First of all , to all the Japanese people out there , especially those who make weird movies : I am eternally grateful to you for having such an interesting cinematography . It never stops to amaze and entertain me in the strangest and most unexpected ways . I hope your movies will flourish in number , creativity and the ability to appall and shock people . Or at least maintain this level of quality and weirdness .
Now about Joy Of Torture : this is not just some gruesome , sickening exploitation flick perfectly suitable for gore addicts . It's not all about being torn to pieces , or repeatedly raped , cooked alive , beaten to death , crucified and then stabbed in the belly or genitals with the spear . It's not just having your feet crushed with a hammer , fetus ripped out straight from the womb of a severely abused prostitute without painkillers or anesthesia ( after which she is forced to get back to work where a customer gets to hump her literally while she's dieing ), it is not just about some little girl blinded with hot iron and then thrown out on the street to become a beggar ... It is also not just about humiliation , tragedy , utter depravity , unimaginable injustices and extreme abuse of power . There is something deeper in this movie , certain things that , in my opinion , sets it apart from mindless celluloid carnages who's sole purpose is to shock people and score some money and attention by making viewers sick .
The movie is divided into two stories , first takes place in 17. and the other in 19. century . Both represent cruel side of the Japanese history , and I really don't recommend this movie to anyone unable to stomach the most extreme horror movies . It's painful to watch it . Not just because of sickness and blood - it's also very tragic . There are no happy endings . Each character in this movie that can be labeled as relatively positive is horrifically abused , and in the most cases killed . Their torturers , the most revolting human beings imaginable , seemingly remain unpunished .But just seemingly . And this is where the movie takes an interesting turn into something deeper and more meaningful . This is my interpretation : Two main characters from the first story , the sadistic shogun ( bad guy ) and his rebellious samurai ( good guy ) appear in the second story , 2 centuries later . My assumption is that they are reincarnated . But this time with different roles : ex shogun is now an owner of a brothel ( degradation compared to his past life ) , and the ex samurai who died because shogun tortured and killed him for not obeying him ,is some sort of a detective , which means that he is a wealthy , relatively powerful and respected person ( some kind of improvement compared to his previous status ) . The roles have reversed and ex samurai is now superior to his ex shogun . The ex shogun is still some sort of a sadist , and his brothel is hell on earth where employees get mutilated , tortured and killed for trivial reasons . Ex samurai is now also a torturer because that's his job - to torture anyone who's accused of a crime .
Through these two characters we can see the descent and ascent of a man through reincarnation and Carma , as well as the ability of power to corrupt people .
I am very pleased with the fact that 2nd part of " Joy of torture " is not so naive , melodramatic and romantic as the first part . Actually , it's a quite depressive movie . And a good one too . 9 out of 10 .