Against the backdrop of the Edo treasury devaluing currency and driving many into poverty, Hanzo Itami enforces the law without regard to status. He shows inadequate respect to the treasurer, who wants him dead. He finds a young woman dead following an abortion, and he enters a temple without permission looking for evidence. He tortures and then sexually assaults the temple's priestess to get information. He's then assigned to protect the mint from a notorious thief. There he closets himself in the bedroom of the mint's mistress. He waits. The thief arrives - but other crimes are afoot. Devalued currency, white slavery, and government corruption lead Hanzo to one conclusion.Written by
Hanzo is back, in a sequel that is sleazier and gorier than the first.
Proud and well-endowed Edo lawman Hanzo 'The Razor' Itami (Shintarô Katsu) returns for a second adventure, this time directed by Yasuzo Masumura, who makes his movie even more depraved (and therefore even more enjoyable) than Kenji Misumi's reasonably sleazy first instalment, Sword of Justice.
This time around, Hanzo leads an investigation into the death of a young woman, who underwent an abortion procedure shortly before carking it (Hanzo arrives at this conclusion by shoving two fingers up her bloody cooch; Sherlock Holmes, he ain't!!). Suspecting the involvement of a local priestess, Nyokai, who is known to help ladies 'in trouble', Hanzo sneaks into the Kaizan temple, where he discovers the existence of an operation that caters for rich traders willing to pay handsomely to carry out acts of sexual perversion.
At his personal torture chamber, Hanzo ruthlessly interrogates the priestess, but when inflicting pain fails to make her talk, he decides to use another method to loosen her lips (phnarr, phnarr!): he unleashes the beast in his pants. This does the trick, for once a woman has felt the pleasure of Hanzo's massive schlong, it seems that she will do absolutely anything to prolong the experience. Unable to control herself, Nyokai gives Hanzo the name of the man who is profiting from her nefarious activities: Lord Treasurer Okobo.
With his hatred of corruption, and a total disregard for authority, Hanzo is determined to bring the evil official to justice, but must first apprehend Japan's most wicked thief, Shobei Hamajima, who is planning to steal the gold from the Edo mint.
Technically, Masumura's film is superb, with excellent direction, beautiful photography, well choreographed swordplay, an excellent funky soundtrack, and a plot that I found easier to follow than Sword of Justice, despite being just as convoluted. And despite the fact that The Snare recycles many of the elements from the first film, it's more outrageous sex and gore guarantees another thoroughly satisfying experience for those exploitation fans who enjoyed the original: as in Sword of Justice, Hanzo subjects himself to bizarre tests of endurance, rigorously working out his wang by beating his meat and rogering rice bails, but he also places his legs under massive weights, almost breaking his bones; once again, Hanzo offs a horde of attackers with his booby trapped house, only this time there is a lot more blood (there is also some extreme arterial spray during a nasty robbery by Shobei and his gang); and of course, there is plenty of misogyny and violent sex, and the depiction of rape—particularly as a pleasurable experience for the victim—proves to be even more unsettling than before.
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