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Hard Romanticker

Gu is a hard-nosed Korean-Japanese hoodlum living in Shimonoseki, Japan. When friends “accidentally” kill the grandmother of a ruthless North Korean-Japanese thug, a whirlwind of violence and revenge is set to explode. In the process, Gu, having no fear, pisses off a string of other criminal gang members and Korean-Japanese thugs who all want him dead. There’s also Detective Fujita lingering in the shadows looking for Gu, but where is he? To escape from it all Gu lucks his way into a managerial job in another city for a hostess club, run by a suave man named Takagi. Instincts tells Gu that Takagi is more than he seems. In fact, Takagi works for a rival gang and may be involved with drugs. Gu’s grandmother drops by to inform him that his best friend has been killed. This persuades Gu to return to Shimonoseki to settle the score. All hell is about to break loose.

This movie takes a very violent look at the criminal underworld involving the Zainichi (Korean-Japanese). Those who enjoyed the “Crows Zero” movies which involved a lot of male testosterone gang violence will want to take a look at this movie though unlike those movies this one doesn’t have any sympathetic characters (apart from Gu’s grandmother) portrayed in it at all. The story is based on the experiences of the director Gu Su Yeon when he was younger. It is set in Shimonoseki, a city where there is a high percentage of ethnic Koreans live in Japan. Koreans living in Japan aren’t looked at favourably by the Japanese people and to say that life isn’t easy for them is quite an understatement. The plot focuses on a cocky and charismatic young man who’s quite an unpleasant and vicious character (same goes for the majority of characters in this movie). He goes around upsetting nearly everybody with his devil may care attitude which naturally makes him a lot of enemies. He’s not averse to even beating up his superiors with a motorcycle helmet when two of them attempt to rape a young woman in their apartment. That might make him seen like a champion of women of sort to some viewers but later we see again just what a nasty piece of work he really is. Gu is seen trying to date a high school girl named Mieko Nakamura who catches his eye but when he finds out that she has been having sex with his friend his payback is brutally raping her in a park. The treatment of women in this movie is rather appalling and they are seen as merely sex objects to be treated badly by the men. It’s only a matter of time before Gu is going to be subjected to his own brand of medicine so when he picks on North Korean gang leader Park and his 3 cronies in a cafe with a metal bar who he thinks has murdered his close friend, the beating Gu receives is more than deserved. If it’s spectacular street violence you want and see, it’s got it in droves here with a lot of people being beaten up, murdered and even stabbed. The fights are choreographed well and even looks real. Even with all the violence going on in this movie there is some dark humour peppered throughout and a cool funky jazz soundtrack. Movie fans who are familiar with Japanese 70’s crime movies such as the Battles Without Honor series will see that this one has got that feel to it. I’m not sure if this was the director’s own way of paying tribute to those kind of movies?

Hard Romanticker screenshot

Shota Matsuda who is best known in the past couple of years from the drama Liar Game gives a terrific performance as the badboy Gu. He plays a character so different from Akiyama here. Matsuda has some Korean blood from his late father’s side who was half-Korean and acted in some violent movies during the 70’s so I’m sure he watched a couple of his father’s work to draw inspiration for his own role. The character of Gu is quite amusing in the way he swaggers around town like he owns the place, slapping some of the other thugs across the head and just doing whatever he wants whenever he wants regardless of the consequences he might face in the future.

Due to the violence on display and the harsh treatment the women receive, Hard Romanticker certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste but if you like these kind of fast paced rough and tumble movies you should find it very enjoyable.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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This is the first in the popular Joy Of Torture anthology movie series which is split into 3 different stories each featuring some nasty torture scenes being performed on mostly women. It is set during the Tokugawa shogunate era. The first story concerns a brother and a sister. The brother has an accident and they cannot pay for the medical bills so the sister comes to a sexual arrangement with the local kimono shop owner who will pay the bills for them. This sparks off jealousy from the brother who professes his love for his sister. The doctor finds out about their incestuous relationship and all hells breaks loose. The second story is about a new Mother Superior who comes to a convent and finds herself aroused when she looks at one of the priests working there. The priest is caught having an affair with one of the nuns who is brutally tortured by the Mother Superior. The only way to stop the torture is if the priest confesses his love for the Mother Superior or if the nun says she will forget about the priest. When the local magistrate hears of what is happening at the convent, he goes with a large team of soldiers to arrest the Mother Superior and punish her for her crimes. The third and last story is about a master tattooist Horicho who creates an interesting creation of a woman in agony on the back of a local geisha. The locals are impressed with his work except Lord Nambara who says it’s not realistic as the pain on the woman’s face is wrong. Disappointed with the criticism, Horicho searches for another woman to make the perfect tattoo. When he finds the woman, she refuses his request to make a tattoo on her back so Horicho drugs and takes her to his place. To shame the woman, he tattoos her private parts. Not wanting to make a mistake with the facial features on his new tattoo, Horicho begs for Lord Nambara to take him to Nagasaki where he can watch him torture Russian female Christian missionaries. Horicho manages to capture the agony of their faces perfectly for his tattoo but he can’t quite get the torturer’s face right but he has a plan on how to achieve that……

If you read my review for the sequel to this movie (Oxen Split Torturing) a while ago you’ll have an idea what to expect here. Whilst the opening scene has nothing to do with the three stories, it does set the tone for what you’ll be witnessing: a woman tied up in rope and left dangling whilst an executioner chops off her head and slices her body in half with another woman being burnt at the stake! This movie isn’t as bloodthirsty as the sequel although there are many unspeakable atrocities on show. The violence towards women is disturbing which makes you wonder just why did the Japanese public enjoy these kind of movies? Who in their right mind likes watching women being abused? This movie paved the way for the pink violence/exploitation genre that flourished during the 70’s. The 3 stories vary in quality. The first tale is relatively tame with no bloodshed although it is quite depressing. The second is better with some spearings and crucifixion but it’s in the final story that the more brutal acts takes place: waterboarding, whippings, torture rack usage and women being burnt akin to meat being barbequed on a spit. Production values are high so this isn’t a low budget movie at all. The acting is very good and the stories are interesting and sound in structure. It’s not like the filmmakers cobbled together the 3 stories on a whim just so they could highlight the graphic torture scenes.

If you like these type of movies and expect to see a lot of gore on display then you’ll be disappointed but those with an interest in the history in cinema and who want to see how the exploitation genre began it’s worth a look. It just isn’t for me I’m afraid.

No trailer but here’s a clip from the second story. For those that are easily offended do not watch.

Sadako’s Rating: 2 stars out of 5

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Pretty high school student and karate expert Megumi decides to take a camping trip to the countryside with her friends Tak, Aya, Maki and Naoi after the death of her sister who was bullied by her peers at school for farting. Near where they are camping, a mad scientist Dr Tanaka is experimenting with zombies in his mansion and trying to find a cure for his sick daughter Sachi by inserting a large alien tapeworm up her ass! Megumi and her friends do a spot of fishing on a river and catch a fish with an unusual living tapeworm inside its guts. The slutty Maki who thinks that it will help keep her skinny pops it in her mouth and eats it. Maki soon finds herself farting like a trojan and has to go to a toilet due to stomach pains. She finds an outhouse with a hole for a toilet in the grounds of Dr Tanaka’s house which the gang have stumbled into. As soon as she tries to take a dump, there’s an odd noise coming from the bowels of the hole below which is filled with faeces/urine and a pair of zombie hands emerges which fondles Maki’s ass!! The gang come under attack from a horde of zombies who emerge from the outhouse all covered in crap!! Maki soon turns into a zombie thanks to the parasitical tapeworm inside her which likes to pop out of her ass every now and then! The gang are saved by Dr Tanaka and Sachi but when Megumi finds out the truth of his evil experiments she tells her friends and they try and escape but not before they’re all infected with the alien tapeworm thanks to a meal of spaghetti they all thought they were eating but was in fact something else! It’s now a battle of survival for the gang against the zombies and the knife wielding Sachi but will they succumb to the tapeworm growing inside them and is Megumi’s karate skills good enough to save them?

When you decide to see something with a title such as this, I think most people will already know what kind of movie it’s going to be! From cult director Noburo Iguchi who created The Machine Girl comes this tongue-in cheek, low brow comedy movie which is chock full of toilet humour and I mean that quite literally. From exploding heads, parasite tapeworms emerging from asses, nudity, bodies cut in two by an axe to panty shots, eyeball popping and heads blown off by shotgun – this has got it all with a lot of splatter effects. This movie is an ass fetishist’s dream with many beautiful rumps displayed and it contains every imaginable shit and fart joke that you can think of! The zombies in this movie do not have red blood in their bodies but shit flowing through their dead veins so when their heads and limbs are cut off or stamped upon the brown stuff is seen gushing out like a geyser. Director Iguchi knows how to handle this kind of material well. He has one hell of an imagination and delivers a ridiculously insane fun movie that he knows the audience will have a good time watching it although it does get a little absurd right at the climax with a fart fuelled aerial duel between Megumi and the alien parasite queen/Sachi. The story as always in these kind of movies takes second fiddle to the violence that is shown as that’s what the viewer wants to see. Judging by how many lingering shots of asses there is in this movie, I think we can take for granted that the director loves the female bottom! The cast seem to be having a blast working on this movie and the female actresses which includes Arisa Nakamura as the heroine Megumi are stunning. It’s very much a unique and original movie that only the Japanese could make and you have to thank them for that.

If you find fart jokes funny or you like Japanese splatter gore comedies then this movie will be right up your street. It’s silly and disgusting and a good laugh. It’s definitely not for the easily offended! It’s not Iguchi’s best movie as The Machine Girl takes a lot of beating but I did enjoy this extreme horror romp.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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Ozaki is a senior yakuza member who is going slightly mad and the big boss decides that the only option he has left is to get rid of him. He asks Ozaki’s closest ally Minami to drive him to the yakuza disposal dump in Nagoya and to report back when the job has been completed. However, on the way there during an incident Ozaki is accidentally killed. Minami stops at a cafe where he tries to phone his boss but on looking through the window at his car Ozaki’s body has gone. Where could a dead body go? Minami decides to ask around to see if anybody has seen Ozaki and that’s the start of a weird journey for him……..

Just when I thought Takashi Miike couldn’t surprise me anymore, I get to see this movie and it left me with my mouth gaping open at the end. I don’t want to reveal too much as it would spoil the viewer’s enjoyment but what you’ll get to see is a surreal and bizarre movie with one of the most incredible endings you’ll ever see committed to celluloid. It’s an outrageously funny movie right from the beginning as Ozaki sees what he believes is a dog that’s been trained to attack yakuza personnel. The dog is a small chihuahua by the way! What Ozaki does next to the dog will likely make you laugh and horrify you at the same time! Many fans have commented that this is what David Lynch would do if he ever made a hallucinogenic yakuza movie! The main character Minami comes across some weird and wonderful characters as he tries to track down his ‘brother’ Ozaki such as an older woman who is lactating constantly and selling her milk to customers in bottles and his own boss who has to insert a ladle up his arse in order to get an erection! Fans of Miike will be amazed at the style of this movie – it’s so unlike the majority of his other works. The storyline is basically about Minami’s sexual feelings for Ozaki which has been hidden and there are clues throughout the movie about his homosexuality.The tongue-in-cheek story whilst a little bit confusing at times is nevertheless compelling and well written. Miike’s directing as usual is fantastic and the cinematography, sets and visual effects are top notch. And then we come to the coup de grace of the movie – the ending which will no doubt shock a lot of viewers but it is so incredible. I’ve never witnessed anything like that in a movie before and I doubt anybody else will either! Miike is not likely to ever top the ending in this movie.

Excellent performances from all the cast. Sho Aikawa is brilliant, he never fails to entertain me but it’s Yuta Sone as Minami who excels and moves the story forward. It’s through his eyes we get to see the odd events that happen to him. It was nice to see Kimiko Yoshino again. Those who have seen the Eko Eko Azarak movies will remember her as the lead character Misa. She’s been mostly quiet in the entertainment world since 2007.

This is a must-see for Miike fans or those that like strange movies. Others might see this as being too f***ed up for their liking but at least it’s unique. Miike really delivers with Gozu and proves what an innovative, genius and creative director he is. Highly recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Kikou is a college student who works part time in a love hotel along with 4 other odd employees who are a card short of a full deck. His job is to clear out the rooms after the customers have left which isn’t nice considering that he has to get rid of condoms and other filth. Coming home one day, he witnesses a schoolgirl with a limp and a scar on her leg being mercilessly bullied by 3 girls. Instead of trying to help, he hides, watches and finds that he’s enjoying seeing the girl being bullied. In time, he begins to develop a taste for abusing the girl. Kikou becomes obsessed with a pretty neighbour Hitomi who works at the checkout of his local convenience store. He collects her trash where he starts collating all the personal information he can about her, eats and drinks her garbage including half eaten sandwiches and fruit juice cartons and the most disgusting of all – making a collage on his wall of his apartment of all the sanitary towels she has discarded! Meanwhile, two schoolgirls rob a man of his money at the love hotel and escape but not before one of them drops her ID card. Three of Kikou’s colleagues decide to track her down and teach her a lesson in a junkyard where she is raped by all of them. Kikou is hiding nearby and watching. After they have left he takes her back to his place where she is chained up to a bed, her body measured, fed with maggots and tortured by a hair dryer before Kikou ends her life. Her body is disposed at a nearby incinerator. During a work shift at the love hotel, Kikou’s neighbour Hitomi comes there with a man who’s a regular at the place. Feeling betrayed by the woman he loves, this is enough to take Kikou over the edge and what happens next is not for the faint hearted……….

This is probably the most disturbing movie in the All Night Long trilogy and if you’ve read my other reviews on the first 2 installments you’ll have an idea of what to expect here. The tagline of “Human Beings Are Garbage” seems an appropriate one for the depravity you’ll witness here. Certain scenes definitely push the boundaries of acceptable taste. None of the characters in this movie bar the schoolgirl and Hitomi are sympathetic. The difference between this movie and the other two is that the main character is f***ed up already. I felt that the director was only interested in trying to shock the viewer so there’s only a thin plot to string things along from one depraved act to the next. Women haven’t been treated very well in the previous 2 installments and the same happens in this movie as well. The horror is ramped up in the final third which includes a beheading, a bullet to the eye and a dismemberement of a female corpse in a bath. It’s not as bloody as the 2nd movie though. Yujin Kitagawa is chilling as Kikou. It’s easy to see that he’s the type of person that wouldn’t take a lot to turn into a rampaging psychopath.

A bleak, sadistic and nasty movie to finish off the twisted horror trilogy. Although it is billed as being the final chapter, it has been followed by 3 more in the series which I’ve yet to see. Exploitation fans and that of sleaze cinema will no doubt relish this movie.

No trailer I’m afraid.

Sadako’s Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

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Shunichi is your stereotypical bespectacled otaku who enjoys sculpting hentai anime dolls. He’s bullied at his school by a gang of thugs led by a homosexual who carries a mini blowtorch and a small blade in his pocket. Shunichi tries to avoid the gang as the leader is sexually fascinated by him but is unfortunately ambushed one day and beaten up by them. He is threatened with even more beatings if he doesn’t cough up a lot of money. To show they mean business the gang stub out a cigarette on his penis and destroys his precious anime doll! Shunichi tries to go online to get some help and is answered by a person that calls himself GOOD_MAN who offers to help him out. The homosexual gang leader comes round to Shunichi’s and invites him out for dinner at his apartment with the intention of seducing him. He is also shown a pet he keeps – not only a gerbil but also a young woman that has been raped, drugged up to the eyeballs with heroin and had her fingernails torn out on both hands. She’s his personal plaything where she’s nothing more than a dog. Shunichi starts taking part in torturing the poor girl but eventually leaves. After GOOD_MAN leaves a message asking to meet Shunichi the next day, he fails to turn up but several people who also had the same message come to the same location. Shunichi and the people seem to get on like a house on fire and they all go to Shunichi’s place to have some food and drink. However, the great time they’ve had doesn’t last for long because the homosexual leader and his gang turn up and all hell starts to break loose. How much longer can Shunichi take this abuse before he snaps?

There’s no doubt that when it comes to showing extreme sadism and brutality in movies, the Japanese are up there with the best. This, the 2nd in the All Night Long trilogy shows some pretty sick images which may see some viewers scampering for the toilet bowl afterwards to throw up! If you thought things couldn’t get any more brutal after the first movie then you’re wrong. The violence on display in this movie goes up a notch – very twisted and insane. It is definitely shocking and disturbing as we see Shunichi’s innocence evaporate over the course of the movie to the point where he finally gives in to the violence all around him and he turns into an even more merciless killer than those that tortured him. There are a lot of graphic scenes throughout the movie so you have been warned. An example of what you’ll expect is right near the end of the movie which sees Shunichi tie up the homosexual leader on a chair and use the mini blowtorch on his face. That’s only one example though and there’s plenty more nastiness where that came from. The only 2 female characters in the movie are treated horribly at the hands of the gang and subjected to various degradation and humiliation.

For a movie that delves into the darker side of humanity, All Night Long 2 works extremely well so if you’re into extreme cinema this will be right up your street. It is rather unpleasant to watch particularly in the last third and the images you encounter may linger in your mind for a while afterwards.

No trailer but here’s the opening 3 mins of the movie:

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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aka Joy Of Torture 2: Oxen Split Torturing

The movie is split to 2 short stories: one set in the 17th century and the other in the 19th. The first concerns a young samurai Sasaki who falls in love with a young woman Toyo after she saves his life when he is bitten by a snake in the country. At the time christianity was outlawed and a sadistic magistrate rounds up any practicing christians and brutally tortures before executing them. Sasaki is an employee of the magistrate. Toyo and her family are captured and tortured for being christians for the magistrate’s own amusement. To make things worse, he tests Sasaki’s loyalty by raping Toyo in front of him and making her his concubine. He tries to get Sasaki to take part in the torture but he refuses. Other members of Toyo’s family are given different but no less cruel torture methods which ends in their deaths except her little sister. The second story is set in a brothel and concerns a man Sutezo who after being given the services of a prostitute finds he cannot pay so he has to work in the place for a whole year and in the process finds himself being humiliated by having his hair shaved off completely. He is witness to the nasty practices that happens if one of the girls gets pregnant or if somebody tries to help one of the girls escape from this hell. After a while Sutezo plans an escape with one of the prostitutes named Sato. They are successful in escaping but are soon caught by the magistrate. What happens to them next is not a pretty sight.

This is an incredibly horrific and depressing movie and it will take a brave soul with a strong stomach to go through this 75 minute movie without wincing once. It is proper torture porn in all it’s bloody glory with many scenes of extreme violence. There is no happy ending in either story. The first is probably the nastier of the two in the unrelenting brutality that we see. It just goes from one torture scene to another. Various torture methods are employed and shown in the movie such as being burnt at the stake, a woman cut in two with a sword, another woman thrown in a large water tank before a basket full of poisonous snakes are dumped on her, a naked person dunked in hot boiling water and people being crucified. The worst is Toyo’s 12 year old sister beaten mercilessly with a stick before being blinded by a red hot poker and then we have the coup de grace of Toyo tied up on a board getting her legs ripped off by two oxen much to the delight of the laughing magistrate who you’ll grow to despise. He is one sadistic bastard who just enjoys seeing people in pain. The 2nd story begins in an amusing manner but quickly goes downhill. One unfortunate prostitute gets pregnant and we see how the proprietor of the brothel deals with it. The woman is stamped upon on the stomach before an old woman rips the foetus from the womb. It is horrible to see and it just gets worse as a man’s ear is torn off with a knife and Sutezo is forced to eat it before having to cut the man’s penis with a razorblade. Sato and Sutezo’s deaths isn’t very pleasant to see either.

As you have just read in the paragraph above, this movie is VERY graphic so please don’t watch if you’re of a weak disposition and easily offended by the storyline because it really is unspeakably cruel. If this movie was created just for shock value alone it certainly works. It comes close at times to being at the level of the Guinea Pig series. This isn’t some low budget movie at all. Production values along with costumes, sets and the gruesome special effects are convincing, realistic and of a high standard. The tragic 2 storylines are written well with some good acting by all the cast even though one or two come close to hamming it up too much for my liking.

If you still haven’t been put off, you’ll be rewarded with a twisting, disturbing and depraved extreme horror movie. Exploitation fans will lap it up.

No trailer but here’s the opening titles of the movie:

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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Riki Fudoh is the son of a powerful Yakuza gangster who one night sees his father kill his older brother as part of a yakuza punishment. The father has to sacrifice something for the crimes Riki’s brother made against another yakuza clan. The Yakuza says that he can get away with the case by chopping his own arm off, but instead he wants to kill his son and bring his head to satisfy the Yakuza. From that day on, Riki seeks revenge for his father without showing it. He becomes the most intelligent student in his school and he forms his own criminal society to fight the old generation Yakuza with the help of some school friends. They include a huge long haired caricature of high school student who crushes everything under him, two cute Japanese girls, which both have some very nasty habits and “tools” and two 6-7 year old boys who commit the assassinations for Riki. When Riki’s father finds out from the rival Yasha clan that Riki is behind some of the assassinations taking place, he is ordered to kill him. Riki’s half-brother Gendo, a strong and highly skilled Korean agent is told to carry out the task. As Riki’s small army start to get eliminated one by one, will Riki be able to survive to fulfill his mission of taking over his father’s empire.

Fudoh: The New Generation was Takashi Miike’s first critically acclaimed movie over in the West which made people open their eyes to the creative genius that he is. You can see why this movie turned heads – it has drama, sex, OTT violence, gore and comedy. It’s a fast paced and ferociously violent movie with very imaginative set pieces. Miike’s direction is superb in his handling of the movie. He directs the action scenes in a manic and weird style. The visuals are outstanding. The characters in Fudoh are very memorable. Riki’s partners in crime are crazy from the schoolgirl assassin who can shoot darts from her private parts to the hermaphrodite and the 2 child killers. Some of the violent scenes are very bloody, like the poisoning of one yakuza, which really is effective and grotesque to say the least but typical Miike! The assassinations are brutal and gory. None of the violence is exploitative, but some viewers may consider it too graphic and off-putting, but that is always the case with personal, unlimited and symbolic cinema. Everything about Fudoh is so OTT and insanely exaggerated that you seem not to notice that the likelihood of a group of children being at war with the Yakuza is highly improbable. Midway through the movie we are shown the children’s training camp where we see the kids merrily playing football with their English teacher’s head, this serves again to reinforce the sense of unreality that’s at play here. I loved how Miike just abruptly finished the movie.

Definitely one of Takashi Miike’s finest movies and such a pleasure to watch. Truly unforgettable. Highly recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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AKA Tumbling Doll Of Flesh or Niku Daruma

A perverted male and his cameraman friend set out to make a sex video by using a female porn actress Kana and her male counterpart Kiku at a remote bungalow somewhere in the countryside. As the first part of their shooting session in the bungalow begins, both participants go about having hardcore sex and everything is fine and well between everybody but then things start to go more cruel especially towards Kana in the 2nd part of the shoot. Kana is tied up in rope and the director wants some pain to be inflicted on her by dripping hot wax on her arse from a candle and being whipped. She objects to this but the director is loving it. He seems to thrive on her being in pain. When she refuses to do something, the director goes mad. However, she is untied and the shoot is ended. As everybody is sitting having a meal afterwards in the kitchen, Kana has had enough and says she’s going to leave. As she heads for the door to put on her shoes, the director grabs a baseball bat and cracks her across the head. Kana is knocked out and tied up to a bed. What happens next to her is a journey of torture and suffering for which her only escape is death itself.

You may think you’ve seen it all with the Guinea Pig series and even the notorious Muzan-e movie (which I’m desperate to get hold of) but you ain’t seen nothing yet until you’ve seen this vile, harrowing and depraved controversial extreme horror. It’s an unpleasant viewing experience with some sequences very hard to watch which I’ll highlight to you.  There isn’t a plot as such in this movie but what it lacks in storyline it more than makes up with shock value and gore and believe you me when I say that what transpires onscreen is probably the sickest thing you’ll ever see in your life. There are some stomach churning things on show here including a graphic tongue mutilation scene involving a potato peeler and scissors, Kana’s foot and then her leg being hacked off by the director as Kiku is raping her whilst she’s unconscious. The vilest thing is when her chest is cut open and they play about with her guts and order Kiku to have sex with her intestines!! Kiku himself is bumped off for not being good enough and for his troubles gets his testicles cut off. Kana’s ordeal is thankfully bought to an end with a machete to the face!

This no doubt is one if not the most extreme and disturbing horror movie I’ve ever witnessed. The first 40 minutes is fairly boring to be honest and focuses on the hardcore sex scenes. It’s only in the last 30 minutes of this movie that the shit hits the fans. The special effects by Tamakichi Anaru and Shino Setsuna are nothing short of impressive – the footage of Kana’s dismemberment shown in gory detail and looks realistic. The acting is fairly good. It’s probably the best fake snuff movie I’ve watched.

You have to be really fucked up to enjoy this movie. Gorehounds will of course lap it up but it does make you wonder what kind of sick animal could even conceive of such a twisted movie. For all other viewers that perhaps may be tempted to see what the fuss is all about with this movie I have to tell you that it is incredibly graphic and might make some of you throw up. You have been warned.

Sadako’s Rating: 2 stars out of 5

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This is a spin-off feature from Tokyo Gore Police and centres on 3 characters from the movie who are each given a short story telling us how they became an “engineer”. The first is about a retarded construction worker Dokata who can’t speak properly but is looking for love and gets more than he bargained for, the second about a schoolgirl attacked by 3 people who’s transformed into a dog of some sort and the final story is about a man who witnesses a fight between a woman who has a penis for a nose but also instead of hair she’s got a head full of penises and another “engineer” who looks like a red indian.

I absolutely loved TGP when it first came out. It was imaginative, hilarious and I had never seen anything quite like it before so when I had a chance to see this short sequel I was over the moon. It does not disappoint and continues in the same vein as TGP in that it’s off-the-wall, bizarre, surreal, downright crazy but also extremely funny. It only lasts for 45 mins but in that time it really entertains you. Gore hounds will also love this movie as it has copious amounts of blood as heads explode, limbs are cut and there is splatter galore!! The first 10 minutes is basically a highlights reel of TGP. Each short story is preceded by an advert – my favorite is the one about foreigners who break the immigration visa rule. To punish them their fingers are put in a device that cuts them off and leaves an imprint of their fingers on a piece of paper! Another ad features a family using their dead grandfather’s flesh as household items such as a lampshade!!

For such a short feature, director Yoshihiro Nishimura has not cut back on the OTT visuals. It’s hard to pick which story I liked the most. Each one had an aspect to it which I thought was very funny. I suppose the second story featuring the schoolgirl who gets her limbs put into a grinder was the most interesting and weird. Her old limbs are ground down and mixed with blood, urinated into and then force fed down her throat!! Finally the bloody stumps where her limbs used to be are then replaced by big pencils. No, this isn’t a typo mistake!! She’s turned into a human pencil dog who walks on all 4 pencil limbs!! Seriously, if you thought you’d seen it all before then you haven’t until you see this movie. Fans of TGP – do not miss out. It’s a blast which will have you laughing in disbelief. I loved it.

I wished there was a trailer for me to show you but there isn’t.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Blind Beast (1969)

Blind sculptor Michio kidnaps a female model Aki whose body he admired from a sculpture in a gallery. He takes her to his secret studio prison which is adorned by a massive torso of a female body in the center of the room and other large parts of the body that are on the walls. Michio wants Aki to help him create a masterpiece of clay using her body as the template simply by using his touch alone. Michio isn’t alone in this endeavour as his mother attends to his every needs. As Aki’s plight turns to desperation having tried the easy way to escape, she goes down another path which is seduction in order to drive a wedge between Michio and his mother. His mother gets jealous and in a tussle between the three of them she is accidentally killed. Michio blames Aki for this and repeatedly rapes her, however she starts to like what he’s doing to her. They begin a bizarre sexual relationship. As Aki herself starts to go blind due to being surrounded in total darkness for 24 hours, both herself and Michio descend into the limits of their depravity and masochistic tendencies which involves biting, whipping and using knives to draw blood so that they can drink it. But that isn’t enough for Aki who wants to experience the ultimate pleasure and pain!

Blind Beast is a lurid, dark and psychologically unique story that takes us into the extreme side of relationships but is also about obsession, emotional manipulation and the perverse nature of art. The movie is claustrophobic using minimal sets and lighting – the studio prison set is great in that it’s so surreal. I think the character of Aki sums it up best when she says it seems the large pieces of female sculpture parts dotted everywhere have been taken from the viewpoint of a baby. This movie is quite disturbing in that it manages to capture horror without using any gore whatsoever especially during the horrific final sequence. That’s one of the pluses that director Yasuzo Masumura has achieved with this movie – he doesn’t feel the need to show anything, just the sound of objects being used in cutting flesh is enough to repulse you. Although from the plot you might think this is full of sex scenes it isn’t although there’s plenty of nudity involved.

Mako Midori is very beautiful as the captive Aki who knows how to switch between playing the victim and the manipulator. Eiji Funakoshi as Michio plays his role extremely well. Watching him caress Aki’s body with his fingers is very chilling.

Although a shocking movie for the majority, it’s certainly one that you should experience. It’s well directed with brilliant cinematography and superb acting from the 2 leads. I guarantee that you will never have seen anything quite like it!

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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Sonny Chiba is Takuma Tsurugi, a tough mercenary who gets the job done any way he can. When he’s asked to kidnap the beautiful female oil heiress Saria by the Yakuza and the Mafia, he point blank refuses. Furious at his refusal, both groups plan to have him killed and still kidnap the woman by sending hordes of their troops to take Tsurugi out. But he’s not the type to be easily beaten. Can Tsurugi manage to beat the bad guys and still protect Saria?

This is one of the most far fetched, absurd and unintenionally funniest movie I’ve ever witnessed. It’s just crazy and some of the things that happen just beggars belief!! In saying that, I’m not trashing this movie at all as it’s very good. I’ll let you be the judge of how ridiculous you think this movie is! The movie was originally X-Rated when released in the cinemas for it’s ultra violent content and gore though it would seem rather tame these days.

During the 70’s, Sonny Chiba cut his teeth in Japanese movies usually cast as a tough guy and in this one he plays the ultimate bad ass anti-hero and a lethal weapon with his hands. Witness the destruction that he does to the bad guys such as castrating a black opponent with his bare hands, ripping out a throat of another, gouging eyes out and then there’s the famous x-ray skull crushing scene which has to be seen to be believed. I found Chiba’s face gurning (trying to mimick Bruce Lee) whilst he’s doing his martial arts routine to be hilarious. Some of the other OTT moments in the movie include Tsurugi and his comedic sidekick Ratnose being dropped in their car from a high bridge and coming out from the wreck largely unscathed!!

The action in this movie is very violent, bloody and fast & furious. The climax which is set on an oil tanker at night is fantastic as Tsurugi cuts a swathe through the baddies until he has to have a final scrap with an old opponent of his who has a score to settle. It’s a shame the movie ends rather abruptly to set up the sequel but no complaints from me as I loved this movie from start to finish.

Sonny Chiba is awesome in the title role and his co-star Goichi Yamada is great as Ratnose. Yutaka Nakajima brings some glamour to her role as the stunningly pretty Sarai.

Quentin Tarantino is a big fan of The Street Fighter and it’s easy to see why. This is a classic martial arts/action movie that no Asian movie fan should miss. A gem.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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A loser salaryman Hideshi whose girlfriend has left him for a co-worker tries to end his life by cutting his wrist. He’s confused when he finds out that he cannot die even after stabbing a pen through his arm and cutting off his hand with a kitchen knife. He decides to extract revenge on the male co-worker who took his girl by inviting him to his apartment and self-mutilate in front of him!!

Unlike the first 2 Guinea Pig movies which was harrowing at times to watch, this is more like an OTT comedy horror. You just can’t take it seriously at all and you will laugh at the ridiculous things the guy does. The scene where he guts himself with a knife and flings his entrails at his co-worker is hilarious. The special effects during these scenes are very well made. Even though it’s a comedy, there is still a lot of blood shown so those that doesn’t like gore better keep clear from this movie. Think of this movie as one that Peter Jackson would have done in his early days – it’s gory, entertaining and a lot of fun. I thought the movie was hilarious. The character of Hideshi is also very likeable. If you’re a fan of sick comedies then you’ll really love this one.

No trailer found but here’s a best-of clip from the movie!

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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Jigoku (1960)

Shiro Shimuzu should be the happiest young man alive after getting engaged to his pretty girlfriend Yukiko, the daughter of his university professor but Shiro’s life spirals into one disaster after another when he takes a car ride one night  with his university friend Tamura. Tamura runs over a drunken yakuza gangster who has staggered onto a dark road. He dies but not before his mother has noticed the car licence plate number. Together with the yakuza’s girlfriend they plan to find out who the two people were in the car and kill them. This is only the start of what’s to come for Shiro when Yukiko dies in a taxi crash and his mother is slowly dying in his hometown. Shiro takes a trip back home to see her at the nursing home his father runs with his mistress and who should turn up but his ‘friend’ Tamura who has an uncanny knack of knowing other people’s sins and just appearing out of nowhere. Shiro meets the daughter of his parents’ next door neighbour who looks exactly like his dead fiancée called Sachiko which confuses the young man even more. People start accidentally dying around Shiro such as the dead yakuza’s gangster girlfriend who trips on a wooden bridge just as she is about to pull the trigger of a gun on him and plunges to her death below. Even Tamura is pushed over the bridge and is seen to die. Finally everybody at the nursing home including Shiro is poisoned by the dead yakuza’s mother as they drink tainted sake. At that moment Shiro finds himself being sent to Hell itself and wakes up on the banks of the River Sanzu (the Buddhist equivalent of the River Styx) and is introduced to the King of Hell Enma who passes judgement on all that come there and to the various levels of punishment that sinners are given.

This is a superb drama/horror which is split up into 2 parts. Jigoku has garnered a reputation over the years as being the first gore movie ever released. The 1st half gives us a picture of how Shiro and other characters become candidates destined to enter Hell such as his university professor who stole water from a dying army comrade during the war. It lulls the viewer into a false sense of security as we do not know what is to come later.  The movie springs into life during the 2nd half when we enter Hell itself – it’s quite a memorable depiction of the place and looks fantastic. A barren featureless world where the sky is black not the fiery kingdom that Christians believe in. We all imagine what hell looks like but if it’s anything like in this movie I’d rather stay out of there! The tone and cinematography of the first half disappears completely. In comes torment and pain. We witness what happens to sinners once they come to Hell itself. It’s a grim place to be. The severity of the sin determines which level of Hell you will be sent (144 levels in all). This is where the gore factor is ramped up. Teeth are smashed, feet impaled, eyes gouged out, hands chopped off and that’s just for starters! Truly horrific. One unfortunate thief for example is cut to various pieces by a massive serrated blade whilst he is lying on the floor.  Unlike the hell depicted in Christian mythology where we are made to suffer for all eternity, the Buddhist version in this movie grants the person who has atoned to move on to a higher state of existence. Although it is never stated in the movie itself, it’s obvious that Tamura (a demon who pops up unexpectedly to Shiro marked by the sound of an aircraft or train) who is clearly an associate of King Enma, has been sent to manipulate events in the real world so that all the characters have no other destination but hell itself when they die.

Director Nobuo Nakagawa has to be congratulated for creating a very interesting movie. It’s a genre masterpiece that’s a product of it’s time but still manages to be terrifying even today. The gore which wouldn’t be seen as really shocking nowadays due to the glut of blood soaked movies available was seen as ground breaking when it was first released in 1960. The visuals on display in Hell is brilliant such as a boiling green river where sinners are made to wade in their own pus and shit. For many viewers, the slow pace of the first half might seem boring and they’ll only be interested in the scenes in Hell but overall I was impressed with the whole movie. Definitely a movie that should be checked out by horror afficianados.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Red To Kill (1994)

A psychotic muscular male carer Chan who works at a hostel for the mentally handicapped and is traumatised by an incident as a child which saw his parents brutally slay one another goes crazy whenever he sees the color red. His rage makes him commit the ultimate sin – the rape of a female mentally handicapped person Ming Ming under his care who mistakenly wore a red dress. The subsequent trial afterwards sees him walking away scot free on a technicality but Ming Ming’s friend who also works in the hostel seeks revenge by trying to lure Chan into committing rape again by wearing a very sexy red dress and following him to a bar and his house. All the time teasing him to go nuts. It all comes down to a dramatic blood soaked showdown at a workshop beneath the hostel.

I like watching movies which have an edgy side to them but this HK Cat III movie really makes for uncomfortable viewing and perhaps crosses the line of taste and decency.  That’s not to say the movie is poor or anything, in fact it’s quite well done. The positives for this movie is the exceptional acting of the villain of the movie Chan. He makes for a truly frightening piece of work as we witness him at night walking around and looking for potential victims. A right Jekyll and Hyde character. Seemingly with a calm caring demeanour during the day but turning into a deranged salivating sex-crazed psycho at night. Lily Chung also deserves credit for her sympathetic performance as the innocent victim Ming Ming. There’s a harrowing scene immediately after the long drawn out rape where we see Ming Ming standing in the shower talking to herself that she’s dirty and slicing away at her pubic hair with a razor blade. Another scene in which the other handicapped residents of the hostel are trying to cheer up Ming Ming after the collapse of Chan’s trial is heartbreaking.

You might not be surprised that the director Billy Tang is no stranger to controversial movies having also helmed the nasty horror Dr Lamb (which hopefully I’ll see soon). As you’ve read above, the subject matter of the movie will either make you want to stay away from watching this or compel you to take a look but then again when you’re watching a Cat III movie you should know what to expect in them.  Fans of extreme cinema will definitely love it.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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