Hanzo the Razor: The Snare (1973)
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If all else fails....threats, torture, insults, etc. Hanzo rapes any woman who withholds information (including the good ones!!???) It seems that Hanzo's reproductive appendage is so enormous that any female will spill her guts to receive more of Hanzo's "pleasure" torture. Also nicknamed the "razor", our hero is the envy of all the other men in town....not to mention the most feared.
If you like Samurai flicks and you want something bloody, lurid, and featuring Shintaro Katsu you can't go wrong here. Not for the squeamish or easily offended...not hardly!!! I liked it but even I must say there were numerous scenes where I found myself thinking....you got to be kidding me...he didn't just do THAT????
A real can't miss for fans of Shintaro Katsu or Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman. While Hanzo the Razor is not the friendly blind guy it is fascinating just the same.
Hanzo (the legendary Shintaro Katsu) is a Samurai policeman who uses his penis to extract information from beautiful women involved in an illegal abortion racket. He keeps his penis is ship shape by beating it, burying it in coals and exercising it daily. The film's opening title sequence, cut to a magnificent score by Isao Tomita, shows Hanzo hard at work in his country lair preparing his penis for a week of hard work. Yasuzo Masumura's direction of this sequence is exquisite. He lovingly employs a gorgeously lit series of close-ups to convey the pride our hero feels for his preferred weapon of choice. The photography is truly splendid and the cutting way above par.
I adore this series. This installment is my favorite, but 1 and 3 are also brilliant examples of the kind of film-making you won't find evidence of in any other country in the world.
My Grade: C+
DVD Extras: Merely Trailers for all 3 Hanzo the Razor films
Eye Candy: 18 breasts. 1 ass
There is enough that's different to hold the attention and if anything there is more blood and flesh on display in this one. Helped once more by super cinematography, direction and editing, this is another fine mix of activities, plus even more disregard for the Japanese tendency to put up with almost anything for the sake of order and tradition.
One thing you gotta love about these films is how they simply don't f*ck around when building the protagonist's macho image. Heroes of other films have weapons of choices like guns or swords, and similar phallic objects to assert their manliness on a symbolic, subconscious level. With Hanzo, there's no such thing - he's openly respected for his enormous schlong. The men envy him, the women succumb to him in the most un-PC way, there's just no screwing around with Hanzo.
The second film is sleazier and darker in tone than the first, and has a better story, but also recycles many of the elements from the first film. Unfortunately, the POV-shot of Hanzo's penis entering a woman's vagina (which is all shiny and colorful like the star-gate from 2001: A Space Odyssey) from the first film does not re-appear, but who needs that when you have a juicy plot full of corrupt government officials, a bald priestess who turns her temple into a S&M exhibition, a shaman abortionist and the obligatory cannon-fodder thugs who get decimated by Hanzo's bad-ass house. What else do you need?
The visuals continue to astonish, and some of the shots of the alleyway full of lit lanterns can easily stand up to those from Zhang Yimou's Raise the Red Lantern. The music is different this time, but I like this theme better, especially when it plays during the intro. It's such a serious, epic sounding theme which surprisingly fits the sight of Hanzo beating his d*ck with a stick and shoving it into a bag of rice. It sums up his grotesque manly ritual perfectly, especially when compared to the previous movie whose intro literally lasted 20 minutes.
The plot is pretty convoluted, but this time it's very entertaining and very easy to follow. We get comic relief provided through Hanzo's sidekicks and the retainer Snake Magobei, we get a bunch of villains and crazy characters, cool sword-fights, splendid editing visuals and sound. If you remove the rape scenes, this would probably be a samurai film classic.
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.
This one starts with Hanzo's attempt to close down a mystical abortion practitioner - and leads to a convent that offers up it's girls for S&M play to the highest bidder. Finally Hanzo's adventures lead him to a mission to bring down a notorious thief, and also a high-ranking and greedy Treasurer who's cutting gold for his own ends.
THE SNARE has all the elements that SWORD OF JUSTIC had, it just lays it on a little thicker. More swordplay, more sleazy sex and rape interrogation - basically all the good stuff made a little heavier. Definitely recommended for the series fan, or for anyone who digs martial-arts/samurai/pinky-style films - 8.5/10
This all comes out as Hanzo (Shintarô Katsu) is investigating the death of a woman after an abortion. This investigation leads him Monk-style to a Temple where young girls are sold to wealthy businessmen for torture and rape, with an abortion business on the side. He captures the Priestess and tortures her before using the Hanzo technique to get her to talk.
His investigation is delayed while he is assigned to find Japan's greatest thief, who rapes and murders his victims. The thief is heading toward Hanzo's village. he hides in the mint to snare him. While there he manages to gather further evidence against the person benefiting from the Temple.
A big showdown with many dead at the hands of his sword, and both thieves are captured in fine Hanzo fashion.
Can't wait for the next adventure.
I am a huge fan of the Zatoichi series, so it's not surprising that I decided to watch the first Hansho the Razor film. However, instead of playing a combination of a ronin (a master-less traveling samurai) and social worker like Zatoichi, here in Goyôkiba, Shintarô Katsu plays a policeman with very, very, very unorthodox methods---very, very, very ADULT and unorthodox methods. I was shocked to see that the nice character he once played was now into sadomasochism and spends much of his time torturing himself and doing amazingly brutal things to his penis in order to turn it into a...well,...a....super-penis, of sorts. If this wasn't disturbing enough, the reason for this (other than the fact he has found a way to masturbate that's MORE disturbing than auto-erotic asphyxiation) is that he uses his super-member to rape women as he questions them about crimes or pumps them for information (no pun intended). And, to play into the age-old rape myth, the ladies being brutalized by this all have immensely pleasurable climaxes and give themselves totally to this sicko cop.
Considering how offensive and sick the first film from the series was, it's actually pretty surprising I watched this second installment from the series. I guess part of me wondered if the other Hansho films could be as gross and sick as the first one. Well, while Hansho is still a very sick puppy, he rapes fewer and the film isn't as explicit as the first one. Now this isn't saying much, as it's still a very adult film with themes that should disturb people. Oddly, however, as I read through the comments, people seemed to like that this cop rapes women "who have it coming"!
This film has two plots that intersect. The first involves a temple which has been turned into a brothel by a government official. Instead of the usual Shinto nunnery, here the place is filled with ladies who have been drugged and are abused in all sorts of sadistic ways. While Hansho has no jurisdiction here, like Dirty Harry, he jumps right in because of his own sense of justice. However, as this justice involves taking the mistress of the nunnery captive and torturing and then raping her, he's an especially violent guy--far more than Clint Eastwood's character ever could have been. Naturally, however, the lady comes to love and need Hansho because he is apparently such a stud. A great message to tell the audience--torture and rape someone and they'll be your friend for life!!!
Later, Hansho is sent to defend a local mint from attack. While this seems like a totally different plot, the government official who sends him is the same one who ran the brothel AND this new assignment also calls for a rape--though the lady who is victimized seemed like she was innocent. Oh well, it's all in the line of duty! While still a sick movie and it's obvious that Shintarô Katsu is getting way too fat for this role (as evidenced by his bloated figure and his wearing the unsexiest underwear in the history of film), it's not as overtly explicit as the original and there is some decent martial arts action. Still, in hindsight I probably should have just changed the channel.
Shintaro Katsu has created a character that is at the same time highly moral and deviant. He fights his way up the ladder of government officials to find the most corrupt. Along the way, he kills, rapes and hides in a closet for a while.
Who should see this movie? Any male for who Mathew Broderick is an abomination and any woman under the age of twenty five who listens to industrial goth (and can read the subtitles). This movie is NOT for those with "standards"...