Super colorful and energetic movie – I probably liked this more than his acclaimed Branded To Kill. Very good music, all bendy strings and gunshot percussion.
Green Maya (the typecast Yumiko Nogawa of Story of a Prostitute and Pleasures of the Flesh) joins a group of color-coded prostitutes in postwar Japan – purple Mino (Kayo Matsuo of Tattooed Life), yellow Roku, and red leader Sen. Ofuku wears white so you know she’s not gonna last, then black Machiko is the next to go, each accused of the crime of giving it away for free.
Machiko with Jo:
The four have a good thing going, living together in a delapidated building and scaring away all competition – until puffy-cheeked fugitive Jo Shishido (returning from Youth of the Beast) arrives to shake things up, barging in and joining the group. He sleeps with Machiko, then Maya (causing discord and some whipping), but he also steals and slaughters a cow (providing much food and cash) and amuses them with his post-traumatic stress war anecdodes, so he’s allowed to stay.
Maya seduces a priest (Chico Roland, the jazz-hating fugitive soldier in Black Sun) driving him mad. But ultimately she falls hard for Jo. “You’re the first man I’ve ever loved. For the first time, I’ve felt human, but now I’ll get kicked out of here. The moment I become a real woman, I’m an outcast.” But when they try to run away together, he’s killed and she’s left roaming.
Remade in ’77. The same writer did Story of a Prostitute, unsurprisingly.
When Maya is stripped of her green clothes and whipped, the whole image is shrouded in green: