Rica 3: Juvenile's Lullaby
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Also Known As
- Konketsuji Rika: Hamagure komoriuta
- Released in 1973
- Production Co: Toho Studios
Cast and Crew
- Directed by Kozaburo Yoshimura
- Written by Kaneto Shindo
- Original Story by Taro Bonten
- Music by Jiro Takemura
- Starring: Rika Aoki, Jiro Kawarasaki, Taiji Tonoyama, Kotoe Hatsui, Reiko Kasahara, Masami Souda, Yoshie Ichige, Eiko Fukazawa, Shoji Oki
If you ever wanted to see a sequel without knowing anything about it forehand, here’s a good film to try your luck with... but, if you’re still reading, I’ll try to explain why the film took this viewer by a surprise. Rica 3 takes an U-turn from the previous instalment, not only by ditching the snowy landscapes Rica 2 in order to bathe in summer green, but also by practically switching genre. Rica 3 is a slapstick comedy born into exploitation family.
The opening already is promising. Catfights, reform school girls, comical eye-patched guard, everybody wearing a mini skirt (excluding the males of course)... Everything is funny and silly, sometimes a bit sexy too but always in a very upbeat way. The big scratch to this image, which was maybe to be expected considering the genre film roots, comes in form of some rapes and threat of sexual violence. While none of it is graphic by exploitation film standards the fact that the victims are way underage give these scenes very nasty punch.
Another serious element in the film is the themes of racism, which have been prominent throughout the series but have been given most emphasis in this concluding part. But, I guess there’s no need to point out that this film isn’t exactly an intelligent analysis on anything. In fact, the one remarkable black character the film has - God forgive me if I’m wrong – doesn’t even seem like she was born black... And then of course we have our beautiful heroine beating the racists street thugs with a huge French bread...
The way the film mixes some sub-genres is a bit similiar to the first Rika film, and I feel these twists are better left unspoiled. Nevertheless, fans of laid-back 70’s pop movies should get several good kicks from the film. Cast-wise the film features solid supports with no irritating or unnecessary characters. The charming lead Rika Aoki, who forgot to take off her clothes the the previous film, no longer feels such need to cover herself up, although an all out nudity fest this film is not. But fan service is generous in form of Rika’s constantly changing and stylish outfits. The final reward is saved till the very end.
Reviewed by Hung Fist