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Denied theatrical release in Japan as the Japanese film rating board, Eirin, refused to grant the film a certificate even after extensive cuts were made. Their rejection letter stated "the film's overall tone is unacceptable." The film was released directly to home video over angry protests from schools and parental groups. See more »
Japanese documentary film maker turned film director/writer Katsuya Matsumura's All Night Long series is one of the most depressing and darkest explorations on the brutest sides of humanity ever commited on film, with brain too. The first film, All Night Long (1992) was released theatrically in Japan, but this sequel, All Night Long 2: Atrocity (1995) and as far as I know the third one, All Night Long 3: The Final Atrocity (1996) were denied a theatrical release as the films were considered too strong and "unacceptable" and so they were released only on video, amid some heavy resistance. It is easy to see why but still the films are not without a real importance.
A nerdy school boy is spending his summer break from school mostly with his computer and chat friends and also a small girl figure doll he likes to paint and take care of. He is also bullied by a bunch of sadistic slightly elders that are led by a homosexual sadist who starts to interest in the boy and thus starts to seduce him. Naturally the boy doesn't feel the same way and as the leader of the gang is determined to get what he wants, it all leads to some incredible scenes of human degradation and genuinely off-putting violence and acts of abuse.
Like the first film, this is about the animality behind human nature and how seemingly normal and balanced people share the exact same instincts and potential to violence as the "bad already" people, in this case the thugs, do. Violence and instincts for it belong to the human nature. That is a thing that should be fought against as those rotten sides of our nature should be kept passive on the background no matter what happens. But we know how the world is like and how man kills man everyday in the name of some "righteous war or revenge" and so on. It is great how Matsumura has included images of real life terrors and war atrocities in this film making the film so much more universal and larger as it all really is there, not only in the little apartment the film takes place in, but everywhere around us. And extreme films like this are there to explain and ask us why. Why do people want to revenge and cause more violence? If more people would dare to watch films like this and also accept and admit their content and message, maybe some would see the light and change towards a better man, helping the world become a better place.
The film has also some clever small details, like the little hamster the homosexual villain likes to play with (and also kill them, naturally). That small and peaceful little creature is also splattered in blood once the carnage begins, once the humans have turned into worse than animals and peaceful nature. Some would blame the film for its depiction of sexual minorities (gays), but that is not possible as the film also has a normal homosexual male who is not dangerous or sadistic at all, unlike his boyfriend. Another clever detail is the video camera that records something the nerd does, and how it shows the slow turning of his character into something he has not been, straight to his face. And after that, everything indeed turns into hell.
The film is mostly without music which makes the imagery all the more nightmarish and disturbing whereas the first film still got a (rather creepy) music soundtrack in it. The violence once it bursts out (or once the film begins) is so cruel, sadistic and sick it is not necessary to go into details but if Pier Paolo Pasolini's masterful Saló o le 120 Giornate di Sodoma (1975) felt too strong or gratuitous (which it definitely is not) then there's not a chance All Night Long 2: Atrocity would be possible to be sit through. Still Matsumura, like Pasolini, doesn't go into unnecessary details and close ups, camera just witnesses what men do to each other, on mental and physical level, and the both levels are horrible, including sexual degradation, abusion, forced drugs, rape and calculated sadism in the name of revenge.
The film has also a very wry bit of black humor at the end which underlines finally the development of the protagonist boy. He just became that way, and seems to end up like the one in the first part of the series. In my opinion, the massacre that happens at the second part of this film has some things that should have been done differently, like how the boy so fast turns into the devil himself (and turning also against the "innocent") and how one tormented couple is able to make love in the other room, something that fights against what has just been shown! Also, the film would have been even more noteworthy if it had included one pure character that would have left some hope for the light, and this same "error" is present in the third part of the series: the sequels work better if they're imagined to be connected with the first film which had the angel-like character to show how the animals still could and should live together.
All Night Long 2: Atrocity is perhaps the most extreme in the series, being equally disturbing and off-putting with part three, All Night Long 3: The Final Atrocity. The first film is perhaps the "easiest" to watch even though it has one of the most vicious acts of murder ever filmed at the beginning but it also has a slightly larger environment as it includes a high school milieu and other elements of society surrounding us, thus making the film even more believable for those who are not so ready to accept what the sequels so extremely suggest and prove, in their smaller environments, both taking mostly place in one single room or apartment. In my opinion, maybe that's why the first film is the most noteworthy in the series but the other two, especially this first sequel, are as well significant pieces of honest and that's why ugly cinema telling about us, none other than us. 7/10
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