Flower and Snake

"Weak"

Flower and Snake Review


Takashi Ishii is widely recognized as the master of intellectually challenging Japanese erotica. He's also pretty freaky.

In Flower and Snake, his imagination really runs wild, putting one woman through an outrageous obstacle course of sexual perversion that you won't soon forget. Is it intellectually challenging? Maybe. Is it sexy? That's for you to decide. Either way, it's an eyeful.

Meet Shizuko (Aya Sugimoto), an icy beauty who reigns as Japan's best tango dancer. Repressed in the bedroom, she's a source of both admiration and frustration to her jittery businessman husband (Renji Ishibashi), who is having some money problems with the local yakuza. The decrepit leader of the loan shark gang takes a fancy to Shizuko and proposes that her husband sell her into sexual bondage to settle his debts, and he agrees. A kidnapping is arranged, and the fun begins.

Awaking from a drug-induced stupor, Shizuko finds herself on a stage surrounded by a masked audience. Forced to strip and then witness the murder of her driver, the fun begins. The show, if that's what you can call it, is lorded over by a fey and fiendish ringmaster who skips around and describes the humiliations that Shizuko will suffer. First, though, she must watch as her bodyguard, a woman called Kyoko (Misaki Mori), is bound, raped, prodded, and tortured with electricity.

Then the fun really begins, and almost an hour of screen time is devoted to the increasingly horrifying (and, it should be said, beautifully shot) sexual torture of Shizuko, much of it involving the kind of elaborate rope work for which Japanese porn is well-known. It's hard to go into detail about all this at a family-friendly web site. Suffice it to say everything but the kitchen sink is used to violate Shizuko, and if they had had a kitchen sink on hand, they would have found a use for that, too. Sugimoto is one hell of a good sport. The DVD's making-of featurette shows just how real much of her torture was. Here's hoping she was paid well.

The intellectual part comes much later when the contrite husband shows up to rescue Shizuko, and all she can say to him is "Do me." And after some existential back and forth that's exactly what he does. There's some meaning there about liberation through sex or a transfer of power in the relationship, but chances are you won't be thinking clearly by the time this scene comes around.

Flower and Snake aspires to be more than a porn film, but the only memories you'll take away from it are images of Shizuko bound into insanely cruel positions as the perverts who crowd around wait to have their way with her. Enjoy.

Aka Hana to hebi.

Push me!



Flower and Snake

Facts and Figures

Run time: 115 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 13th March 2004

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: Aya Sugimoto as Shizuko Tôyama, as Ippei Tashiro, Misaki Mori as Kyôko Nojima (as Misaki), Ken'ichi Endô as Kanzô Morita, Yôzaburô Itô as Clown man, Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi as Ryô Eguchi, Shun Nakayama as Kazuo Kawada, Shigeo Kobayashi as Yoshizawa, Naoki Matsuda as Murata, Tomoo Yageta as Tsuchiya, Taeko Uzuki as Crucified woman / sacrificial woman, Miyako Kawahara as Chiyo, Tomezô Tsunokake as Kashiwagi

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