Gate of Flesh

"Excellent"

Gate of Flesh Review


Seijun Suzuki's Gate of Flesh paints a picture of Tokyo you're unlikely to forget, ever. A sweaty, Technicolor nightmare, the film exposes the underbelly of the city -- and never comes back up to the surface.

Gate of Flesh concerns a group of prostitutes who are, for all intents, making their last stand in a bombed-out abandoned building. They live (if you can call it that) by a simple code: Defend their territory, no pimps, and beat the shit out of any girl who gives it away for free. This creates a problem for Maya (Yumiko Nogawa), who falls in love with a murderer who joins their midst. Eventually they plan to escape together, but you can imagine this does not meet with the approval of the vixens who live beyond the gate of flesh.

Suzuki's film is shocking and disturbing, and one can only imagine how 1960s audiences reacted to it. Every five to ten minutes a different beating commences, usually with a prostitute strung up in the shack and whipped. Suzuki's quick cuts and opposing angles as he half-shows the violence are obvious influencers on Quentin Tarantino's most recent works. Be advised, though, that this is graphic stuff, even if Suzuki always manages to keep those naked crotches hidden in shadow.

One also has to wonder what Suzuki's backers thought of his film, the first in a rough trilogy about the flesh trade. Gate of Flesh is miles away from the sedation and austerity of 1965's Story of a Prostitute (also just out on a Criterion disc), a black and white love story with none of the grit and splattering bodily fluids of Flesh.

The DVD includes a new interview with Suzuki and his art director.

Aka Nikutai no mon.



Gate of Flesh

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th December 1964

Distributed by: Criterion Collection

Production compaines: Nikkatsu

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Shintaro Ibuki, Kôji Wada as Abe, as Maya, as Sen, Chico Roland as Black Pastor, Tamiko Ishii as Oroku

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