director Yasuharu Hasebe
Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter. How can you go wrong with a title like that?
The third of a series of Stray Cat Rock/girl gang flicks from the Nikkatsu studio, Sex Hunter is the most well-known, popular, and is considered the best of the bunch. Apparently the films don’t share a narrative through point, though they are thematically kindred and star Meiko Kaji as the leader of the girl gang.
The soundtrack alone is pretty kick-ass, featuring a girl group, Golden Half, as well as lots of other groovy jazz and rock stuffs. This is swingin’ Japan.
There is an interesting trope running through the film about mixed-race characters and the legacy of American occupation. The villainous gang is riled by “half-breeds” and wants to roust them out of town. The cooler girl gang empathizes with Kazuma (Rikiya Yasuoka), a half-African-American/Japanese guy, looking for his sister. Apparently, the band Golden Half, popular at the time, were comprised of mixed-race performers, as well, underscoring this theme. It’s interesting.
There is sex and violence and a rather pessimistic ending. Somehow, as cool as it all was, I wasn’t as enthused about the film as I was expecting to be. It has flashes of very cool bits throughout, but something didn’t quite click for me for it. Still, pretty neat.