7.6/10
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6 user 11 critic

The Embryo Hunts in Secret (1966)

Taiji ga mitsuryô suru toki (original title)

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(screenplay) (as Yoshiaki Ôtani)
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Miharu Shima
Hatsuo Yamaya
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July 1966 (Japan)  »

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The Embryo Hunts in Secret  »

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2.35 : 1
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Referenced in 100 Years of Japanese Cinema (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Dream of a Witches' Sabbath
Music by Hector Berlioz (uncredited)
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A disturbing and violent masterpiece.
26 April 2001 | by (Antwerp, Belgium) – See all my reviews

I've seldom seen such a mixture of disturbing violence and heartrending visual poetry as in this film by Koji Wakamatsu. There is but so much you can do with the story of a woman who is kept prisoner in an apartment; where she is repeatedly humiliated, beaten and tortured by her psycho boyfriend. Unless your name is Wakamatsu. This is 1966 and we are treated to visual experimentation from bleachers to freeze frames, inventive choice of camera angles and virtuoso editing. In one torture scene the sound completely disappears and we can only see the woman's face contort with pain. This is not cheap sensationalism but a highly inventive film which, here and there, makes excellent use of classical music to underline the action. Although the violence is disturbing one cannot help but feel sorry for the man. His sick, twisted mind is torn between tender feelings for his prisoner and the violent impulses that make him torture her. Koji Wakamatsu's handling of the script manages to convincingly show this duality. Fascinating in its austere and brutal poetry, this film paved the way for other Wakamatsu masterpieces like Violated Angels (1967) and Go,Go, Second Time Virgin (1969).


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