FLOWER & SNAKE
Directed and Written by Takashi Ishi
Cinematography by Kazuhito Sato, Takashi Komatsu, Hiroo Yanagida
Music by Goro Yasukawa
Cast: Aya Sugimoto, Renji Ishibashi, Kenichi Endo, Misaki Yozaburo Ito, and Susumu Terajima
2004/115 Mins/Color/Stereo Surround Sorround
1.85:1 anamorphic/Japanese/Japan/NTSC Region 1
Review from Tokyo Shock DVD
A young business man finds himself in a financial problem, so he gives up his beautiful wife (the stunning Aya Sugimoto) to a disgusting ninety-five year old pervert named Ippei Tashiro (Renji Ishibashi). She is soon humiliated and tortured in a sick S&M show held for him and in front of a whole group of masked sickos. Meanwhile, her husband begins to regret his decision and desperately wants his gorgeous wife back.
Writer/ director Takashi (EVIL DEAD TRAP) Ishii’s take on Oniruku Dan’s book is superior to the enjoyable but flawed 1974 version. It presents a shocking and often disturbing vision that incorporates violence, rape, torture, molestation, and S&M with extreme force. In fact, there is one disgusting sex scene in which you may find it hard to hold your lunch down. But, in doing so it manages to be one of the most horrific, as well as one of the best, S&M movies, ever made.
While it is wonderfully exploitative in it’s’ close-ups of lead actress Aya Sugimoto’s beautiful looks and her amazing ass and legs, it is also a very artistic and beautiful looking movie. There are some stunning establishing and tracking shots that prevent the film from looking like some sleazy bit of simple trash. The score by Goro Yasukawa is sumptuous and captivating and further lifts the level of the film.
Despite the outrageous content of the movie there are some very erotic and sexy moments in it. Sugimoto is, and I seriously mean this, one of the most stunningly beautiful women that I have ever seen. Her beauty adds to the inherently exquisite look of the film. She is, of course, frequently nude and the movie even manages to show a slight hint of her bush. Her lesbian love scene between her and her cute bodyguard is red hot and the movie’s most blistering moment.
The acting is solid. The villains are all vile and disgusting and excellently portrayed by the actors. Renji Ishibashi is particularly repugnant as the dirty, old, evil bastard. Sugimoto is perfect in her role. Hers is not an easy one to do, but she does it with much gusto. The performances, coupled with what is going on in the story, make the film feel sad and tragic at times. And, the suspenseful climax will have you glued with anticipation as to how it will all end.
Tokyo Shock whips FLOWER AND SNAKE into our DVDs courtesy of this gorgeous disc. The picture, presented in anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen, looks great, for the most part. The flesh tones are good and consistent and the subtitles are clear and easy to read. The picture only falters when some of the darker scenes end up looking a little grainy. The Japanese stereo sound is great, coming off loud and captivating to the ear.
The few extra features that are presented are really good. “Making of Flower and Snake” is a fascinating featurette. It is great to see how both girls were treated with much respect by all involved. I greatly admired the gusto that Sugimoto had in doing her tied up scenes, as we see that what she had to endure, including the rope burn she acquired. Also, cool is to see the cast sign the praises of Ishi’s artistic abilities.
“Aya Sugimoto: Confessions” has a very honest and intriguing interview with the film’s lead actress. She is such a classy and stunning beauty, that she is breathtaking to gaze upon. She talks about the film’s erotic content and her great admiration of Ishi. She comes off as very smart, which makes her even sexier, in my eyes. She is a truly fascinating woman.
“Flower & Snake Press Conference” features the cast, Ishi, and the book’s author, Oniruku Dan. It is great to hear him talk about this excellent adaptation of his novel. In fact, it is great to hear them all talk. Some real good questions are asked and answered, and some informative things are admitted to by those questioned. But, I just wish we got more with Ishi, in particular because this is the only extra feature where he talks at all. Also, there are some really good stills, with many of them are being pretty sexy in their nature, in the photo gallery.The single disc comes in a keep case. No inlet card is present, but chapters are accessible from the static menu, which features the film’s beautiful score played in the background. Also included are trailer to the film, itself, as well as: KEKKO KAMEN, ONE MISSED CALL, FREEZE ME, and SPANKING LOVE.
This Film Features:
Review by Giovanni Deldio. All Right Reserved. 2008. ©
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