Gate of Flesh

Gate of Flesh ★★★★

“A mean little bitch, at your service.”

I know it smell crazy in there. More Suzuki cinema about bombed out buildings and food. A post-war city of savages. No pimps, just color coded, razor sharp working girls that spit on everyone and everything. Until headstrong, MP-stabbing war returnee Ibuki (Jo Shushido) takes refuge in their crumbling whorehouse, and they all fall for this “wounded beast.” The flesh in the title is the kind dripping with sweat, but also the kind ripped and rended as meat for the slaughter (or traded for a couple bottles of wood alcohol). Like America’s Forgotten Man, Japan’s too gets barely a ration, just scars and a congratulations flag. And what do the women get? Literally fucked by Yanks, their bodies worth the same 40 yen as a slice of beef.

“Sad, isn’t it? This flag.”

We’re not in the marked Roman Porno era of Nikkatsu, but the studio is already pushing the limits, asking Suzuki to make a clearly “adult” category, erotic picture. They wanted images of women tied up and whipped. He gave them what they asked (plus a bit of spite and bile for the Allied servicemen who shot down his craft during the Pacific War). Working with long-time production designer Takeo Kimura, the two men twisted Taijiro Tamura’s novel-turned-script into an apocalyptic fantasy land on the Nikkatsu back lot, made from leftover plywood and plaster. Turning the Summer of 1945 into American-flag-raised hell on Earth. Those stars and stripes as much a symbol of Suzuki’s own personal grudge, as that of a bitter, hungry nation.

“Are we eating to sell our bodies, or selling our bodies to eat?”

➡️ Journey to the Pinku Eiga | Suzuki | Flesh Trilogy

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