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In the shady black markets and bombed-out hovels of post–World War II Tokyo, a tough band of prostitutes eke out a dog-eat-dog existence, maintaining tenuous friendships and a semblance of order in a world of chaos. But when a renegade ex-soldier stumbles into their midst, lusts and loyalties clash, with tragic results. With Gate of Flesh, visionary director Seijun Suzuki delivers a whirlwind of social critique and pulp drama shot through with brilliant colors and raw emotions.
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Gate of Flesh (Nikutai no mon) is another wonderful example of why Seijun Suzuki will go down in history as one of Japan's craftiest and most ingenious B-movie directors. As exhibited in Branded to Kill and Tokyo Drifter Suzuki has the uncanny ability to take shoestring budgets, predictable boilerplate scripts, tight schedules, and studio-contracted actors and spin these elements to create extremely deep and layered films. Gate of Flesh is no exception. In post-World War II Japan, life on the Tokyo streets has become desperate. Amidst the ruins, a tough, well-worn group of prostitutes bands together for survival and companionship. When an ex-soldier enters into the circle, flames of jealousy, anger, and lust are fueled, ending with disastrous results. On the surface, the story is a simple pulp tale of decadence thrown together by Nikkatsu Studios to make a quick buck. But, in the hands of Suzuki-san, Gate of Fleshturns into a hallucinatory, surreal, critical post-modern essay on the decline of loyalty and morality in modern society. --Rob Bracco
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