, it was all the rage I believe! Now obsessed with her - in love with her, it seems - Muraki begs her to meet him, seven o’ clock the following day. But she finds herself standing alone, dejected, in the rain for three hours, waiting for him, but he never turns up. Nice guy that he is, Muraki couldn’t make the date because he’d been caught noncing! I mean, I’ve had some pretty wild excuses for breaking dates but that one just spurts on the biscuit! But at least you could rest assured she’d never hassle you again!
And she doesn’t. Three years later, poor Muraki is trying to keep his wife and kid going on his meagre porn-baron’s salary. He’s no David Sullivan, that’s for sure! Drunk one night, he wanders into some grubby, shit-end-of-the-slum bar and finds her working there. Horrified, he tries to take her back but she doesn’t want to go. Helped along by her new boyfriend/pimp’s fist, Muraki at last learns she’s happy as she is.
In contrast to the meaningless confusion of the first Angel Guts film, High School Co-ed, Red Classroom in all its weirdness is a pretty coherent and occasionally profound movie. What Sone seeks to contemplate is fairly apparent here - Muraki’s obsession with an anonymous porno star is an obvious metaphor for man’s obsession with pornography or indeed, if one wants to take it further, man’s obsession with sexually charged consumer culture. And as an image on celluloid, projected onto a dirty old screen, Nami is much more “human” it seems than the neurotic, wretched creature she is in real life, yet Muraki still pursues her. And so the cycle continues, beyond the movie’s misanthropic finale - Nami, happy as the willing and obedient prozzie - a new, less willing and obedient girl being instructed to follow in her high-heeled footsteps and Muraki - as if you haven’t guessed - left heartbroken with nothing.
As with its predecessor, contrary to what its proponents say, Red Classroom is in no way promoting wimmin’s values of any sort whatsoever. Nami is seen to be an extremely weak character, not at all happy but still willing to submissively accept her gutter-level life. Maybe Nami is the ideal porno-babe - the eternal victim. You can take that as Sone’s philosophy - or simply his fantasy.
Red Classroom is more entertaining than High School Co-ed, that’s for sure. Sone’s attempts at experimentation are more successful, as seen with the trippy, head-shredding barroom scene as a drunken Muraki tries to reclaim his bird. There’s some nice Shit Street scenery, and that confounded torrential rain makes a return too - this time to drown Nami’s soul as she waits for her kiddie-fiddling beau. And the loose ends in Red Classroom - such as, what is the background of Nami’s mysterious porno film? - are more intriguing this time than annoying. Still, the flick is laced with faults - frequent bursts of tedium being the main problem - particularly trying is a softcore sex scene that lasts in excess of ten minutes. You know, this is still the 19- fucking -70’s, man! Whatever happened to two-pumps-and-you’ve-chucked-your muck? You don’t deserve those friggin’ sideburns you over-sensitive little twat!
It is a not entirely dull, dark and brooding trip to the sleazier side of town but if one is to be perfectly honest, all Red Classroom really has going for it is its alleged “shock value” and you’ll no doubt be shocked when I tell you it isn’t particular shocking at all. See, even that joke wasn’t shocking, eh? Come on, one golden shower and a couple of rape scenes aren’t gonna knock your lily-white ankle socks off, are they? This was only the second in the series and there is plenty of room for improvement - so next time, I wanna see that room awash with one BIG SEX AND BLOOD ORGY!!!! COME ON AND FUCKING SHOCK ME!
Or do I have to wait a little longer…
Aka: Tenshi No Harawata: Akai Kyoshitsu, Tenshi No Harawata 2