The grim, dark conclusion to Noboru Tanaka's Showa Era trilogy (preceded by Jitsuroku: Abe Sada and Edogawa Rampo Ryoki-Kan: Yaneura No Sanpo Sha) is an amoral masterpiece. Although it is not as graphic as much of their product, it remains among the most disturbing films ever released by the Nikkatsu studio. A somewhat liberal adaptation of the life of painter Shuu Ito (played here by Hatsuo Yamaya), the film focuses on his sexual torture of two wives and a prostitute (Junko Miyashita, who stars in all three films). Ito chronicles the sessions in journals, shares his pseudo-Sadean philosophy, and drives women mad with equal hell-bent intensity. Tanaka's approach is single-minded, oppressive, and bleak, but these are actually points in the film's favor. The cumulative effect is quite powerful, and not for the faint of heart.
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