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.
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.