Pink Film Reviews - The Succulent Succubus (2011)

Published : May 24th, 2023 Written by Anton Algren

You might think that, given how modern AV had fully transplanted pink films as the main method through which people got their rocks off by that point, that people would stop making pink films in the New Tens. But despite starring A-list porn actress Shou Nishino, The Succulent Succubus remains firmly in the category of pink film. Even the porno bits stay steadfastly in the softcore category, using shadows and filters to make sure that you never see anything too scandalous. And similar to Sexy Battle Girls, the runtime is taken up equally by an actual story, alongside these porno bits. Why is this?

Well, my theory, and I’ll admit I could be barking up the wrong tree, but my theory is that Shou Nishino wanted to do what many adult performers want to do; enter mainstream acting. It’s certainly been done before, Sunny Leone and Sylvester Stallone probably being the most famous examples. So it’s reasonable to assume that Nishino wanted her own career to take a similar path. And given the disadvantages Nishino faced by staying in the same country (unlike Leone) and having everyone know of her porno past thanks to the internet (unlike Stallone), it also makes sense for her to take a pink film opportunity as a chance to show off her acting prowess. So can she act? Well… yes. But given the nature of this specific pink film, I can see why close-minded critics might not have appreciated Nishino’s performance.

Let me explain. You remember Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace? More specifically the opening of the Scotch Mist episode, where the nurse and her patient decide to continue their canoodling in some bushes filled with mist or fog? Well, that’s basically the kind of acting you’ll be seeing in The Succulent Succubus. It’s bad acting, but deliberately bad acting, which actually requires more skill than regular good acting.

Let me explain (even further). I think everybody here has enjoyed a good bad movie, something like The Room, Troll 2, or anything by Neil Breen. And yet, somehow, despite these turkeys being ripe for spoofing, parodies of bad films are rarely as amusing as the things they are trying to skewer. To quote Dave Kehr, “It is a curious attribute of camp that it can only be found, not made.” Wiseau, Fragasso, and Breen may be incompetent, but you can tell when watching their films that they really are trying their best. They’re not any good at making movies, but they have a genuine passion for the craft, which shines through their complete lack of talent.

Parodies of bad movies though can often have either an undercurrent of contempt for what they’re spoofing, or at the very least a mechanical feeling to them, as they try to deliberately replicate camp which was accidentally stumbled upon in the source material. That’s why the best deliberately bad works out there, like Darkplace or Black Dynamite, approach the material from a place of genuine love, while also very clearly knowing how to make things look good well enough to make them look deliberately bad. And it’s this love that is on full display in The Succulent Succubus.

The movie’s official synopsis on pink-eiga.com says that it’s a parody of Bedazzled. I haven’t seen either versions of that film, so I can’t comment on how good of a parody it is in that regard. However, I can say that Succubus is a perfect parody of porno plots. Gay Brothers, The Lemon-Stealing Whores, The Hoverboard Cuckold, American porn is replete with laughably bad acting and storylines, and AV is no different. So when you think about it, the realm of adult videos is a perfect place to mine parody from. But of course, unlike trashy horror paperbacks or Blaxploitation films, if you took out the naughty bits from a porno… it would cease to be a porno anymore. This is probably why there aren’t more porn parodies out there, since showing full-blown sex scenes is something of an issue when it comes to mainstream movies (even Black Dynamite used animation to show the naughtier bits).

But not for pink films, and this is where I think the choice of this by-then-outdated medium came from. Despite the plots of pink films often being simply a figleaf to allow filmmakers to show nudity and bawdiness which they wouldn’t have been allowed to get away with in mainstream films (It’s not porn, it’s art!), the fact remains that thanks to this, a precedent was set for pink films to have equal parts porn and equal parts plot, which makes it an ideal medium through which to craft a porn parody.

Shou Nishino plays Momo Mizawa, a woman who was born unlucky. Not only has her life been pretty lousy up to this point, but she has recently been diagnosed with a Soap Opera Disease (not unlike that which got Tae in Beauty’s Exotic Dance: Torture!) that will take her in six months. With such a miserable life, surely Momo is primed to make a faustian pact with the titular Succubus (for those who speak Japanese, her original name is Akumako [悪魔子], which is even less subtle than the Devil calling himself Lou Cipher or some shit like that). Unfortunately for Succubus, there’s nothing she’s selling that Momo wants. Since God gets angry at messing with people’s lifespans, Succubus can’t grant Momo more life. And because she breaks out into hives at the slightest mention of anything cheerful, Succubus can’t grant Momo or anyone else happiness. So for the rest of the film, Succubus continuously tries, and fails, to get Momo to wish for something selfish and base.

Normally, I can’t stand the “Good Girl” archetype that you find in so much media out there, where a female protagonist is virginal and pure and never has any bad thoughts ever, largely because this media operates under the idea that good equals stupid. With something like Naoki Urasawa’s Happy!, where the protagonist Miyuki is constantly taken advantage of by shitty people, Miyuki never punches back or even realizes that she’s being screwed over. She just keeps getting exploited by people who never get better, all while enduring the pain with a brave face because good women never speak up or talk back. After a while, you want to just scream “Wise up, will ya!” to Miyuki, as the ideal purity she exemplifies starts to look more and more like a misogynistic parody of womanhood.

The key to Momo’s character though is that while she initially appears to be this archetypical good girl, she’s anything but. Succubus thinks that if she can break Momo’s faith in the world, if she can prove to Momo how cruel and nihilistic reality is, that Momo will finally break and wish for something selfish. But as Succubus eventually learns, Momo’s optimism does not stem from naivety or ignorance, but rather from a basic need to not go insane. As stated earlier, Momo was born unlucky. Her life has been nothing but one tragedy after another. But this tragedy has caused Momo to understand just how precious happiness is, and how any moments of joy she can glean from her damned existence should be cherished. Momo isn’t stupid, she just wants to gain whatever happiness she can.

Also, unlike most “Good Girl” archetypes, Momo has sex. It is, admittedly, not very satisfying sex (since her luck with men is just as lousy as everything else and she has this weird vagina that makes the same noises that Namekians make when they regrow limbs for some reason?), but The Succulent Succubus makes clear that Momo has a healthy sex drive and regular sexual fantasies, one of which (being married to Leonardo Dicaprio) we get to see in detail. Yes, Leo shows up in this movie. Or at least, he shows up as a character in the movie. I think it’s cruel of Succubus to lie to Momo and say she can grant Leonardo Dicaprio’s hand in marriage to her, since I know that not even the powers of Hell can make that man interested in a woman over 25, but still. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah. Momo fucks, and the movie never presents this fucking as a contradiction to her status as a good girl and good person.

So frustrated is Succubus by Momo’s incorruptibility, that in the film’s climax she resorts to outright using her evil sex-magic on the girl. And after this bout of lesbian lovemaking (and finally attaining orgasm for what was probably the first time in her life), Momo turns EVIL! You can tell that she’s evil now because she’s wearing black lipstick and [shudder] mascara! Not since Tyler Perry has there been such a subtle and nuanced depiction of pure evil.

And yet! Even at her most evil, the most selfish wish Momo can think up is really just a clever rephrasing of her original, unselfish wish. Her soul is so pure and incorruptible, that not even that good satanic coochie can tempt her to the left-handed path. And just as some of Succubus rubbed off on Momo, so too does some of Momo rub off on Succubus, to the point where Succubus grants Momo the one thing they both thought was beyond her hellish powers: a happy ending. To say what that happy ending is would delve into the realm of spoilers, but after everything Momo has been through, it’s a perfect and satisfying conclusion to her story.

The Succulent Succubus is a far better movie than it has any right of being. Like Darkplace or Black Dynamite, it skillfully skewers AV tropes and conventions while also demonstrating a deep love for the genre, and Shou Nishino is a delight to watch every second that she’s on screen. If her IMDb page is any indication, it doesn’t look like her film career took off after this. She stayed in the realm of softcore pornography, and appears to have retired from even that in 2017. But she’s still active on Twitter, and she seems to be doing alright for herself, so I guess she managed to find some of that happiness Momo was wishing for, even if she didn’t get a career as a mainstream actress. I hope at least that she had as much fun making The Succulent Succubus as I had watching it, and if ZENRA can secure an interview with her, I would love to ask her about this movie. It’s a treat, an all-around delight, and I would heartily recommend it to everyone.

Have a pink film you’d like me to review? Leave a comment down below.

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Comments
drk 10 months ago
Hello, you asked for some proxy shipping services from Poland. The ones I found online are shopogolic net and europemailbox com. For obvious reasons I haven't tried any of them. While the reviews are so-so, the consensus seems to be that they work.

I'd check for the sizes/weight of whatever you're sending and start from there. (Polish Fedex sucks so avoid at all costs, I'd use DHL, or EMS if Japan Post as the end delivery agent is better for you). EMS has marginally better tax treatment.

Again, I assume you explored it, but if whoever you're ordering from ships using Polish post or DHL, then EMS or DHL international shouldn't be that much of a jump.
Anton Algren 10 months ago

Ah, shit. XD
Okay, so, the order in which we write these articles isn't the same order in which they're published, so I genuinely forgot that this article would drop before the article I intended for you to reply to. That's a my bad. Even so though, thank you for this info. It was great to meet you.

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