(1967, Jap, 57 min) Dir Kan Tan. Cast Mitsuo Ibaraki, Anna Shimura, Haruo Tanaka.
From the beginning of the pinku eiga era Kan Tan was there with his camera. 1967 represented the peak of his productivity with a staggering twelve films produced that year and Apartment Lust was the most popular of the dozen, at least partly because of the brief controversy it’s release caused. The story’s as old as the hills – young Kaneda is failing in school because of an unrequited love for a girl in his class so his parents track down and kidnap the object of his affections so that he may tie her to his bed and beat and whip her. Eventually she escapes and gets her bloody revenge on the whole family. I know what you’re thinking – isn’t this just the same plot as Kōji Wakamatsu’s The Embryo Hunts in Secret? Why yes, it is, but with the addition of the parent characters and the subtraction of Embryo‘s formal trickery. It would appear that, upon spying the controversy that greeted the release of Wakamatsu’s film, Tan guessed that the introduction of the parents as the torturer’s enablers would up the shock quotient and the removal of the nouvelle vague elements would please the more mainstream punters. He was right too. Artless and grubby stuff all in all.