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Two short stories set in Edo during the Shogun era. 1. During a time when Christians are persecuted vehemently, Iori falls in love with young Christian girl. When she and her family are captured during a raid, his sadistic master takes her as her personal slave to torment him, and tries breaking her spirit by means of rape, torture and pure sadism. After Iori refuses to participate any longer he is exiled, but vows to get her back. 2. When Sutezo is forced to serve the cruel master of a brothel to repay his debts, he becomes friends with the young girl Sato. Together, they escape and try to get by on scams and theft. Written by
Any film that opens with a naked woman being boiled alive is going to be harsh viewing, but there are very few films that are as wanton in their depiction of sadistic violence and sexual brutality as Shogun's Sadism (AKA The Joy of Torture 2: Oxen Split Torturing), a film that positively delights in trying to shock its audience in as many ways as possible; even by Japanese standards, this is one extremely repugnant piece of film-making, and therefore an absolute must-see for fans of extreme Asian cinema.
The film consists of two separate tales set in feudal Japan during the Edo period, taking place in the years 1645 and 1821; both are tragic love stories of sorts, but the doomed relationships that unfold exist purely as catalysts for an unrelenting onslaught of on-screen nastiness.
Part one sees samurai Sasaki Iori fall for lovely peasant girl Toyo, unaware that she is a Christian and therefore an 'enemy' of the Shogunate. Amongst the dubious delights unflinchingly captured on film by director Yuuji Makiguchi for this chapter: a man cut in half with a samurai sword; Toyo repeatedly raped by Sasaki's newt-munching boss; Toyo's twelve year old sister blinded with a red hot poker; a man's feet mashed to a bright red pulp by huge hammers; some poor sod roasted alive inside a man sized cooking pot; Toyo's parents stabbed with spears and set alight; and Toyo's legs torn off by oxen.
Story number two has beautiful whore Sato join con-artist Sutezo in a life of petty crime after her daring escape from a brothel; but when the pair unknowingly attempt to scam a detective working for the magistrate, they wind up in a worse situation than ever, subjected to a series of brutal tortures. This time around the catalogue of nastiness includes a stomach churning forced abortion by a wizened hag (who goes elbow-deep to perform her task!); ear slicing and penis removal with a blunt razor; a desperate escape through a toilet full of liquid feces; the gang rape of Sato by a group of beggars; assorted sadism, including toe-slicing, nipple crushing, and water torture; and Sutezo, trapped in a pillory, slowly decapitated by a passing drunkard. Also keep an eye out for the very strange moment where a naked woman is covered in a sticky substance (possibly honey) and licked all over by cute puppies!!!
As seems to be the case with much of Toei's exploitative output of the 70s, production values are high, giving this film a polished aesthetic that is missing from many Western exploitation movies of the same period; don't be fooled by the glossy look and feel of the film though, 'cos this is much grittier stuff than the majority of grainy grindhouse flicks from the US.
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