Friday, June 12, 2009

Tokugawa onna keibatsu-emaki: Ushi-zaki no kei (1976)

Two short stories, the first being a doomed love story between a samarai and a young woman at a time when the local Shogun really enjoys torturing those sneaky Christians - which she happens to be one of. The second tale is equally gloomy, with a shiftless brothel-janitor tries to help one of the prostitutes escape the brutality of her profession. While both those stories sound harmless, maybe even a little boring, the truth is this movie is pretty much wall-to-wall torture and executions with gallons of gruesome.

Filmed in what we'd now call docu-drama style, Shogun's Sadism is actually a surprising little flick. The first story was actually pretty moving. Don't get me wrong, it's really just another excuse for a bunch of filmmakers to show off their gore skills and how creatively sadistic they could be, but the story does actually make it through the castrations, immolations, crucifixions and other cheery stuff.

This is some seriously unpleasant viewing, though. Unlike films where it's all a little tongue-in-cheek like Bloodsucking Freaks or some women-in-prison flick where scantily clad gals whip each other menacingly, this one's much more grim.

Also the torture and execution scenes abound, I lost track and can't even remember them all. People are boiled, burned and fried, branded, crushed, castrated, torn apart, blinded, beaten... and it actually gets much worse and the list goes on and on.

Japan Shock gets extremely high marks on quality this round. Presented in an anamporphic widescreen transfer, Shogun's Sadism looks simply spectacular. Print damage is minimal, there is no evidence of artifacting and colors are quite bright and lively (for the most part). This is a tremendous looking transfer for a film of this type from the 60's. Now this isn't to say that there aren't any trouble spots, because there are a few, but overall, it's quite pleasing. Audio is presented in Japanese or German mono with optional English or Dutch subtitles. Dialogue and ambient sounds are clear with no signs of distortion.

Download links: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 subtitle

No comments: