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Flower and Snake (2004)
"Hana to hebi" (original title)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  13 March 2004 (Japan)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 642 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 5 critic

Tôyama, a weak-willed businessman, is in debt to the Yakuza; they also have a video of him bribing a government minister. To clear his debts, he agrees to let them drug and kidnap his wife ... See full summary »



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Title: Flower and Snake (2004)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aya Sugimoto ...
Renji Ishibashi ...
Ippei Tashiro
Ken'ichi Endô ...
Kanzô Morita
Misaki Mori ...
Kyôko Nojima (as Misaki)
Yôzaburô Itô ...
Clown man
Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi ...
Ryô Eguchi
Shun Nakayama ...
Kazuo Kawada
Shigeo Kobayashi ...
Naoki Matsuda ...
Tomoo Yageta ...
Taeko Uzuki ...
Crucified woman / sacrificial woman
Miyako Kawahara ...
Blake Crawford
Mr. Buddhaman ...
Kudô (as Misutâ Buttaman)
Tomezô Tsunokake ...


Tôyama, a weak-willed businessman, is in debt to the Yakuza; they also have a video of him bribing a government minister. To clear his debts, he agrees to let them drug and kidnap his wife Shizuko, Japan's queen of the tango, and subject her to the proclivities of a 95-year-old voyeur, who's a Yakuza boss. After a masked ball, Shizuko is taken prisoner; she fights her captors, submitting only when the life of Kyôko, her female bodyguard, is threatened. Tôyama feels regret and seeks to buy back Shizuko, but by this time, she may be enjoying her situation. Is she, or is she pretending in order to protect herself and Kyôko? Would she want a way out if there is one? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


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Official Sites:




Release Date:

13 March 2004 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Hana to hebi  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film is based on an S&M novel written by Oniruku Dan which has reached cult status in Japan. There have been several prior film adaptations of the novel: a 1968 Pink film (Hana to hebi yori: niku no shiiku), a 1974 Roman porno with Naomi Tani in her first starring role for Nikkatsu studio, and a 3-film Nikkatsu series (1985-1987). See more »


Followed by Flower & Snake 3 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Brutal, erotic, handsomely produced masterpiece of sexual politics
12 March 2006 | by (Mountains of Madness) – See all my reviews

Superb, brutal, erotic, handsomely produced sado-masochistic masterpiece from director Takeshi Ishii. It could have been titled "Wife To Be Sacrificed" because Shizuko (Aya Sugimoto), the wife of a wealthy businessman, is sacrificed in order to pay off her husband's debts.

Everything "Eyes Wide Shut" pretended to be this is. It does not cower from its powerful subject matter or merely titillate. It is the work of an incendiary artist with a firm grip on the material and the material's ability to emotionally resonate.

Sugimto, who is one of the strongest, most stunning, most beautiful creatures ever to ignite the cinema screen, is totally convincing as a woman plunged into a cruel, nihilistic, carnal hell referred to only as The Coliseum. It is a stadium-like space where the rich and powerful get their kicks watching beautiful women raped, beaten, bound and, in some cases, murdered, in a pretentious, circus-style setting.

This is a big budget extravaganza of ravishing perversion and beauty mixed with a violent white collar crime plot. Ishii's direction of both the violent confrontations and sado-masochistic set pieces is stunning. His camera dives, swirls, caresses and illuminates the provocative tableaux.

Goro Yasukawa's score is beautiful, and artfully enriches every aspect of this sensational production. It took three cinematographers to fully realize the striking visual style that brings Ishii's original vision to life.

The Oniroku Dan novel, 'Flower and Snake', has been filmed before, but this is the definitive version and the most sincere, a hardcore smack to the chops of conservative culture.

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