You say you've seen the original movie Brad, but what are your thoughts on it? I've seen people request it as a Snob episode in the past, do you view it as an actual exploitation film or more a serious historical movie? Or both?
That would be a very hard movie to do a Snob episode on, because it would mostly be me very serious and talking about the movie, as opposed to riffing like I usually do. Exploitation or not, that stuff did happen, and the movie presents itself very very serious, and not with dosages of high camp like the nazisploitation movies do.
This movie (Men Behind the Sun 3) was slightly easier to riff because it had the Godfrey Ho touch to it and a slightly higher cheese factor in some places.
It was much easier doing a Snob episode on something like Helter Skelter Murders, where I got serious once the Tate murder sequence came into it, but there was also plenty of other riff worthy material throughout the movie. Men Behind the Sun really doesn't have that, it's just straight forward showing you war crime reenactments. Whether the intent of the director was sincere or not, I don't know, but regardless of it being exploitation or actually having a point, it is a movie that was made to show you horrible things happening to many many people without much else going on in it.
Thanks Brad, that was an insightful and interesting response.
I agree that the original movie would be a very hard one to riff, tantamount to doing a Snob episode on something like Schindler's List or maybe Cannibal Holocaust if all the events in that movie had actually happened. And I don't think that just because the movie is gory it's fair that people call it exploitative. As you pointed out all those events did happen and the movie doesn't exaggerate or lampoon them and while there's certainly an element of shock value, it serves a purpose other than cheap gross out points. I think if you stripped the movie of its controversial scenes you would to an extent lose the impact and clarity of just how inhumane the events at Unit 731 were.
As for the intent of the director, he does seem like a particularly politically motivated film-maker and I seem to remember reading that Men Behind The Sun was originally going to be a documentary, so it would seem that his efforts to educate people on an atrocity were speculatively sincere.
I have an odd relationship with Men Behind the Sun anyway; while I can't say that I enjoy it as a movie I do find it very effective and pretty damn harrowing. Which is guess is the way it should be.
Since you guys brought up the topic of the original Men Behind the Sun, I found this rather interesting online documentary/interview with its director Tun Fei Mou:
From what we can gather he never set out to make an exploitation movie but rather to show war crimes as like it is and the extent things can go to when Fascist ideology completely takes hold of an institution. Anyway, I so glad of your thoughtfulness Brad since it is still a rather touchy subject up to this day. I was wonder if you'll be interested in reviewing some 90s Hong Kong exploitation films like The Untold Story, Ebola Syndrome, Sex and Zen and a whole lot of other just to name a few.
I understand Brad, it kind of hard to riff off many Category III HK films maybe excluding Ebola Syndrome. Some of them revolve around real life crime stories and such. I remember the rather disturbing one I remember was a HK film called simply The Rapist which detailed a true case involving a rapist. The movie was really depressing, serious, though parts of it seemed like a Law and Order episode.
It was really odd that Videoasia notorious bootleg company put that movie in along with films like Scorpion Thunderbolt and Diamond Ninja Force, not to mention the Indiana Jones rip-off Ark of the Sun God.
I myself couldn't get through Men Behind the Sun, it's even harder to sit through than Schlinder's List.
If its too hard to "snob" some of these Cat III films I'll still be happy if you'll do it like a Midnight Screening review to throw in your two cents at it. While most of the titles do lack the campiness that is required to be made fun of there's still quite a few films that are sleazy and silly enough for some comedy gold. My recommendations:
Sex and Zen trilogy
The Seventh Curse
Eternal Evil of Asia
If you're interest I'll be willing to provide copies of the films myself.
Reminds me another movie on that Videoasia pack which I would like Brad to do is the indonesian cannibal movie Primitives other wise called on the box, Savage Terror. A 1980 Indonesian movie that tries to ape the Italian Cannibal movie genre. Hell the plot seems a lot like Cannibal Ferox's minus the drug dealers. And that came out a year later from it. Either that or the pure insanity of either Jungle Virgin Force, Escape from Hellhole or Scorpion Thunderbolt.
Hey, this is your first official crossover with Cecil, isn't it? And an hour and a half long. Of brutal war crimes....
Eh, still worth a watch.
Would be easier to follow you guys talk if you had lowered the audio level of the movie