13 Steps of Maki (Japan, 1975)
This is perhaps Etsuko Shihomi’s most enjoyable, and certainly sleaziest, film. Shihomi is a girl gang leader straight out of a comic book, spending half of her time saving her delinquent karate girls from trouble. It’s basically a pinky violence movie with karate action instead of gun and knife fights. Although there is little plot, the film is well paced. Lots of solid action, no irritating supporting characters or comic reliefs, very little in terms boring side plots, and just when you might start getting a bit tired of it they throw Shihomi in prison and the film goes all WIP. Great theme song too! Sonny Chiba has cool cameo as Maki’s brother, and Roman Porno actress Meika Seri appears as assassin in the prison segment. Someone really need to put this film out on DVD and BD immediately.
* Original title: Wakai kizokutachi: 13 kaidan no Maki (若い貴族たち １３階段のマキ)
* Director: Makoto Naito
* Chiba’s role: Cameo
* Film availability: None. Review format: 35mm.