by Chris MaGee
Violent. Sadistic. Pornographic. Misogynistic. You can say all those things about many of the films of the late Teruo Ishii, but you can also say that they are inspired, psychedelic, and visually groundbreaking. Personally I've always waffled back and forth between these two poles when it comes to Ishii's filmography, loving and owning several of his films while being offended by and avoiding others. That being said there are only a fraction of his nearly 90 film body of work available on DVD outside of Japan, but with the recent attention being given to pinku eiga around the world that situation appears that it will be righted shortly. The first wave of major Ishii releases outside of Japan appears to be coming from France.
Back on December 8th French distributor HK Video released a three-disc set of Ishii's films titled "Coffret femmes criminelles, Vol. 1" that included his 1968 film "The Shogun's Joys of Torture" and two of his 1969 films "The Orgies of Edo" and "The Tortures of Hell". Now Wildgrounds is reporting that HK Video will be releasing a Vol. 2 to the collection in France on June 16th with three more Ishii titles. This volume will include 1968's "Joys of Torture" (the same film as "Shogun's"?), and again two films from 1969 "Love and Crime" and "Yakuza's Law". You can check out the ultra-gory trailer for "Yakuza's Law" below.
Of course all these discs are French Region 2, but sadly they don't appear to have English subs. There are a whole lot of Anglophone Canadians kicking themselves for dropping French after Grade 9 right now.