1/27/15

JAPANESE HELL (1999)

Written by Tim "Naexos" Nordstedt

Japanese Hell is one of the last works of the cult writer/director and the grandmaster of the taboo Teruo Ishii, but before he became associated with the subgenre Eru Goro he made movies about heroic giants in the fifties and got into romance and crime dramas before setting his course to create movies like Horrors of Malformed Men, Inferno of Torture, Bohachi Bushido, Shameless Abnormal and Abusive Love and Shoguns Joy of Torture to mention a very in a myriad of films.




I have only seen a ten to fifteen of his movies but they have all been interesting to watch even if some of them are just made to depict the history of torture all throughout Japan that Teruo got very fascinated with. Japanese Hell is also about torture and a historic issue that plagued Japan during the  eighties and nineties , the result it´s pretty split up even though the movie follows one solid story.


The center of the story revolves around the sixteen year old Rika, although there is alot that is happening in here she is still the main spot that makes the gears of the story move around the movie. Rika got herself involved in a sect, based on the real sect Aum Shinrikyo lead by Shoko Asahara who is portrayed in this movie, in the eighties Shoko became a religious fanatic and declared himself Christ, his mission on earth was to rid it from evil and in the end bring armageddon to earth. Before his incarceration his greatest achievement to bring the end of humankind was not of a great scale as total annihilation, he was charged as being responsible for the death of twentyseven person and those were the victims of the sarin gas attack in the subway of Tokyo.


Japanese Hell shows the cruel incidents inside the cult and the hesitation of Rika that have made up her mind and tries to get away from the sect but instead a couple of demons get´s a hold of her and the rest of the sect, and starts to deliver the punishment that they feel is suitable and if they are not pleased with the result then they still have eternity to figure out a better method, luckily for Rika she does not have to escape her fate of the Aum anymore, sadly she now have to find a way to escape from hell.


Like I said, I felt that this movie was split up and it´s mainly because we are invited to the colourful, bizarre vaginalike gates of hell and watches the punishment the demons are ordered to deliver on the sinful victims, then we get back to the sect and it´s grimey form and while hell parts are high on comedy and cheesy fun and torture, the parts with Aum Shinrikyo is bleak, cold, abusive and serious from time to time but it´s a such a difference that feels a bit out of hand especially when we ge thrown down to hell in the middle of everything, but I have to say that both parts are very well made and did what they are set out to do and I like them both so it took a while and a couple of views before I could digest the movie as a whole.



The ending is plain stupid and splits up everything with a piece Japanese craziness that wasn´t a part of anything until then and it tears the concept of Japanese Hell further apart, and why did they insert the theme song from Hellraiser in a couple of scenes?


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