Writer-director Takashi Ishii, a horror specialist with a background in manga (Japanese comics), explicitly equates sweaty eroticism and gruesome violence in this 2000 revenge thriller. A young woman (Harumi Inoue) is terrorized in her Tokyo apartment by three men in succession, all of whom gang-raped her five years earlier and now want to use a video of the rape to blackmail her into sex. At first desperately, and then with calculating ease, she disposes of each intruder, reluctantly taking advantage of her sexual power over men (including, tragically, her fickle fiance). Ishii, with a macabre sense of humor, presents her tormentors as caricatures of needy Japanese males, and his claustrophobic murder scenes are stylish and suspenseful. Yet all this could've collapsed into empty shocks if not for Inoue's gripping performance as an exasperated single woman who senses her happiness slipping away with each vengeful blow. In Japanese with subtitles. 101 min. Facets Cinematheque, 1517 W. Fullerton, Friday, July 26, 7:00 and 9:00; Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00; and Monday through Thursday, July 29 through August 1, 7:00 and 9:00; 773-281-4114.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.