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Ah-03: Onna Harakiri Sakuhinshu III - Fujikikaku Print E-mail
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Written by Chris Mayo   
Friday, 11 January 2008

AH-03 DVD Cover - SEVERED-CINEMA.COM

Lost Paradise
AKA: Rb-09: ‘Shitsurakuen’: Jobafuku Onna Harakiri
Directed by: Masami Akita
Produced by: Right Brain
Cinematography by: Akio Fuji
Makeup Effects: Akio Fuji, Chimuo Nureki
Music by: Masami Akita (Merzbow)
Cast: Toshirô Hasegawa, Asako Mochiduki, Chimuo Nureki, Yuuri Sunohara
Year: 1990
Country: Japan
Color: Color
Runtime: 34 Minutes

Rb-10: Bijo Kenshi: Futari Seppuku
Written by: Yuuri Sunohara
Produced by: Right Brain
Cast: Hiromi Saotome, Yuuri Sunohara
Year: 1990
Country: Japan
Color: Color
Runtime: 43 Minutes

Video: NTSC R0
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Distributor: Fujikikaku
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Seppuku: Ritual suicide by disembowelment formerly practiced by Japanese samurai.  Also called hara-kiri.

Lost Paradise

Lost Paradise seems to be the most widely know and sought after seppuku film, and was in fact my first seppuku experience.  Probably the main reason this particular film is so sought after in the trading circuit is due to the fact that it is directed by Masami Akita of Japan’s intense noise band, Merzbow.  Not only did Akita direct this short, he also created the droning yet haunting score for the film.

A female in military fatigues follows a concrete pathway and enters the building.  She stops and places her foot atop a ledge.  Something falls off her boot, but the scene is too dark to visualize what that something actually is.  A shirtless man sits, burning an unknown material on a table top.  As far as I could tell, the material does resemble whatever fell from our female soldiers boot (the significance of this to the plot, I am unsure).  Merzbow noise drones on in the background and the woman starts to disrobe her military uniform.  Unlike previous seppuku films from Right Brain, which force the viewer to wait endless minutes until the actual act commences, Akita wastes little time and gets straight to the knife.  There isn’t any ridiculous body cuddling here.  This time around Akita showcases his inner gorehound, painting the screen with flowing viscera.  As the innards spill forward, so does the character’s agonizing moans of death. 

What differentiates Lost Paradise from others is the amount of gore.  As the definition of seppuku states, one would expect a gory disembowelment followed by an excruciating death, which this film definitely delivers.  This is where previous Right Brain seppuku entries fail.  Lost Paradise is not a fast paced ritual suicide, but it does flow a lot better than other films of this sub-genre.  The finale was the most believable of any other seppuku film I have seen, despite the fact that breathing was evident from the actress’s stomach moving, after the characters death.  Another separating factor of this seppuku entry is the fact that after the woman’s demise, a male party enters the picture.  You’ll have to check out this section of the Ah-03: Onna Harakiri Sakuhinshu III anthology to find out what happens.

Rb-10: Bijo Kenshi: Futari Seppuku

In a wooded forest, two female warriors carrying large swords hobble down an embankment.  Noticeably battered from battling each another, they rest by a rock.  After a while the two travel further in the woods, using their swords as walking staffs.  They both struggle to keep their strength, and carry one another up along the way.  We fade to white.  We return, with one of the two (obviously the more injured warrior) sitting on an orange sheet, which has magically appeared to merely advance the seppuku plot.  The less injured warrior persuades the one sitting to commit ritual suicide so she may die an honorable death, thus following the code of the samurai.  The woman strips off all but her sumo wrestler fundoshi undies and headband.  She continues with her honorable journey.  Once the other girl bears witness to this, she repeats the process on herself.  Next thing we know there are two female feudal warriors stripped down to their fundoshi, groveling in their own blood.  They romantically complete their respectable seppuku passage as they death-squirm collectively.

Ah-03: Onna Harakiri Sakuhinshu III is definitely the most original seppuku anthology released up until now.  With Rb-09 directed by Merzbow’s Masami Akita, and Rb-10 containing a double seppuku with a unique plot, this is a must see for interested parties with a strong enough stomach to travel into this territory of extreme cinema.

THE DVD

VIDEO:
4:3 Full Frame
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AUDIO:
Dolby Digital 2.0 – Japanese
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SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
- 30 Minute Bloodless Untitled Seppuku Film
- 10 Minute Interview with Yuuri Sunohara

The Bloodless Seppuku Film depicts a naked woman putting her clothes on. Since there is no blood to be seen here, it is as if maybe this was a trial run. The final extra is a 10 Minute interview with writer and star of many of Right Brain's films, Yuuri Sunohara. If I spoke Japanese, I'd tell you what she was saying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Comments
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ann  - hi   |142.163.73.xxx |2010-10-16 09:12:38
So great ,Thank you for your share,I like your article very much.
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