Also known as Alleycat Rock: Female Boss, Female Juvenile Delinquent Leader: Alleycat Rock and Wildcat Rock, Yasuharu Hasebe directed this “violent pink” film, which is stylish yet grim, presenting a Japan that’s been through hell and refuses to look back. Everyone dresses well. Everyone is ready to fight. Everyone is prepared to die.
Roger Corman’s 1966 outlaw biker film The Wild Angels was a surprise hit in Japan. Toei cashed in with their film Delinquent Boss and the Nikkatsu studio went one further with this film, even aping the title of Toei’s film. Despite starting as a ripoff, the Delinquent Girl Boss series lasted for two years and give films which are fondly remembered.
Tough girl biker Ako (pop singer Akiko Wada, who was also the Japanese voice of Marge Simpson) meets Mei (Meiko Kaji!) and the Alleycats as they’re about to have a knife fight in Shinjuku with another gang of girls. Those girls have no honor and call in their men for help, but Ako helps the Alleycats to survive and becomes their leader.
Then, Mei’s boyfriend wants to join the Seiyu Group, a gang of right-wing Yakuza nationalists. To prove he belongs, he must convince his friend Kelly to throw a boxing match. However, the girls change his mind and he wins the fight. That leads to the main conflict of this movie, where the girls are on the run from this powerful gang.
Mei was just a supporting character here, but in the subsequent movies, she became the cool lead that she was meant to be. This movie is all about violence with style, as well as a girl gang that saves men instead of being saved by them. Everything is loud rock and roll, but it doesn’t feel like anyone is going to live forever.
Hasebe wanted to infuse his film with the culture of the time. He attended rock clubs and went to protests. The result was that Nikkatsu saw this movie as the new direction for their studio and moved toward more youth-oriented action films, including the sequel, Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo, which was released only three months later.
The Alleycat Rock series came to an end when Meiko Kaji left the Nikkatsu studio to join Toei and become the star in the Female Prisoner: Scorpion series and Lady Snowblood. Hasebe made his mark, such as it is, on Japanese cinema with his series of even more depraved violent pink films, such as Assault! Jack the Ripper.