slums of Osaka, various misfits are engulfed in lives of sexual perversion,
violence and cannibalism. This is a sprawling, unconventional story of
moral decay, featuring numerous outcasts who have become a dire threat
to society. At the center of director Matsui's disturbing film is a sex/serial
killer named Makoto Iwashita (played by Kazuhiro Sano) beating women to
death in the city's dark alleys. After bludgeoning his victims with a
crowbar, Makoto then carves out their genitals and takes the bloody mess
back to his rooftop 'apartment' where he stuffs severed flesh into the
hollowed-out crotch of a mannequin stolen from a department store. This
is grim cinema. It's easy to see why unexpecting audiences in 1988 reacted
so strongly [even by jaded standards of today, this is extreme]. Once
the Makoto Iwashita character is established, he serves as a guide through
the equally shocking barbarous netherworld of perverts, dwarves and miscreants.
There is a homeless man (portrayed by Isamu Ohsuga), caked with grime,
dirt and shit, who carries his own masturbation log around with him. Plus
the Makoto character spends a lot of time with two midget siblings, the
sister - covered with disfiguring burn scars from childhood - is obsessed
with fucking her brother. The audience is also introduced to a pedophile
and his little girl child. There's lots more. Arguably, too much more.
And yet, despite the
intentional in-your-face ugliness, the film is technically amazing. The
black-and-white cinematography is jaw-dropping gorgeous, thus creating
a very uncomfortable reaction from the viewer ["This is so incredible,
unforgettable, but but ultimately toxic."] Underground filmmaker
Yoshihiko Matsui took five years to make this movie. After initially writing
the script, he took it to his friend, director Shuji Terayama (THROW
AWAY YOUR BOOKS, PASTORAL,
et al) who said 'if this is actually made, it would be a scandal.' Terayama
died before Matsui finished and released the film. He was right. It was
a scandal. But this film managed to actually hit theaters and it opened
the floodgates for the other Jishu eiga (self-made movies) to follow.
In its wake came Shinya Tsukamoto's TETSUO
(1989), the first from Takeshi Miike LADY
HUNTER: PRELUDE TO MURDER (1991), the cyberpunk PINNOCHIO
64 (1992) by Shozin Fukui, Katsuya Matsumura' ALL
NIGHT LONG (1992) and all the rest.
film with optional English subtitles; widescreen format,
uncut 150 minutes, DVD Package encoded for ALL REGION NTSC FORMAT.
Fully uncut version.
Sexual Scenes/Graphic Violence/
Recommended for Adult Audiences