JIGOKU (1960) – The Dungeon Photo Review!
Jigoku was directed by Nobuo Nakagawa and has been re-made twice; once in 1970 by Tatsumi Kumashiro, and again in 1999 by Teruo Ishii. For my money, you can’t beat the original! Jigoku is one of the first horror films to use “gore” and includes flaying and decapitating among other delights. Even without the gore the visuals are extremely impressive. Some films just can not be justified by a simple written review. If any film deserves a visual review it is Jigoku. Jigoku translated means Hell and Hell is beautifully realized in this bizarre and highly visual mind fuck.
A little fun fact before I begin my review. Did you know there is a Nine Hells of Beppu located in Japan? The “Hells” are in fact ponds fed by Geothermal springs. Thanks to the various minerals flowing though its water each pond has a remarkable and rather unnatural character and color. One of them is called Shaven Head Hell!
Student Shiro is engaged to his professor’s daughter Yukiko. While Shiro is visiting with his fiancée and her parents his creepy and aggressive acquaintance Tamura shows up and offers to drive him home. They take an unfamiliar side street and end up hitting a drunk in the road. Unbeknownst to them the man’s mother witnesses the accident and conspires with her daughter-in-law to find and kill the two drivers.
Shiro can not live with his feelings of guilt and divulges the secret to his fiancée and the two decide to go to the police. His fiancée begs him to walk but he insists on a cab which crashes and kills her! You’ve got some seriously bad mojo Shiro dude!
Shiro is informed by telegram that his mother is dying. He flees to the retirement home in the country run by his own father. But Shiro’s bad mojo is packing its bags and coming along for the trip. Hot on his heels are the mother and ex-wife of their hit and run victim and his creepy buddy Tamura. That isn’t the only trouble Shiro faces. His sleazy father is having sex with his mistress in the room next to his dying wife. The woman caring for his mother is a dead-ringer for his dead fiancée. Just about every character in the story has something to feel guilty about, and a few of them are just sleazebags.
Dungeon Rating: 4/5
Directed By: Nobuo Nakagawa
Starring: Shigeru Amachi, Utako Mitsuya, Yôichi Numata, Hiroshi Hayashi, Jun Ôtomo, Akiko Yamashita