Jigoku

1960

Drama / Horror

111
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 3,303

Synopsis


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November 27, 2020

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930.2 MB
1280*720
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
101 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.69 GB
1920×1080
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
101 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by paha_kuukkeli 7 / 10 / 10

If good movie is sin Jigoku will surely take you to hell

I usually find it positive if I can't categorize a movie and Jigoku surely gets the point from that. It's somewhat bizarre combination of drama, horror, film noir and art house where happy moments are more rare than good movies in Hollywood. While the hell sequences of Jigoku seem to gather most of the attention I think that the story as a whole is what makes this movie good. It proceeds fluently from disaster to another and while some events lead to unexpected results the script never leaves a viewer with a feeling that the twist was added just for the twist's sake (as is the case with many new movies). Technically the movie is awesome; good acting, great score (especially the haunting vocals) and beautiful cinematography. From modern perspective some of the hell sequences are way outdated (mainly the demons) while some look brilliant even today (settings like the river bank and some of the gore effects like the guy who gets flayed). I doubt that Jigoku pleases everyone but if you're into bleak and uncompromising movies this is almost a must see. 8/10

Reviewed by dbborroughs 7 / 10 / 10

Groundbreaking in its day, but now seemingly little seen meditation on life and after

I had read about and seen stills from this movie for years. I had heard how freaky and bloody and scary this movie's vision of hell was, but I never got a chance to actually see it. Finally I was able to secure a copy and I sat down to watch the horror. For the first hour of this film we watch as our hero lives a life that is more or less a living hell. More horrible, terrible things befall him and those around him than anyone outside of a soap opera has a right to expect. Very act is bound to damn someone to hell and it isn't long before our guilt ridden hero crosses over and experiences what true torment is. Its enough to make you want to laugh were it not played so painfully straight. What we see once we get to Hell itself looks great. Even some 40 years after it first marched across theater some of the shots of flayed flesh and disemboweled intestines are still shocking. The cramped and dark vistas are something out of a nightmare. Many tormented images you'd almost be proud to have on your walls. Is it scary a bit but its not the be all and end all that some had made it out to be. Then again the films images have been raided by others so it less shocking. I also find that some of the pacing is off and what may have once worked now borders on tedious. The film seems to be saying that all life, here or in the next world is miserable hellish and that no matter what we do we're doomed simply to suffer. A happy little film if there ever was one. I like the film but far from love it. The first part is very soapy and over blown, while the second is almost a catalog of horrors. I give it points for trying but I don't think it completely works. Should you see it? A coin toss. It really depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking, for gore and guts, its here but not enough to make you walk away happy. Are you looking for a meditation on sin, guilt and existence, you may like it, especially if you can get past the soap. If you want to see a technically well made film that doesn't quite work but influenced later films and which will provide some discussion over dinner, then try it. I give it 7 out of 10 for the parts more than the whole.

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 7 / 10 / 10

JIGOKU (Nobuo Nakagawa, 1960) ***

Words can't aptly describe the assault on the senses that is JIGOKU but I'll try anyway: over-used phrases like fascinating, surreal, disturbing and unique instantly come to mind - but the film is all of these and more. By now, I have a fair number of strange Japanese films under my belt - but this one's something else entirely! From the stylized approach (shooting from odd angles and the occasional adoption of a greenish hue) to its plethora of arresting imagery (especially the gruesome body piercing - sword through neck, eye-gouging, feet stamping on huge needles, torso sawed in half, etc.), director/co-writer Nakagawa's vision of Hell is surely among the most visceral ever depicted on the screen. While its concept of establishing sections (or circles) of punishment for specific crimes goes all the way back to Dante Alighieri - though, as mentioned in the film itself, Buddhism has its own take on the subject - cinematically it anticipates the one seen in the Coffin Joe outing THIS NIGHT I'LL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE (1966). Still, with respect to both the microcosmic viewpoint of the plot and the film's vivid color scheme, it also reminded me of GOKE - BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL (1968), while its essential nihilism (I literally lost count of the number of people killed off during the first hour!) looks forward to BLIND BEAST (1969). The doppelganger element - in the DVD's main supplement, a 39-minute featurette, it's mentioned that the script was partly inspired by the Faust legend - heightens the film's already disquieting aura: Yoichi Numata as an emissary of Hell in human form (though he's not spared the painful retribution for his sins once the scene shifts to the netherworld) is especially effective; interestingly, the actor was disappointed by his own performance and admits now that he couldn't understand the role! However, I need to point out that - much like I had written of Ingmar Bergman's THE RITE (1969) - the plot reaches a level of implausible melodrama as to feel almost like a parody (even more so when considering the various characters' penchant for bursting into sentimental songs a' la the work of John Ford!). Anyway, while I found the DVD transfer somewhat dark, I'm glad to say that the copy I own is the 'Second Pressing' - this means that the problem concerning a 2-minute sequence, which previously got skipped when watching the disc on a DVD player, has now been fixed. Originally intended for Eclipse, Criterion's sub-label - back when it was supposed to release little-known genre/exploitation titles - I feel that the film is important enough to warrant its place in the official Collection. The bits from GHOST STORY OF YOTSUYA (1959) shown in the featurette were very intriguing and, hopefully, won't be too long in coming; still, I was equally itching to learn more about the various 'B' horror films by Nakagawa and production company Shintoho (which had actually started out by making such masterworks of World Cinema as Akira Kurosawa's STRAY DOG [1949] and Kenji Mizoguchi's THE LIFE OF OHARU [1952]!) whose posters form the extensive still gallery... Although I have to admit that I'd never heard of the film prior to Criterion's DVD announcement, Chuck Stephens - in his rather pretentious essay in the accompanying booklet (though he perceptively suggests that the pairing of the dead yakuza's mother and girlfriend may well have anticipated the deadly female relatives of ONIBABA [1964]) - believes that JIGOKU ought to be thought of in the same terms as such horror landmarks as EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1959), BLACK Sunday (1960), PEEPING TOM (1960) and PSYCHO (1960), films which collectively brought an unprecedented maturity to the genre. Needless to say, the film's greatest influence can be seen in the gore-drenched Asian exploitation cinema which survives to this day (interestingly enough, JIGOKU was itself remade twice over the years - in 1979 and 1999!).

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