13 hours ago
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Aka Muscle, aka Lunatic Theatre
Original Title: Kurutta Butokai
Directed by: Hisayasu Sato, Japan, 1989
Young and good looking art director Ryuzaki [Takeshi Ito] who works for a magazine called Muscle, a pale excuse to be around well built body builders, starts an affair with Kitami [Simon Kumai] but their sexual games rapidly get dangerous as Kitami’s sadistic tendencies start to torture Ryuzaki more than he’s ready for. In a desperate attempt to escape Kitami’s sadistic games, Ryuzaki cuts off Kitami’s arm during a photo shoot. Several years later Ryuzaki is released from prison for his crime but he can’t get Kitami out of his mind and soon starts searching the back streets and underbelly of society for the man he longs to be reunited with, Kitami
I remember seeing this movie way back in the early nineties, and it definitely made an impression as I was starting to explore the wilder sides of Asian cinema. Now almost twenty years later Sato’s Kuruta Butokai still is a mind expanding piece of Japanese Pinkku cinema. Usually Pinkku is soft core male-female sexual exploits, but what makes Kurutta disturbing is the strong solid gay theme, although nothing is too explicit or hard core, I’m sure that most people would find the underpants licking and the semi nude blokes fondling each others bodies to be quite uncomfortable. Not to forget the violence, even if it is quite timid and far a part. But be assured, if you see this movie you will never forget it; the male nudity, Ryuzaki running around with Kitami’s arm in formaldehyde, the Lunatic Cinema (Where you pay after viewing the movie, if you like it pay, if not don’t), the frequent Pasolini references; the cinema showing Pigsty or Ryuzaki’s desperate quest to view Pasolini’s final movie Salo, and even the use of Coil’s awesome Ostia (The Death of Pasolini) on the soundtrack. It’s a great movie, even if it is Pinkku master Sato’s less explicitmovies, but and if you like your movies weird, provocative and unpredictable then Kuratta Butokai is definitely for you.
16x9, English subtitles burned into print.
Japanese 2.0 Stereo
Nothing on this VHS to DVD-R conversion.