Mania Grade: D
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Critical Mass Video
- MSRP: 79.99
- Running time: 315
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Cool Devices
Cool Devices Box Set
By Ryko Prins
February 07, 2002
Release Date: March 07, 2000
I can imagine that Bondage and SM, if done in a playful situation between consenting adults, can be very exciting. However, because of the violent nature of the subject practitioners of these sexual variants always walk the thin line between legality and criminality. Real world BD and SM people are careful to build safeguards in their play so they stay very firm on the "good" side. The problem is the people in Cool Devices don't. In this set of movies the actors don't have any consideration with their fellow human beings, and therefore it is very clear that this box offers a sample of the darkest crevasses of the human mind.
On its own that even might be acceptable. Even Hollywood films show us disturbing things. The main difference between Hollywood movies and Cool Devices is that the first show a definite sense of morality and Cool Devices doesn't. As morality is what keeps us from becoming criminals you can imagine why Cool Devices is such a disturbing thing. The same qualities which gives a beatutiful characterisized series like Fushiigi Yugi an A+ give Cool Devices at most a D for overall performance. And that is only because I mostly excluded one movie which goes IMO off the alphabet.
They maybe only can get away with it because it is a cartoon. If this would have been a real movie instead of a cartoon no one except the judicial system would have touched it.
Of course a review of a loose collection with a common theme -like Cool devices is- can't be done justice without reviewing the films separately.
I have rated all the stories separately, and tried to tie in with the general levels of rating other reviewers use.
1. Curious Fruit
Story Rating: B+
This movie explores all kinds of fetishes, and a curious girl who gets them forced upon her. Lots of rape and violence, but at the end she seems to come out OK. Therefore this is one of the less "bad" movies.
2 Sacred Girl
Story Rating: B+
A story of a frustrated guy (who made voyeurism his profession) and his sister who are helped in their frustrated love by the girlfriend of the guy. OK, this is incest. But it also is love. And the girlfriend is nice by helping out.
3a. Lover Doll
Story Rating: B-
The first (and only?) consensual love scene in the whole box (although lesbian) is disturbed by a guy who is nearly literally a prick (absolutely no personality). Well maybe you could see this as consensual sex. Let's give it the benefit of the doubt.
3b. Winter Swimsuit
Story Rating: B
Tension is built up in a nice way with of the falling snowflakes outside and the ripping of textile inside.
Let's also be lenient on this one.
Story Rating: C
Nor very special story in which the victim at the end gets an enema administered.
Story Rating: Z- (below any imaginable level)
This film starts with the main subjects: two beautiful girls with a very good character. Typically ideal anime girls in a idyllic nature reserve. And then the film shows elaborately how the girls are drugged, kidnapped, raped and brutally murdered, with no justification except a vague belief in reincarnation (two butterflies flying off the murder scene) which might maybe in the sick mind of the film maker justify the actions of the male characters, but which abhorrent to nearly all others.
6. Seek II
Story Rating: D
Although nothing is consensual in this two- episode movie it is made more bearable because of the turning of the tables at the end. However is stays rather senseless rape and violence.
7. Yellow Star
Story Rating: E
I can imagine the plot could be that of a child porn movie. The girl is very small, and the film maker can only escape the wrath of the law by drawing clear breasts on the girl. To summarize: this is a drug- and suck- movie in which no justice is done. In the end the main rapist is bombed to pieces, but is replaced by two others.
8. Slave Warrion Maya 1
Story rating: B
This is probably the nicest of the movies in the set. Oh yes, there is a lot of violence and rape. But there is also humour (two comical lizards and their verbal interactions with Maya) and in the end remains the hope that the violators get what they deserve.
9. Slave Warrior Maya 2
Story rating: C
The humour is gone in this part, and there isn't any justice done. At least in the final moments of the movie the viewer can have the fantasy that Maya will chop up all those awful guys to tiny little pieces.
I am (like most Europeans) against capital punishment, but sometimes I can understand a natural reaction of someone who just had a maximum of traumatical experiences.
Story Rating: C-
A couple of women involve a boy who travels by train in their sadistic plays. But everything is too sincere to convince me everything occurs voluntarily. The demise of all women except one in an earthquake is completely random and is a cheap way to end a plot. A nice touch is the end in which the boy wonders if it did really happen. Or did it?
11. Fallen Angel Rita
Story Rating: E
Weak Story. You could imagine that a successful rock artist could just pay off the thugs and after two minutes that would be the end of the movie. Instead she goes through to many ordeals and ends up insane at the end, with no consequences for the perpetrators. And no consequences for the film maker either.
Sony KV32FX60B" TV, Philips DVD 930 codefree DVD player, Yamaha DSP A-960 amp.