A frenzied cult classic by Teruo Ishii, the Japanese master of all thing taboo. 16 year old Rika wants to leave a murderous cult but she is sent to Hell where she meets demons and souls who... See full summary »
This erotic horror film, set in 1905, tells the story of a thief who seeks refuge in a castle owned by two women, Eva (Brigitte Lahaie) and Elizabeth (Franca Mai). The women are seductive ... See full summary »
During a secretive business trip away, Mark learns that his wife Anna is growing restless in what he believed was their happy marriage. Upon his return home, he learns from her that she ... See full summary »
The actor Koheiji is terribly in love with the wife of his best friend, the playwright Takuro. To get her, he would even kill Takuro. In course of a fight on a boat on the water, Koheiji ... See full summary »
A graduate-school student has a friend who is pure evil. His friend and he are out driving one night when they hit a drunkard and the friend leaves the accident victim to die. The student's life then goes downhill from there. Written by
The film's production company was going out of business while the film was being completed, leading to budget-saving tactics such as the actors helping dig their own holes in the movie's set for Hell. Critics kidded that this film killed the Shintoho Studio. See more »
While Shiro is on the rope bridge, we see him at various times hanging on to the side handrails. Between shots, without him having changed position, these handrails quite noticeably change in diameter from thin cables to a much thicker cable, indicating that some shots were filmed on a real bridge, others were filmed on a studio mock-up. See more »
Enma, King of Hell:
Hear me! You who in life piled up sin upon sin will be trapped in Hell forever. Suffer! Suffer! This vortex of torment will whirl for all eternity.
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Groundbreaking in its day, but now seemingly little seen meditation on life and after
I had read about and seen stills from this movie for years. I had heard how freaky and bloody and scary this movie's vision of hell was, but I never got a chance to actually see it. Finally I was able to secure a copy and I sat down to watch the horror.
For the first hour of this film we watch as our hero lives a life that is more or less a living hell. More horrible, terrible things befall him and those around him than anyone outside of a soap opera has a right to expect. Very act is bound to damn someone to hell and it isn't long before our guilt ridden hero crosses over and experiences what true torment is. Its enough to make you want to laugh were it not played so painfully straight.
What we see once we get to Hell itself looks great. Even some 40 years after it first marched across theater some of the shots of flayed flesh and disemboweled intestines are still shocking. The cramped and dark vistas are something out of a nightmare. Many tormented images you'd almost be proud to have on your walls.
Is it scary a bit but its not the be all and end all that some had made it out to be. Then again the films images have been raided by others so it less shocking. I also find that some of the pacing is off and what may have once worked now borders on tedious.
The film seems to be saying that all life, here or in the next world is miserable hellish and that no matter what we do we're doomed simply to suffer. A happy little film if there ever was one.
I like the film but far from love it. The first part is very soapy and over blown, while the second is almost a catalog of horrors. I give it points for trying but I don't think it completely works.
Should you see it?
A coin toss. It really depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking, for gore and guts, its here but not enough to make you walk away happy. Are you looking for a meditation on sin, guilt and existence, you may like it, especially if you can get past the soap. If you want to see a technically well made film that doesn't quite work but influenced later films and which will provide some discussion over dinner, then try it.
I give it 7 out of 10 for the parts more than the whole.
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