Saturday, September 3, 2016

Katsuhiko Fujii - Onna shinnyû-shain: 5-ji kara 9-ji made AKA Horny Working Girl: From 5 to 9 (1982)



Beautiful young Chieko is hired as assistant manager at the office of a large corporation. Her boss is an oversexed married man whose advances and behavior make her uncomfortable. When she finds out from the other girls in the office that they have had the same problem with him, they get together and come up with a special plan to get their revenge.


It’s amazing how a familiar concept can take on a new life when it crosses territorial borders and picks up the obsessions and attitudes of another country. A classic example is how Japan’s The Seven Samurai spawned The Magnificent Seven in the U.S. A more esoteric yet highly interesting example arrived when the U.S.’s 9 To 5 was imported to Japan – and inspired Nikkatsu’s sultans of softcore to make Horny Working Girl: 5 To 9. The end results show off the malleability of the Roman Porno format while creating a memorably warped funhouse mirror reflection of its inspiration.

Like 9 to 5, Horny Working Girl: From 5 To 9 chronicles the travails and ultimate collective triumph of a trio of female office workers who have to deal with ego and libido of an obnoxious male boss. Unlike 9 to 5, the majority of the plot is deferred until the last 20 minutes. The first 45 minutes are devoted to the intro of our heroines and their nasty boss, with plenty of breaks for schtupping and Benny Hill-level sex gags.

Chieko (Junko Asahina) is the new assistant manager to the swaggering, always horny boss (Junichiro Yamashita). Her job is no dream: she’s got to do things like a procure a teenage virgin for the head of another corporation to secure a business deal. She also submits to an affair with the boss to ensure job security. Of course, the boss can’t be satisfied with one woman: he also enjoys trysts with his wife Mayumi (Nami Misaki) and even forces himself on hapless assistant Mari (Yuki Yoshizawa). When the three women have suffered enough, they devise a unique punishment that targets his job and his sexual appetite.

Like most of Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno line, Horny Working Girl: 5 To 9 does a lot of in small amount of screen time. Despite the comedy tag, it shifts tones enough times to make your head spin: the plot incorporates everything from a recurring gag involving a genital cream that makes the user sexually insatiable to a random, unexpectedly cruel bit where Nami is attacked and gang-raped in the bathroom by a gang of animalistic janitors(!). Similarly, the sex is presented in a variety of style: there’s comic sex, erotic sex, brutal sex, even a moment where the heroines start to seduce each other before changing their minds.

Horny Working Girl: 5 To 9 is best taken as a rollercoaster ride of sexploitation variety. If you go for Nikkatsu’s sex comedies, the film’s “try anything” spirit is pretty entertaining. Director Katsuhiko Fujii ensures the film’s crazy-quilt narrative doesn’t wear out its welcome by keeping the proceedings fast and colorful. He also gets good work out of Asahina, a former theater and music star who gives both the story and the sex scenes her all. Best of all, the film’s madcap final reel and its barrage of gags and plot twists must be seen to be believed.

Simply put, Horny Working Girl: 5 To 9 is primarily for the sexploitation addicts – but they’re likely to groove on the film’s mix of skin, sex, goofy gags and unfettered, culture-specific weirdness. Dolly Parton and the gang never had it like this.

-- Schlockmania! [Donald A. Guarisco]

Subtitles:English (muxed & srt)