XX: Beautiful Target (Japan 1995)

Rating: *
Review Date: 11/27/10
Cast: Yoko Natsuki, Shiho

Ugh. Now this is the kind of misogynistic filth that I expect from the "XX" and "Zero Woman" films. The film immediately sets the stage with a young woman getting tortured, raped, and murdered, followed by a gruesome autopsy as medical examiner Kyoko (Yoko Natsuki) cuts her apart. When a second victim shows up, the murderer happens to catch a glimpse of Kyoko's panties when she bends down to inspect the body, and at that point he decides to make her his next target. (This reminded me of the equally awful "The Peeping Tom" (1996) ) Fortunately for Kyoko, a brash juvenile delinquent named Natsumi (adorable Shiho) shows up in the nick of time to save her, and the two of them form an uneasy alliance to track down the sick bastard. Of course, both of them get caught, stripped naked, and tortured before it's all over.

While it's competently filmed and acted, the material is atrocious and is simply no fun to watch (except for a baffling and completely out of context lesbian love scene). The police procedural aspect is uninteresting and the cops are ineffective, which forces the women to take the law into their own hands. The film tries, unsuccessfully, to set up suspects in an attempt to keep the viewer guessing and anticipating a plot twist or reveal that never happens. Pretty much a sad waste of time, and I had my finger on the fast-forward button the entire time.