"Pinky Violence" is the name of a very specific type of exploitation film. It refers to films that are Japanese, made between 1968 and 1974, feature female leads, and have tons of nudity and violence. If that description sounds intruiging, keep reading. If it doesn't, don't.
There's no use trying to intellectualize the merits of the genre. People watch it to ogle naked Japanese girls strewn with blood. There's a charming visual style, and the influence of the American hippie movement is often clear; there are some genuinely clever moments of scripting; there are some resonant themes and characters; but really, people just watch these movies to ogle.
Of all the Pinky Violence films, and I've seen over twenty, CW:KM is my favorite. It's probably not the "best" — I'd give that title to Lady Snowblood, which is probably the film you should start with if you're curious about the genre. But I like this one for its cast, its structure, and its odd pacing and symmetry. Few films of the genre even cared about that stuff. More were concerned with the dilemma, "How can we possibly pad out our script enough to make this feature-length?" So most of the films are boring slog-fests. A lot of them are really cool though. Some are even legitimately artful.
One word of caution: although these films do feature female protagonists who in the end come out on top... they're not exactly feminist. They're about catering to the deepest male desires, and specifically, those of 1970s Japan — a time and place with attitudes about women likely to be different from your own. If you watch one of these films, you will probably see the lead character being tortured, humiliated, and helpless in at least one scene. It's something I personally grimace through for the sake of the rest of the movie, but I know that for some viewers those scenes would be dealbreakers. Proceed with it in mind.
How to get it
As far as mainsream releases go, this out-of-print boxset is your only option. Whether it's worth the money or not is up to you, but as an owner of the set myself, I can vouch for its quality. All four movies are pretty cool, and the inserts are great. The commentary tracks are very informed and enjoyable.
The one disappointing part of the set is the included audio CD of Reiko Ike songs. The entire running length of the album has her moaning in the background, an effect that quickly becomes much more irritating than erotic. Still, you can easily ignore the CD while enjoying the rest of the contents. I do.
If you just want to watch an individual movie from the collection, Netflix has ’em all.
Other P.V. films worth watching
Perhaps my extensive viewing can save you some time. Here are the ones I enjoyed, with the ones I didn't being omitted. I'll link to the CinemaGeddon pages for each one, which for this genre will be much more informative than the IMDb pages. At the very least, you gotta scroll through their screen captures for each film.
- Delinquent Girl Boss: Blossoming Night Dreams (1970): One of the earlier PV films, and arguably the first to really present the genre staples in a way that was both solidified and enjoyable.
- Stray Cat Rock: Female Boss (1970): My favorite of the five Stray Cat Rock films, although #3 is BY FAR the most popular. Here's the deal: watch #1 if you want to see a charming interaction between the girls in the gang. Do not watch #2 under any, any, any circumstances. #3 is worth seeing, if only for Meiko Kaji's placement in the lead role. It's also the only film in the series easily locatable in the United States. #s 4 and 5 are okay.
- Wandering Ginza Butterfly (1971): More Meiko Kaji! She's great, as always, but the surprise in the film is that the male lead, played by Tsunehiko Watase, is also really charismatic. It might be the only P.V. movie I can even say that about (except for this film's sequel, of course, which has the same cast).
- Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972): The five Scorpion movies are some of the more famous ones in the P.V. genre. They're all women-in-prison films, but with startlingly good photography (it's where the above "these movies can be artful" clip came from). The incomparable and talented Meiko Kaji is the star of all five. Great soundtracks, too. One of the songs even appeared in Kill Bill.
- Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom (1973): One of the movies in the P.V. collection I linked to above. It's got high school girls in high school uniforms hacking each other up. End of review?
- Sex & Fury (1973): It opens with a completely naked Reiko Ike slashing up a bunch of dudes with a sword. It later has Christina Lindberg costarring. End... of... review.
- Lady Snowblood (1973): As said, this is the masterpiece of the genre. It's the one I'd feel most comfortable showing to a mixed audience. Allegedly an influence on Kill Bill. Unfortunately, its sequel wasn't nearly as good.
- Girl Boss Revenge (1973): One of the many girl gang films, and one of the better ones.
- Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs (1974): Another contender for the masterpiece of the genre, although it's probably a bit too sexist for me to recommend it wholeheartedly. Still, when this film works, it really works. The opening sequence alone, where you see why the handcuffs themselves share top billing with the main character, is worth the price of admission. Plus, it's the film that showcases Miki Sugimoto's abilities most prominently. In too many other of her films, she's just "one of girls in the gang." Here, she is the main character, and the only main character.
So to summarize everything: start with Lady Snowblood. If you liked that, try Criminal Woman or the first Female Prisoner #701 movie. Then you can try Zero Woman, or any of the films in the P.V. box set. Then you can move to the other ones in my bulleted list.