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Men Behind the Sun (1988)
"Hei tai yang 731" (original title)

 -  Drama | History | Horror  -  March 1989 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 3,565 users  
Reviews: 79 user | 29 critic

Japanese troops round up Chinese and Russian prisoners of war and take them to a place called Squadron 731, where they are grotesquely tortured and experimented on to test new biological weapons.

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(as T.F. Mous)
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Title: Men Behind the Sun (1988)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jianxin Chen
Hsu Gou
Linjie Hao
Haizhe Jin
Tie Long Jin
Yuanrong Jin
Bolin Li
Pengyu Liu
Xuhui Liu
Zhaohua Mei ...
(as Zhao Hua Mei)
Zhe Quan
Jiefu Tian
Gang Wang ...
Runsheng Wang ...
(as Run Shen Wang)
Shennin Wang
Edit

Storyline

Story of a Japanese terror camp in the end of WW2, where the Japanese are using the Chinese as guinea pigs in terrible experiments to develop deadly bacterial-plagues. Written by Tobias Broljung <larry@algonet.se>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Horror | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

March 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hei tai yang 731  »

Box Office

Gross:

HKD 11,092,186 (Hong Kong) (23 December 1988)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (World Video release) | (Dead Alive Productions release)

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was no special effects industry in China when this film was made so many of the special effects in the film were done with real cadavers which director Tun Fei Mou was able to obtain through connections of his. The frostbite experiment victim's arms were real corpse arms and the child's body was a real cadaver. Mou waited for a whole month to find a body the same size as the child playing the role. He was almost ready to give up when the local police called him telling him that a child had been killed in an accident. He got permission from the parents and filmed the child's autopsy, dressing the coroners up like WWII-era Japanese doctors. The close ups of the child's organs being removed were done by dissecting a pig. See more »

Goofs

When the leader of the soldier boys patrol command them to drop and crawl through the snow, one soldier can be seen already dropped before he is even told to do so. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Shiro Ishii: A small rat can beat a cat. Fleas and germs can defeat bombers and guns. This is... the basic theory behind Squadron 731. It is also my philosophy.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Men Behind the Sun 4 (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A darn good film, but so very, very nasty
17 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I can't say that I exactly enjoyed Men Behind The Sun, since it isn't really a nice experience in any ways, but I did get a lot out of it. Its a horrific historical tale of the work of Squadron 731, who experimented on Chinese men, women and children for the Japanese war effort during WW2. It shows the young men recruited to the camp, trained to hate the Chinese and some of the experiments performed. These experiments use some of the nastiest special effects I have seen in a goodly long while and one scene uses a genuine human corpse. Also, there are a couple of scenes of animal cruelty and the one involving a cat is one of the most unpleasant things I have ever seen. This includes the various animal killings in Italian cannibal films or weird old school Hong Kong horror outings so anyone that didn't appreciate these examples should probably steer clear. Sadly I saw the film in a dubbed version and the dubbing isn't great, but after a little while in you don't really notice. The film is immensely disturbing, not just through the gore, which only actually occupies a handful of scenes, but in the dehumanisation of the prisoners and the warping of the young Japanese men who are turned towards inhuman acts through following their superiors and helping out Japan. To its credit the film does not caricature the Japanese as mad or sadistic, just people committing heinous acts through their pursuit of a cause. There's little more to say about this one, its well worth watching if the subject matter is of interest but one should be prepared to be seriously shocked and disturbed. I wouldn't really call it exploitation, but the scenes involving animals do somewhat undermine the critique of cruelty and some other scenes will likely be hard to take. Unfortunately this will probably go over the heads of most people besides history buffs and lovers of extreme cinema, but both those groups should definitely check this out.


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