Blind Beast

Film
'I only like it if it hurts,' says model Aki Shima (Midori) to her visiting masseur after a hard day posing for arty S/M photos. But the blind masseur Michio (Funakoshi) chloroforms, kidnaps and locks her up in his isolated warehouse studio, abetted by his doting mother (Sengoku). He wants to inaugurate a new genre of 'touch art' with a sculpture of her nude body; she repeatedly tries to escape but eventually surrenders to a sado-masochistic frenzy which climaxes with a grotesque liebestod. For him, a virginal mummy's boy, this is a belated crash course in the limits of lust; for her, a well-schooled Freudian, it's a realisation of her darkest desires. Despite clunky scripting (endless expositional dialogue), dodgy performances and a moralistic pay-off, this is a minor sexploitation classic from the time when the studios used sleaze to win back audiences lost to television. It derives from a story by Japan's Poe imitator Edogawa Ranpo and goes further into perve territory than Corman did in his Poe movies a few years earlier - although it's a letdown that the lovers have to keep their panties on as they grope for their mutilated ecstasy. The highlight is the design of Michio's studio with sculpted walls of female eyes, lips, breasts.

By: TR

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