Monthly Archives: July 2009

Hanzo the Razor and Gomer Pyle is God

The topic today is Japanese three episode movies from 1972. HANZO THE RAZOR.

I’m not a virgin to sexual exploitation movies, but this is by far the weirdest. And now my favorite.

Written by Kazuo Koike and Takeshi Kanda, Hanzo the Razor features a scrupulously honorable lawman in 17th century feudal Japan. The story begins with Hazor refusing to sign an oath of fidelity to his position as a lawman. Hanzo won’t sign because of institutionalized bribery. The story of a lawman refusing his superiors caught my attention. Who is this character, Hanzo? And then. . . . and then . . .it gets manbearpig-weird accompanied with a blaring 1970’s jazz horn soundtrack. Wow. You can never really prepare yourself as a grown man wacks furiously at his own penis with a club in a bizarre ritualized training process. No, that’ll take you by surprise every time. And in every one of the three Hanzo films our film makers take great care to bring us sexual training methods that included scaling hot water and a bag of rice with a hole. Kinky. Never seen that before.

I appreciate bizarre over-the-top. If I had to put tag on it, Hanzo the Razor is like a soft-core, Adam West style Batman of feudal Japan. The sexual exploitation features a Japanese signature when “our hero” Hanzo meets success by raping women into submission and loyalty with his giant club beaten penis. Truly, one of the dumbest male fantasies ever created. But to be fair, female porn doesn’t suffer from redemption of intellect either. And I’m convinced that the female sexual fantasy of a fairy tale prince in shining armor coming to the rescue has done far more harm that the male porn industry.

Regardless, Hanzo brings the goods when he fights bad guys and roots out corruption. But at first viewing it leaves one feeling like one of those weird low-tech roadside carnival rides where your not sure if you were entertained.

At the end of the first movie, Hanzo the Sword of Justice, the writers showed me something. The last 10 minutes features a single stand-alone story about euthanasia. Hanzo is met with the quandary of a dying man; a man who is suffering from stomach cancer. A doctor confirms the diagnosis and prognosis of only one agonizing month to live. Meanwhile, the man’s children are trying desperately to kill their own father. His young girl doesn’t care if Hanzo arrests her for patricide. She can’t endure her father’s suffering. Because youtube didn’t have a clip I made my own and posted it myself.

I have long been a firm believer in a person’s right to die. Regardless of what the hideous right wing Christians say, there’s no morality in extension of suffering. Don’t forget, anyone who tells you they know what God wants is lying or delusional.

For anyone who is facing a terminal illness I suggest doing an internet search for a free booklet called The Painless Pill. Just because you believe in Jesus it doesn’t mean that you have a right to dictate death for others.

Goyôkiba (1972)
aka “The Razor: Sword of Justice” – USA (video box title)
aka “Hanzo the Razor: Sword of Justice” – USA (DVD box title)
Goyôkiba: Kamisori Hanzô jigoku zeme (1973)
aka “Razor 2: The Snare” – USA
aka “Hanzo the Razor: The Snare” – USA (DVD box title)
Goyôkiba: Oni no Hanzô yawahada koban (1974)
aka “Razor 3: Who’s Got the Gold?” – USA
aka “Hanzo the Razor: Who’s Got the Gold?” – USA (DVD box title)

Also on the menu is my favorite music video of all time. It’s called GOMER PYLE IS GOD. Once again no one has stepped up to post a decent copy of this thing, so I dug through my old VHS collection and came up with this bad copy. I first saw this video in the early 80’s. Wow. It still holds up. So deep are the lyrics I find myself losing my religion to follow the chosen one, Gomer Pyle.

Does living make you insane?

Once. Just once, I’d like the nightly news to lead with the real story.

“Today we’d like to report that we still have absolutely no idea what is really going on. To date all we know is a few, scant details that bring us no closer to understanding our reality. It seems that there are over 6 billion of us stuck together on this rock which is mostly covered in salt water. That rock is spinning to the tune of a thousand miles an hour as we revolve around a giant ball of fire at the rate of 365 days per cycle.”

“If that wasn’t enough, that ball of fire is twirling around a billion other stars as they all spin around each other at a million miles a day. Not that we can feel this plethora of movement. To us it feels like we’re stranded on this rock because, and get this, we’re surrounded by a vacuum. It literally sucks not to be on this planet. So, even if we wanted to leave, there’s no where to go. God, if God exists, has stranded us here. And if history is any kind of barometer as to future events, I can safely say that our species will probably render this planet rancid and unlivable within the next hundred years. Yup, our species is in for a wild, weird ride on this planet.”

“Even though we all seem to have a general knowledge of our circumstance most our species have opted for to create a new reality in their minds, denying the facts of our own existence to our own peril. So alien and immutable is our existence, that a driving need to attach value to our collective dream forces billions to bend reality into another picture.”

“We’ve also learned from these reality deniers that God loves you unless you don’t love him back, in witch case God will, once again, burn you in everlasting fire. Sweet. “

“Circumstances of our existence have become value to God according to antiquated documents, Did you know that God cares a great deal about how we have sex, even though God seems to have programmed almost every one of us with an overwhelming desire to procreate?

Knowledge of God’s will grows strange and specific for those determined to rewrite their own reality. We all know that fucking a horse is a sin, thanks to Leviticus, but explain the morality of killing the horse. That’s right, if you check the older versions of Leviticus you’ll find that the raped horse, goat, rabbit or pig needs killin’ once they taste man-penis. (Preferably by stoning, and not the good kind.) I guess once a pig goes sapien he can never go back. Best to put them out of their misery lest they take to raping humans to get another taste of man-penis. Sure, that makes perfect sense.

So, stone the raped pig! Stone the raped pig! Stone him before he turns to man rape.

Can’t someone be honest? We don’t know what’s going on. We don’t know what God wants. We have no idea why we exist. Please, for the love of God, can’t someone stand up and say, we don’t know. Where’s the sin in that?

What? They made a sin out of not knowing?

Here’s some of my favorite things about Trey and Matt. They slay me.

The customer is always right

For those of you in the service industry: Kids in the Hall

Trey Parker and Matt Stone – comedy gods

For the love of God – Please someone ask Trey Parker and Matt Stone to do the Jackson funeral South Park. Wouldn’t Cartman’s ego force him to crash the funeral at the Staples center? Come on guys, do it for Jesus. I can’t think of anything funnier that re-creating the Jefferson/Cartman kiss – this time in his coffin.

It’s good to see my buddy Jacob at Contextual Criticism is back on the job. I dearly missed your insightful commentaries.