To die is hell, but to live is also hell.
Japanese cult movie guru Teruo Ishii (HORROR OF MALFORMED MEN; BLIND WOMAN’S CURSE) directs this deranged, over-the-top adaptation from the original manga by Kazuo Koike (creator of LONE WOLF AND CUB, LADY SNOWBLOOD and RAZOR HANZO) about a privileged samurai gang in charge of recruiting women for prostitution in old Edo’s pleasure quarter. It’s a perfect match for unapologetically decadent, phantasmagorical, softcore sex and bloody, sword-swinging sadism. Fascinating, brilliant and amoral, a tour through an ancient subculture obsessed with cruel, violent death and cruel, violent sex. Tetsuro Tanba (ZERO WOMAN: RED HANDCUFFS, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE) is a standout as the hardboiled mercenary swordsman caught in the middle between the sex slave business, the corrupt Shogunate and rival gangs. When he goes into action, blood sprays, and heads and limbs fly! Continue reading