Gate of Flesh

Gate of Flesh ★★★★★

Lust, fascination, fear, desperation, and suffering are etched into every frame of this lush, transcendent proto-Nikkatsu Roman sexploitation flick. Simply put, it’s mountaintop melodrama.

This film only had 10 days of pre-production. That’s insane. Production designer Takeo Kimura’s sets are fantastic and the movie is gorgeous from root to fruit. The world portrayed is theatrically rich, realistically populated, luridly humid, and desperately tumultuous. Master formalist Seijun Suzuki pivots from political rage to comedy to horror to titillation to gaudiness to high energy good vibes, yet somehow keeps complete tonal consistency.

He’s a cinema sorcerer.

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