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Film / Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects

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Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects is a 1989 Cannon film starring Charles Bronson. The film is the final movie J. Lee Thompson directed and was one of Bronson's final film roles, the other one being the reprisal of his Paul Kersey role for the final film of the Death Wish series.

Bronson plays another renegade cop out for vigilante justice on the mean streets. Lt. Crowe's target is Duke, a ruthless pimp who runs a child prostitution ring. This scumbag likes to kidnap teenage girls, rape them, hook them on drugs and put them out on the street. Because of Duke's slick craftiness and the fact that potential witnesses are unwilling to testify, Crowe is having a hard time taking him down. Duke's latest victim is a Japanese businessman's young daughter, who Crowe has been assigned to rescue.

Crowe, like many of Bronson's other characters, gets so fed up with Duke's actions that he takes the law into his own hands, firebombing the pimp's car and forcing him to eat his own $25,000 watch before issuing an ultimatum: quit the business now, or else. Duke, naturally, isn't inclined to do what Crowe says and continues his vile trade, which sets the stage for a violent confrontation.

Tropes in this film:

  • Aborted Arc: Duke, out scouting for new victims, seems to have identified Rita Crowe as his next target, but never gets around to it as his time is taken up with Fumiko, leading to the speculation that this film was cobbled together from two plots: one in which Bronson must rescue the daughter of a Japanese businessman, and one in which his own daughter is pimped out.
  • Badass Boast: Duke's new cellmate:
Hey, guys, I got me a new mama! And when I'm through with this bitch, she's gonna walk out of this cellblock wearing a strapless and heels!
  • Big Bad: Duke, a pimp specialized in exploiting innocent underage girls.
  • Break the Cutie: Fumiko, the innocent, polite schoolgirl, falls prey to a pimp through those defining virtues, is sexually enslaved, and even after being rescued is Driven to Suicide by her shame.
  • Bullying a Dragon: after Duke and Crowe have become acquainted, the former encounters the latter at a football game with his daughter and says Crowe should pimp her out because he would make a lot of money.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: Crowe sends his daughter Rita to parochial school but feels it has not produced the intended results.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Fumiko's suicide note is an ambiguous Haiku which Crowe eventually figures out is a message informing him of Duke's whereabouts, hiding out on a boat.
  • The Chikan: Two Japanese businessmen discuss the subject after one of them witnesses a woman being groped on the subway who does not loudly protest, both regarding it as a form of sexual fetishism. Later one of them drunkenly attempts the same thing on a business trip in the United States, resulting in immediate retaliation.
  • Cowboy Cop: Lt. Crowe
  • Fish out of Water: Hada and Crowe (and Fumiko, once she's been kidnapped) are each, in their own way, uncomfortable in modern American culture and have difficulty reconciling to its sexual ethics. Hada struggles with the consent element of the Ethical Slut paragdim, while Crowe struggles with sexual expression.
  • Hope Spot: After Fumiko has been taken on house calls to several johns, the next person she's brought to is a woman, who talks to her sympathetically about her situation and how hard it is to be a Fish out of Water ... only to reveal her sympathetic attitude is only the introduction to a molestation fantasy.
  • Informed Attractiveness: numerous men on the cellblock describe Duke as "pretty" which does not exactly fit the looks of his actor.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: after finishing her swim race, Rita happily poses for photos in her swimsuit, hamming it up for the camera, seemingly unaware of what others (particularly her father) might take from her behavior.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Crowe walks in on his fifteen-year-old daughter on the couch with her boyfriend with his zipper "at half mast". Crowe is not pleased.
  • Irony: Hada sexually molests Crowe's daughter on a public bus and escapes without being identified. Immediately thereafter his own daughter is kidnapped and sexually enslaved, and Crowe is assigned to find her.
  • Japan Takes Over the World: The underlying anxiety that is one of the film's driving factors. Newly-arrived Japanese businessman Hada is a sexual menace to America's blonde teen girls, and the cops, trying in vain to identify him, complain that there are already 25000 Japanese businessmen in L.A. Downplayed, as America's indigenous non-white population turns out to be a worse sexual menace. Hada is allowed a Heel–Face Turn by the plot, Duke not so much.
  • Knight Templar Parent: When Rita, Crowe's daughter, is at a swim meet some guy takes publicity photos of her in her (modest, one-piece) swimsuit and Crowe becomes upset, suggesting that she is dressed immodestly.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: See above, that's the whole aesop of the film when it comes to child prostitution.
    • Duke, locked up, winds up getting acquainted with his cellmate.
    • Hada, the Japanese businessman who gropes Crowe's daughter on a public bus, gets away but is randomly mugged and beaten up shortly thereafter, and right after that his own daughter is kidnapped and sexually enslaved.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: Crowe gets a blissful smile on his face as he hears Duke, now in the hands of his cellmate, screaming for help.
  • Made a Slave: the film devotes an uncomfortably long time to the process of breaking Fumiko in. At the end of the process Duke shows her off in a little ceremony to his other prostitutes, who celebrate her being "open for business".
  • Mythology Gag: Rosario's is the name of a store Duke gets his fancy clothes at. Rosario was the name of Paul Kersey's ill-fated housekeeper in Death Wish II, with IV being directed by Kinjite helmer J. Lee Thompson.
  • Oh, Crap!: After Hada's daughter has been rescued he comes over to Crowe's house to thank him with a gift for his daughter. Hada stares at her, terrified, when they are introduced because she is the girl he molested on the bus. Evidently feeling that he's been through enough, she recognizes him as well but does not identify him to her father.
  • Pædo Hunt: Innocent Japanese men are beaten up by members of the public looking for Hada, Rita Crowe's groper.
  • Parental Incest: DeeDee doesn't mind being pimped out by Duke because it's better than being at home where her stepfather's been sharing her with his friends since she was 12.
  • Prison Rape: The ending.
    Crowe: Now that's justice.
    Poetic justice (it's a Karmic Rape)
  • Sex Slave: Fumiko is made one of these, and then Duke becomes one at the end.
  • Sexual Euphemism:
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Crowe rescues the little girl he's been pursuing from a lifetime of sexual slavery but she kills herself out of shame, rendering his efforts to save her moot and producing a Sudden Downer Ending despite the Laser-Guided Karma dealt out to her pimp.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Fumiko goes through a couple of these. When Duke kidnaps her he changes her from her school uniform to a midriff-baring Fille Fatale costume, and has a little ceremony where he shows her off to his other prostitutes, who celebrate her as being "open for business". After she's rescued, when she goes to commit suicide she changes into a traditional Japanese robe.
  • Soft Water: Subverted- when Crowe and his Partner drop one of Duke's henchmen off the balcony, he dies when he lands in the swimming pool.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: One of Crowe's main flaws is his racism toward Asians in general, which he ultimately has to swallow in order to rescue the businessman's daughter. Rita, his daughter, also complains (when asked to describe her attacker), that Asians look alike, but ultimately treats Hada (her molestor) sympathetically.
  • Suicide by Pills: While Duke does get what's coming to him big time, the film ends on a dark note as the Japanese girl that Crowe saved from him does this to expiate the shame of having been raped.
  • Vigilante Man: Bronson was good at playing these, and this film is no exception.
  • Wretched Hive: Prison, apparently, is a wretched hive of Prison Rape, because literally every guy on the cell block wants to rape Duke even though most of them have likely not learned yet about the crimes he's being locked up for.
  • Yo Yo Plot Point: Crowe violently attacks Duke more than once before finally taking care of him for good.


Video Example(s):


Poetic Justice

Lieutenant Crowe tells Duke who rapes and pimps out teenage girls that he's letting Duke live because it's real justice... "poetic justice".

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / KarmicRape

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