The phrase “sex comedy” is usually a deceptive phrase, as the comedy in these films is frequently tiresome and all the goofing around tends to negate the “sex” element of these films. However, Nikkatsu often beat these odds with the sex comedies that were a staple of their Roman Porno output. Sure, they might be silly enough to make the average sexploitation fans eyes roll but they never skimped on the sex.
Nurse Girl Dorm: Sticky Fingers is a good example of how Nikkatsu could effectively blend schtick and sex in a way that kept the horndogs in the audience pleased. Its heroine is Yuki Inoue (Jun Izumi), a nurse who has just gotten a divorce from her accident-prone cop hubby (Shu Minagawa). She moves back into the nurse’s dorm, usually a place for younger women, to rebuild her life.
That said, Yuki’s life rebuilding plans have a distinctly sexploitation edge, as she throws herself any attractive man or woman in arm’s reach for casual sex. Between her many amorous encounters (four in this 62 minute film), there are also subplots about the troubled romance between nurse Mayumi (Chiaki Kitahara) and her undertaker boyfriend, Yuki’s hubby trying to win her back and a randy doctor (Koji Nakamura) who covets Yuki when he isn’t fooling around with Mayumi.
Nurse Girl Dorm: Sticky Fingers rises above the usual sex comedy limitations thanks to the inherent professionalism of Nikkatsu’s filmmakers and cast. Director Yoshihiro Kawazaki gives the film a playful, “pop” style, complete with a new-wavish pop-rock score, and makes sure there is at least one sexual encounter per reel. The gags are also a little more ambitious than usual: one fun bit has three men simultaneously sneaking into the dorm for erotic encounters, none of them aware of the others.
Better yet, all the performers are enthusiastic about the sex scenes, throwing themselves into the sexploitation part of the film with often acrobatic levels of abandon. Izumi’s cheerfully sexed-up performance sets the tone for the film: she looks prim enough to play a mom on a sitcom but she’s totally uninhibited when the time for sex scenes arises. Watching her at play offers more of a thrill than seeing the usual jaded sexploitation starlet go through the motions and the other ladies in the film follow her lead.
Simply put, Nurse Girl Dorm: Sticky Fingers is the rare sex comedy that doesn’t let the comedy shortchange the sex. Anyone interested in the lighter side of the Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno fare should check it out.
DVD Notes: this film was recently issued on U.S. DVD by Impulse Pictures as part of their Nikkatsu Roman Porno line. The new anamorphic transfer (1.78:1) looks great, with crisp details, healthy levels of color and zero element damage. The mono Japanese mix is used for this transfer and presented with freshly translated English subtitles. The main extra on the disc is a typically wild theatrical trailer. Also included in the disc case is an insert booklet with excellent notes from Japanese film expert Jasper Sharp. The notes present a fascinating history of how Nikkatsu came to rely on outside producers to keep the Roman Porno line stocked, with discussions of the many different companies who added to this line, plus some info on Jun Izumi’s career as a pink film starlet.