Seems like a bad 80's video/T.V. Movie...and nothing to do w
S. J. Culbertson | Ikoma-City, Nara, Japan | 09/01/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Death ride to Osaka is based on the true story of Actor Tom Allard's (bit parts in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure etc.) girlfriend who ended up in a Yakuza prostitution ring in Tokyo.
Carol (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is desperate to become a singer so she answers an ad for "singer wanted in Japan". Soon after arriving she realizes that she is expected to be a prostitute for the Japanese mafia. Lucky for her, her worried boyfriend eventually comes looking for her.
The movie plays out like a typical, poorly budgeted, 80's video slash bad 80's t.v. movie.The costumes, the hair, the bad sets are all laughable. Leigh does a great job of playing a very naive, star struck teen but its Ann Jillian who really steals the show as the prostitute who doesn't mind what she does for a living. The title of "Death Ride to Osaka" is a code word by the Yakuza to send girls who disobey to some of the "lowest of the low" clubs in Osaka and then, presumably, be killed.
Except for a few shots of Leigh in Tokyo and a few of various streets in the Tokyo area, I highly doubt it was shot in Japan. The main sets are the club, the Yakuza bosses house and various other indoor shots that have something written in Japanese to fool us into believing "its Japan".
To cheapen the movie that much more, most of the actors, sadly are NOT Japanese. The only one for sure is the mob enforcer played by Mako, who left Japan after the war and whose Japanese is so muddled throughout the film, I wonder if he can speak the language anymore. To bad an actor of his talent is wasted on a movie like this and was probably hired because of his ethnic background. Most people wont notice that the cast isn't Japanese and that the language is grunted out so no one will notice they don't really speak the language.
The most unfortunate part of the film is that its core message is lost in the poor story line and big hair of the 80's. The Japanese Yakuza did in fact recruit girls from all over the world under false pretenses and lure them into prostitution.....AND STILL DO!!! The best scene in the movie is when Leigh begs for help at the Police station and THEY DO NOTHING to help her. Granted, you hardly ever hear about Western girls getting into trouble, however there are tons of Thai, Filipino, East Asian and South American girls that do.Its a horrible tragedy that should not be ignored and despite efforts by the police in Japan (or lack thereof) and Immigration, these practices still go on."
Ann Jillian offers a strong performance.
James McDonald | Southern California | 06/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Also known as GIRLS OF THE WHITE ORCHID (1983-tvm).
This film is not for children to see. Mature Adults Only.
Cast: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ann Jillian, Carolyn Seymour, Richard Narita, Mako, Soon-Teck Oh, Yvonne McCord, Keone Young, Dian Robayashi.
Jennifer Jason Leigh is "Carol", a young lady in Hollywood who works as a waitress. She is lonely for her boyfriend (Thomas Byrd) who is in the military. She decides to answer an ad for singer/dancer with opportunity to travel. She gets the job in Tokyo, Japan, but she has no idea what she is getting herself into. She gets to sing in a nightclub (if you can call it that). The dancers and singers are expected to "be of service" to the Japanese clientele. Behind the curtain she has no idea yet it's a prostitution ring.
Marilyn (Ann Jillian) who is one of the more mature, experienced dancers, tries to give Carol some comfort, but yet tells her how the business is. When the girls refuse to "please the customers" and they want to go back home to the states, the girls are made to "disappear". They are never seen of again. It is said, always said, they were sent to Osaka.
Can Carol escape before it's too late for her?
This film was originally shown as a Network television movie. The cable version and this DVD version, includes scenes of nudity, adult content and sexual situations never broadcast on Network television.
Ann Jillian offers a strong performances in this film.
I saw this film several times when I was younger not really thinking about the film too seriously. It is a well-cast and filmed tv-movie with Ann Jillian, who was popular at the time and turning out excellent tv-movies Mae West (1982), Killer in the Mirror (1986),Ann Jillian Story [VHS] (1988). Jennifer Jason Leigh was a rising star Sister, Sister (1987), Backdraft (1991), Road to Perdition (Full Screen Edition) (2002). Thomas Byrd had only been an actor for 2 years.
Now over 25 years later, and I am middle-aged and wiser, I bought this DVD and watched the tv-movie with different eyes. Their is a message here in this film, and one will taken. Perhaps this is why the actors agreed to do this film.
This tv-movie was filmed in the kind of style of Miami Vice - Season One.
DVD only contains the movie and jump to the scenes you like. No subtitles.
ANN JILLIAN STEALS THE PICTURE!
Benjamin Crabtree | 09/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ann Jillian delivers an award winning performance in this movie that co- stars Jennifer Jason Leigh. It's worth the price just to see Ann Jillian as a red head, wow!!!! she's hot and so interesting to watch, you NEVER catch her acting. Jonathan Kaplan, the Director did a good job and he also directed "Heart Like A Wheel", I give this 5 stars!"
It Should Be Noted
Benjamin Crabtree | Tulsa, Oklahoma | 01/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"That this movie arrives in a flat cardboard sleeve featuring the cover art shown."