Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Men Behind The Sun 731

 Men Behind The Sun (Man Behind The Sun 731, Hei tai yang 731) Directed by Mou Tun-Fei. Starring Gang Wang (1988).  
   T.F. Mou is one of the most reviled, notorious and unknown alumni of The Shaw Brothers circuit. In Men Behind The Sun he utilized all the cruel Mondo tricks, only this time it was done as a political statement! Yes, Jacopetti/ Prosperi's Africa Addio was apparently an Anti-Colonialism statement, but is so scorchingly inaccurate that it's almost a travesty and a parody of itself! In Men Behind the Sun, real children are exploited and abused for this defiant artistic statement, it's definitely the Cannibal Holocaust of the 80's.
Squadron 731 was a covert biological and chemical warfare experiment orchestrated by heartless bastard General Shiro Ishi during WWII. Chinese and Russian captives including hundreds of children were rounded up and experimented on in horrid ways (live eviscerations,vivsected without anesthesia and frozen to death, read about it all here) The worst part of all was that all the data was sold to General MacArthur and the U.S for biological weapons. The Japanese soldiers consider Chinese to be subhuman and exterminate them in unforgivable ways with sanctions from Imperial soldiers.
      In my mind two wrongs never equal a right and for Mou to decide to rally against the Gov. and be pissed off is one thing! However he used real corpses (because apparently there's no special effects department in Hong Kong, Yeah Right)!!!!! He waited around to collect a child corpse for one of the most upsetting, gut wrenching scenes of an innocent mute child undergoing wide awake heart surgery while Japanese Surgeon's gleefully operate! This film is hard to watch more than once or for me to justify for that matter (and there were more sequels to come, so this was a big hit)! 
      The cryptic line in the beginning "Friendship is Friendship and History is History" was inspired by the Japanese government caving in and granting Mou permission to make his film and maybe a jab at us for letting this Holocaust occur and profiting from the research! The Japanese government took extreme measures to erase this point in history and Mou used the actual location of the 731 death factory. The People's Liberation Army was involved in the production and even lended weapons. The film teeters on the edge of accountability. It's excruciatingly offensive to exploit this point in history in order to make a valid statement and it fucks up all credibility!
      During the famous frostbite scene, a girl in encased in an icicle prison for a few days then brought inside to have her arms submerged in boiling water. The same methods to subject real people to an exploitive recreation of the Chinese Holocaust were used on the Republic of Haiti for Farewell Uncle Tom and both films are fascinating and at the same time beneath contempt! There's a scene where a real cat is bitten to death by a million rats (according to IMDB,the cat survived, but I highly doubt that since the director has no conscience and used real dead bodies to achieve his demented vision).The genuine rats got firebombed, which is Ok by me. I could only image what the set must have smelled like with all the rotting bodies lying around. Here's what Chas Balun said in Deep Red Alert from Fall 1991:A sadistic barbaric,quasi-atrocity film about secret experiments carried out on Chinese prisoners by a desperate Japanese army, almost made me renounce my recently-aquired Oriental fetish right away. I chipped a tooth the first time I saw the frostbite victim stripped of her flesh after plunging her frozen arms in a vat of hot water.
     So for those brave souls who want to make this journey, Check it out Sickos! This film ruined Mou's credability and I'm still confused why Ruggerro Deodato  was able to continue to make films (which got worse and worse).

Don't pull those hands up!

A very strange cameo for Kerri Kenney!!! (of Reno 911)

FURTHER VIEWING (History Channel Doc. on 731)

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