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The Embryo Hunts in Secret (1966) - Koji Wakamatsu

Related: 1966 - Japanese cinema - Japanese exploitation - sadomasochism in the cinema - Koji Wakamatsu

This sadomasochistic film deals with the extra-marital activities of a disturbed man. He finds a female, ties her up, whips her, cuts her with razor blades. He refuses to have a child with his wife, and spends his free time with his willing mistress. She soon tires of his sadistic games. Grabbing a knife, the woman seeks to leave a deep and lasting mark on her tormentor. ~ Dan Pavlides, All Movie Guide

The Embryo Hunts in Secret (1966) - Koji Wakamatsu

"The Brechtianism of The Embryo Hunts in Secret notwithstanding, the film is still disturbing to a Western viewer, the alienation effects insufficient to overcome our emotional distaste for the action. Rape and sadomasochism predominate in the pink film and roman porno [romantic-pornographic film] as compared to American, and especially European "soft-core" films which feature lushly photographed…lovemaking. …It is difficult to believe any audience can truly enjoy this film, which would certainly support the notion of its Brechtianism." -- Desser, David. Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988, pp. 100-1) via http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/36/pinkfilms1.html [Aug 2004]


I've seldom seen such a mixture of disturbing violence and heartrending visual poetry as in this film by Koji Wakamatsu. There is but so much you can do with the story of a woman who is kept prisoner in an apartment; where she is repeatedly humiliated, beaten and tortured by her psycho boyfriend. Unless your name is Wakamatsu. This is 1966 and we are treated to visual experimentation from bleachers to freeze frames, inventive choice of camera angles and virtuoso editing. In one torture scene the sound completely disappears and we can only see the woman's face contort with pain. This is not cheap sensationalism but a highly inventive film which, here and there, makes excellent use of classical music to underline the action. Although the violence is disturbing one cannot help but feel sorry for the man. His sick, twisted mind is torn between tender feelings for his prisoner and the violent impulses that make him torture her. Koji Wakamatsu's handling of the script manages to convincingly show this duality. Fascinating in its austere and brutal poetry, this film paved the way for other Wakamatsu masterpieces like Violated Angels (1967) and Go,Go, Second Time Virgin (1969). --libertyvalance via imdb.com http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061059/ [Aug 2004]

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