Gate of Flesh | Chicago Reader

Gate of Flesh

90 minutes 1964

This 1964 Japanese drama, about hookers operating out of a bombed-out building in postwar Tokyo, finds B-movie bad boy Seijun Suzuki prowling around the same psychosexual territory that the more solemn Nagisa Oshima would take up a few years later. “I just want power, awesome power beyond my own!” cries one of the hookers, and according to their code, any of them who diminishes the group’s power by giving away sex is severely punished. (Suzuki stages these scenes with his usual delirium: one offender is tied up in a crucifixion pose and beaten with a stick, another is hung from the rafters and whipped.) Jo Shishido, who later starred in Suzuki’s Branded to Kill, is the returned soldier and two-bit criminal who, having rescued one of the girls from a violent American GI, gets taken in by the women and immediately throws them into a tizzy. In Japanese with subtitles.

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