Shocking, outrageous, and poetic, Jigoku (Hell, a.k.a. The Sinners of Hell) is the most innovative creation from Nobuo Nakagawa, the father of the Japanese horror film. After a young theology student flees a hit-and-run accident, he is plagued by both his own guilt-ridden conscience and a mysterious, diabolical doppelganger. But all possible escape routes lead straight to hell— literally. In the gloriously gory final third of the film, Nakagawa offers up his vision of the underworld in a tour de force of torture and degradation. A striking departure from traditional Japanese ghost stories, Jigoku, with its truly eye-popping (and -gouging) imagery, created aftershocks that are still reverberating in contemporary world horror cinema. —The Criterion Collection
Nobuo Nakagawa (18 April 1905 — June 17, 1984) was a Japanese film director, most famous for the stylized, folk tale-influenced horror films he made in the 1950s and 1960s. Nakagawa began his film career as an apprentice to Masahiro Makino in 1934 and made his directorial debut with Itahachi Jima (1938). To Western audiences, his most famous film is Jigoku (1960), which he also co-wrote. The film was released on DVD by the Criterion Collection in 2006. His last film was 1982’s Kaiidan: Ikiteiru Koheiji. —Wikipedia
Awful. I enjoyed some of the visuals a lot, but overall this was a torture to sit through due to its storyline, which was kind of like what would happen if you sat some 10-year-olds down with dolls and told them to come up with a sad plot.
it's kinda disturbing when you're watching this and you imagine yourself suffering in the bottomless hell and stuff. truly is. the scene where Shiro meets Yukiko in the Sanzu River is utterly heartbreaking and beautiful. my doubts about this film turned to awe in the final third.
Japanese film studio Shintoho was famous for its exploitation movies and this was its last production before declaring bankruptcy in 1961. The studio went out on a high with Nakagawa's influential horror film, stylishly directed on a small budget. Amachi plays the student who enters Hell after he's killed in revenge for the part he played in the death of a yakuza. Shocking (for its time), outrageous and innovative...
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