Title: Zoom In: Sex Apartments

Also known as:
Zûmu in: Bôkô danchi (Original title)
Zoom In: Rape Apartments (Alternative title)

Year: 1980

Genre: Exploitation / Drama / Horror

Language: Japanese

Runtime: 68 min

Director: Naosuke Kurosawa

Writer: Chiho Katsura

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0288905/

A rape victim starts stalking her rapist years after the incident, and is sexually aroused by what he is doing to these poor girls. Rape and burning them is just a start for this masked man.

Our thoughts:
I'm getting it out of the way. This is a rather indecisive review as a lot of feelings and thoughts went through my mind while watching it. "Zoom In: Sex Apartments" is way more fun than I had expected. I just expected sleaze, but got some weird horror-influenced exploitation dipped in trippy horror/giallo. What I enjoyed even more was that I couldn't decide if to take it seriously, or if it was made to be silly and simply going too far. Why? Indeed, why?

The story alone makes you wonder! It's about a rapist/killer who burns his victims. Sometimes putting a gasoline-soaked cloth up his victims vaginas before lighting them on fire! That might not be silly in itself (a little) but it's done as a wannabe-giallo. Now, that does make it more silly to me. Not being a huge giallo fan myself, and then seeing a cloth-fire-raping Japanese giallo character attack young girls! Anyway, these acts of sex and violence are observed by a woman who was abused by the same masked man years ago, and we're following her as she stalks him. With each crime he commits, the more aroused she becomes. I think it's an interesting setup, but one that could've been worked on more in-depth. Not a requirement for a sleaze film though, is it?

There are some fairly strong scenes, which is expected when you hear what it's about. Although it never manages to reach the atmosphere and roughness of Koji Wakamtasu. It's more violent than many other sleaze/exploitation/sexploitation films and that's because it is so influenced by giallo, but I think it also wins a few points by being rather strange and sometimes very atmospheric for a sleaze film too. But a sleaze film it is. No matter how doused it is in giallo or horror. And that means you will be watching it for the smut, which it delivers, but a fantastic film it's not.

The film is a mere 68 minutes, but I think it could've been made even shorter without hurting too much. It's an interesting and entertaining film, but not one you need to specifically seek out. If you find it while browsing, throw it in if you have the extra bucks. If you're a general fan of the old pinkku flicks then this might be worth adding to the collection. Even if just for the amusing kill/s! I'm glad Impulse Pictures are releasing these Nikkatsu flicks, they deserve the DVD treatment and they're a pleasure to get through.

Positive things:
- Interesting, a bit strange, and overall entertaining.
- Some cheesy effects gave me a few laughs.

Negative things:
- It was hard to take it seriously at times, and quite often because of the giallo influences.
- A plot that could've been much thicker.

Gore: 2/5
Nudity: 3/5
Story: 2/5
Effects: 2/5
Comedy: 1.5/5

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