XX: Beautiful Beast (Japan 1995)

Rating: **
Review Date: 2/26/06
Cast: Kaori Shimamura, Takeshi Yamato

Another erotic thriller in the "XX" series, concerning a Chinese hitwoman named Black Orchid and her quest to avenge the death of her little sister. The moral of the story is "don't piss off professional killers." After making her way to Japan, she takes out a Yakuza boss and stumbles into a bar run by a nice guy named Yoichi (Takeshi Yamato). When he turns away some inquisitive thugs, she thanks him for his discretion by having sex with him for an excruciatingly long time. Even with the fast forward engaged it's tedious and tiresome. After this sordid tryst, she goes about with her business to kill the sick and twisted boss of the Taiwanese mafia, Mr. Ho. But he's a slippery eel and ends up turning the tables on her. Will she manage to escape Mr. Ho's evil clutches before becoming a permanent resident of his S&M dungeon?

Like the other entries in the series, "Beautiful Beast" is low budget and shot on video. The lighting is poor and the editing is pretty terrible in several spots. Kaori Shimamura is solidly mediocre and emotionally flat throughout. She does have a nice body, though, which the director takes advantage of whenever he can. The gunplay and female action elements are pretty weak and unconvincing, but the film does feature some nice and bloody squib work.