6.1/10
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Hei tai yang 731 (1988)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, Horror | March 1989 (USA)
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.

Director:

(as T.F. Mous)

Writers:

(as Mei Fei Liu), | 1 more credit »
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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
... Lt. Gen. Shiro Ishii
Runshen Wang ... (as Run Shen Wang)
Shennin Wang
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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:

Squadron 731  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though many of the film's gore scenes involve use of real corpses or animal parts, the film's much controversial "cat scene" in fact a well done special effect. Tun Fei Mou covered the cat with red-dyed honey which was licked off the cat by the rats. The cat survived, was cleaned up, rewarded with fish and sent back to his owner. One can notice if watching closely that the rats never bite the cat and it never stops moving or goes limp. The rats were caught by the local schoolchildren and were however set on fire near the end of the shoot which appears on film. The local farmers were apparently quite pleased with Mou for having done so. 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

Edited into Hei tai yang 731 si wang lie che (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

You ain't seen nothin' yet! Truly unforgettable.
13 January 2002 | by See all my reviews

Watching 'Men Behind The Sun' is a very odd experience, because it's difficult to tell what exactly it is trying to achieve. On the surface it is presented as a supposedly serious expose of some of the little known war crimes committed by the Japanese in WW2. But it is made in such a trashy way (compounded by the badly dubbed copy I watched) that it comes across closer to an 'Ilsa, She-Wolf Of The SS' exploitation movie, minus the sex.

The reason this movie is so notorious is mainly because of a handful of scenes. One sequence, the frostbite experiment, is shocking, but obviously special effects, so gorehounds will treat it like a Romero or Fulci gore scene. However, two others, the autopsy scene, and the decompression chamber scene, appear to use real corpses. These are gruesome but strangely fascinating. What really pushes this movie over the edge though are the two scenes which involve animal abuse. One is very short but involves a horde of fleeing rats being burned alive. This scene is obviously real. The other is the notorious segment which involves a cat being eaten alive by rats. This appears to be real, and if it is, it's the most reprehensible thing I've ever seen in a movie. If it is faked it is one of the most convincing special effects I've ever watched, and even so, the cat is obviously highly distressed.

I must admit I still don't know what to think about this movie. If the film makers genuinely intended this to be a serious look at Japanese atrocities I would applaud it for bringing to attention a disgusting series of events that should not be forgotten. However, as I am dubious about their sincerity, I remain nonplussed. I can't really get all high and mighty about it, because after all I did watch the thing, and therefore I would feel like a hypocrite for having done so. All I can say is that if you want to see an extreme piece of film making and are not easily disturbed, 'Men Behind The Sun' is truly unforgettable.


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