JIGOKU (1960) by Nobuo Nakagawa is this weird, disappointing thing. But from these images you’d think it was the greatest thing ever — like the 2001 of horror movies.

My problem with the Nakagawa movies I’ve seen — those in the kaidan genre — is that they all follow a tiresome, overextended EC Comics pattern — some horrible characters are horrible for two hours, then get a supernatural comeuppance. JIGOKU, which means HELL, varies the usual pattern by killing the whole cast half an hour before the end, and then shows them being tortured in the afterlife. Thirty minutes of plotless wailing. But fantastic imagery.

Nakagawa’s films, populated as they are by conniving shitheels, only become involving when the ghostly revenge kicks in, where he can show off his considerable visual skills in a more-or-less abstract manner. Dullish movies with exciting final ten minute sequences. He tends to overdo the snakes, but that’s a quibble. So the idea of expanding that bit to fill an entire act might seem to make sense. It doesn’t play out that way, though.

3 Responses to “Hell”

  1. The imagery is impressive but from your review, I definitely wouldn’t want to see this. A half-hour long afterlife torture sequence? I don’t know why anyone would want to sit through that. Haha. Thanks for your honest review!

  2. ehrenstein47 Says:

  3. The Olsen & Johnson pit does look more fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: