The Perfect Education 2: 40 Days of Love (2001)
89 min, color, Mandarin dub (English subtitles)
Review © 2004 Branislav L. SlantchevThere is nothing more pitiful than an exploitation film that does not exploit. This is because it invariably implies that the film is taking itself seriously, which further means that its creators are demanding that we pay attention to its message. Perfect Education 2 is an example of the non-exploitative exploitation film that pretends to be saying something profound when in fact it's a mean-spirited (or at least ill-conceived) male fantasy run awry.
|Haruka sees UFOs (hence she's lonely)||Must be pretty warm and uncomfortable|
Haruka is an alienated 17-year old school girl played by the non-acting 20-something Fukami Rie. She is pretty, no doubt, and that alone carries the film enough so that I did not throw the remote at the TV. She's lost her father, her mother works late, and her brother is always out. She eats her rice alone and then masturbates to lewd comics. We therefore conclude that she is lonely despite her many classmates. This supposedly will provide the "explanation" for the next 80 minutes of inexplicable behavior.
|First (forced) bathing scene||The morning Haruka falls in love|
One night she is kidnapped by the 52-year old school teacher Sumikawa (Hida Yasuto). He threatens her with a knife, orders her to strip, and attempts to rape her only to apologize and stop. What follows is something that would send any thinking person flying off the wall. OK, I can swallow Haruka's submissive behavior during the kidnapping (she sits alone in the car while the guy walks around to get in from the other side); we'll say it's shock. But then... he ties her up and gags her, leaving her all day. She gradually begins warming up to him and makes feeble attempts to draw someone's attention (bangs on the wall once or twice).
|Second (consensual) bathing scene||Love at first handcuff|
Within a week, she's warmed up enough not to stab him when he gives her scissors and turns his back to her. This presumably means that the horny goat has managed to get through to her with his charm of a failed rapist (perhaps this was meant to tell us that he's the romantic type). She no longer feels alienated and has fallen for this other pathetic lonely soul. Then they proceed to have boring consensual sex during which Sumikawa mostly squeezes her breasts and she looks away with what we must construe to be deep feelings. Eventually the duo runs afoul of the cops and Sumikawa commits suicide that plunges Haruka into depression, from which the shrink Akai (Takenaka Naoto) attempt to free her.
|Deeply romantic sex||The 'couple' hiding in the closet|
Combined with the atrocious acting, the plot of this film makes for obligatory DVD burning. Alas, my bootleg only had the Mandarin dub, making it so much less palatable. I suppose that someone out there really believes that it is possible to get a beautiful young woman to fall in love with an old slimeball who kidnaps her. Rie Fukami's altogether expressionless performance make the puzzle even less comprehensible. A walk in the park at night (the park looks like a demented Roman orgy) makes her fellate Sumikawa (she does swallow, making this another statement of utter commitment) and when his female coworker makes a pass at him, she gets jealous!
An utterly worthless piece of junk, Perfect Education 2 fails even by exploitation standards because there is no gratuitous nudity, sex, or violence. Fukami Rie modestly displays her ample cleavage but nothing beyond that; the bondage is mild even by high school standards; and the sex scenes are totally devoid of any eroticism. This would perhaps make a Z-grade movie here, if even that. I don't think I will be watching any of the other films in the series.
The DVD I have is a bootleg unfortunately (bastard from Singapore who sold it to me swore it was legit). I believe it's ripped from the Universe version and comes only with the Mandarin dub, which is as bad as any dub: they seem to have stripped all the sound and then just narrated over. The picture is very soft, dark, grainy, with visible compression artifacts. All of this is even more noticeable because a lot of the action goes on in the dark. The non-anamorphic transfer is widescreen at 1.85:1 though. The only extras are a few trailers.
July 4, 2004