Gate of Flesh (1964)
d. Seijun Suzuki
Criterion Collection #298
OK I'm out of book reviews- damn you The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy- no one told me it was really 3 books! So I'm going to fill the gaps with more Criterion Collection reviews because those are easy to churn out. At times it feels like half of the Criterion Collection is Bergman films and the other half are Japanese films. At least Gate of Flesh is by Seijun Suzuki, the left field bizarro b movie Auteur of legend. Suzuki has 7 Criterion Collection titles under his belt.
Gate of Flesh is set in deolate, post apocalyptic World War II Tokyo, where a gang of scrappy, color coded prostitutes shacks up with a scummy ex-Japanese soldier. The soldier is played by Suzuki stalwart/Chipmunk cheeked champion, Joe Shishido. Everything about Suzuki's film making feels fresh a half century later. Although Gate of Flesh is clearly what Americans of the same time would call an "exploitation picture" the quality is unmistakable. As is... the weirdness, endemic to all Suzuki films, and the brutality, which also appears to be common in Suzuki pictures.