Hisayasu Sato  

An underground Japanese film-maker (working mostly in the Pinku genre) that often deals with obsessions, fetishes and perversions arising from various neuroses and social alienations, with warped sex, violence and pain all wrapped in an extreme conceptual bundle. Another recurring theme is of detached or alienated voyeur using technology to view, but not experience, acts of sex and violence, with sex scenes often involving frantic selfish lust. For a while, he was very prolific, although many of his movies are impossible to find and mostly covered the standard Pinku themes of sex, bondage, rape, S&M and violence (not covered here), often mixed with unique Sato touches of abstract and artsy ideas, a wide range of twisted fetishes and perversions, and some plot twists. His explorations cover every sex act and perversion known to man, frequently revisiting all of them without any seeming preferences, including violence, rape or murder from both men and women, gay sex, bestiality, blood fetishes, voyeurism, suicide, etc. His more extreme movies listed here tend to get lost in fetishistic, depraved obsessions as well as impenetrable surreal elements, and sometimes he has something intellectual to say besides the shock and exploitation.

Of Some Interest

Bedroom, The (AKA An Aria on Gaze)  
A difficult film that seems to deal with obsessions, fetishes, voyeurism and exhibitionism but for the life of me, I can't figure it out. A woman goes to a 'sleeping room' where she is drugged and watched over by a strange man, and the clientele play out their fetishes on her comatose body. After a mysterious murder takes place in the bedroom and her husband exhibits strange behaviour, she starts worrying. Fantasies merge into reality, she discovers her detached husband is also on drugs and may have violent and mysterious sexual escapades of his own. A lot of cameras, video-taping and diaries keep the exhibitionism theme going and the woman soon stops taking drugs to watch what the clients are doing to her. Features a twist ending and a cameo by a real-life cannibalistic murderer, but this one is too incomprehensible.

See Rampo Noir.

Hana-Dama: The Origins  
Just when I thought Sato was going soft and sticking to fetish-Pinku movies, along comes this slice of extreme bizarre madness. The topic is bullying in high-school. Two girls and a guy are constantly being bullied by classmates as well as by teachers. Even one mother is bullied and blamed for everything, leading to an over-the-top campy relationship between her mother and father where they get turned on through their dysfunctional emotionally-abusive relationship. At school, it starts with mean pranks, but very soon escalates to horrifying abuse, violence, rape, and sodomy with objects, driving the victims insane with powerlessness, rage and pain. The rage grows inside them as a bizarre meaty huge flower that erupts out of their top of the heads, leading to nihilistic revenge on the world where everyone abuses everyone in a splattery and very gruesome climax that brings to mind 'Naked Blood'.

In a Thicket (Yabu no Naka)  
Sato's re-imagining of In a Grove, on which Rashomon was based. In this version, instead of a web of lies and agendas, we get a web of desires, perversions like incest, and occult phenomenon like an oracle-demon, hallucinations, and human sacrifice. Once again, the story starts with a detective trying to unravel the story of a man and a woman encountering a bandit-rapist in the woods, but the real story keeps turning out to be unfathomable as layer upon layer of strange motives and events keep turning up. Of course, since this is Sato, the rape scene is more explicit, but most of the movie revels in multi-layered hallucinations as the oracle-demon uncovers dark secrets and obsessions, and dead people keep turning up to either change the narrative of what happened, or to haunt and elicit revealing confessions as ghosts. An interesting take, despite the cheap effects, weak period feel, and inescapable Pinku leanings.

Kirie Eleison  
Sometimes confused with Turtle Vision. A female detective tries to live a life of surveillance and of spying on couples having affairs while her husband is in a strange coma. But she lives in a world of desperate emptiness that erupts in perversions and violence, her psyche cracking under the existential pain. Adulterers are mere selfish naked bodies and lustful body parts on a TV screen, the flesh becoming a backdrop for TV noise, she finds herself involved in nonsensical sordid events and blackmail with her clients, and sudden attacks by men in the street and her apartment, her comatose husband wears bizarre goggles that mirror blackness, she receives a psychedelic video that gives her hallucinations, she sees horrors in a blank photograph, and she even gets a cry for help from her computer screen as she types. Her mental instability leads to a climax of violence.

Lolita Disgrace (AKA Brain Sex AKA Radical Hysteria Tour)  
Slightly demented satire by Sato on disaffected youth and the obsession with media and celebrities. A teenage couple drive around improvising radio shows, following night stalkers and rapists or peeping on various sexual escapades, describing what they see in detail, feigning shock and screams as the attackers become more violent. When they find an extremely sadistic murderer-rapist teenager, they make him a celebrity and follow his exploits. A precursor to Natural Born Killers. Also features a strange fetishistic couple that sex each other to death.

Love - 0 = No Limit  
Definitely one of the stranger and artsier entries in Sato's Pinku repertoire. A meditation on different connections made between alienated people explored through AIDS and several characters: A strange man who follows and observes "Unidentified Followed Objects", a happy, risk-taking couple that like to inject each other with their blood and who observe the observer, and a doctor who asks the observer to follow his wife who is suspected of being some kind of vampire hooked on steroids and out for revenge against AIDS-spreading objects. The concepts are merely flirted with, and a lot of the movie feels like inscrutable madness, but is intriguing nevertheless.

Naked Blood  
A budding scientist discovers a formula for converting pain into pleasure (endorphins) and plans to release it as the ultimate painkiller. Secretly replacing his mother's contraceptive experimental drug with his own, he follows the patients and witnesses disastrous consequences as, driven further and further by the pleasure principle, they butcher themselves and others. A brilliant concept but given an over-the-top treatment with disturbingly realistic splatter as one woman eats her own genitals and eyeball, etc. Also features virtual-reality dream sharing with a cactus and a surrealistic sub-plot involving a man who sees a light then disappears. Don't ask.

Night of Body's Model (AKA Night of the Anatomical Doll)  
The theme is obsessions and fetishes over body parts, scents or other human minutiae as representatives or replacements of humans. A woman moves in to an apartment complex populated by some strange people. An obsessive man next door listens in on her every move through the walls, his wall-listening equipment growing more and more complex as he develops an intense empathy with everything she does and feels through the sounds she makes. A scientist father and son duo also interact with her, the strange son developing an unhealthy fetish for his father's prosthetic arm, and an obsession over medical mannequins and artificial body parts. Her food dispenser seems to have a life of its own, strangely creeping out both her and her voyeur-cum-empath neighbour, and they share dreams that grow steadily bloodier and more bizarre as reality starts to melt away in increasingly violent and desperate obsessions.

Pleasure Kill (AKA Lustmord/Genuine Rape)  
A slightly tamer precursor to Naked Blood with a near identical plot. A young man follows in his father's footsteps experimenting with the barrier between pain and pleasure. He secretly adds his concoction into an experimental drug administered by his mother into some students, with nihilistic results. The students soon discover that pain gives them pleasure and once that happens they can't seem to stop. Sex soon mixes with rape, humiliation, incest, gore, masochism and death as the girls grab anything nearby that can hurt them. Typically for Sato, the young man observes this detachedly as a voyeur with binoculars, but soon joins in on the madness.

Sato does a black, absurd comedy featuring a parade of perversions. A daughter escapes her incestuous father, gets molested by some bums, abducted and made to scare a whorehouse client with a chainsaw. She gets entangled with another family which includes a strange man, his incestuous mother who is a pimp by night, and his wife who is a nymphomaniac by night. Then a cross-dresser tries to make everyone happy. Perversion so silly it's actually funny.

Re-Wind (AKA Abnormal)  
Sato's confusing take on the snuff-tape thriller. Snuff videos and pictures are found in all kinds of places, gripped by a dismembered hand in a garbage dump, in a video machine in a sex booth, etc. while various characters are either studying the tape, using it as a warm-up for some obligatory sex scenes, or filming their own videos that often turn violent for no reason. Cameras and tripods themselves are used as weapons in a statement of cameras becoming the cause of violence, characters keep popping up with confusing motives, there's gratuitous incest and accidental worm eating, and random gratuitous brutal violence including arm-mutilation, nail-carving, abuse with a syringe, and bloody bashing with a tripod. Once again, Sato is playing with the Peeping Tom theme of the camera creating violence by use of detachment, but it's mostly empty-minded titillation and plot twists.

Soft Skin  
Black comedy about a dysfunctional, demented family that sometimes made me think of a lighter version of Visitor Q. Hisayasu Sato explores the usual themes of obsessions, kinks, alienation and violence this time as part of a family unit and in a near-mainstream but warped movie. There's the bored housewife who has her lover fake a kidnapping in order to make her life more exciting and bring her family together, after being inspired by reports of a chainsaw-killer on TV. There's a reporter who is being turned into an kinky exhibitionist by the camera, a daughter with a bad eating-disorder and an enamored young man with a fetish for vomit and other bodily fluids, there's a frustrated and possibly homicidal son who isn't getting any, and so on. The fake kidnapping eventually back-fires, but will the family find happiness?


Bondage Ecstasy (AKA Ecstasy Game)  
Another gay Pinku from Sato, this one bizarre in its humor, and heavily laden with gay S&M erotica. It's all about endless gay sado-masochism sex scenes between various men and co-coworkers, then one employee sprays his boss with red paint instead of insect repellent, reads Kafka before bed and dreams that he is an insect being swallowed by co-workers, and the women in this movie only get in the way, even if one of them is a Dominatrix that comes out of nowhere. Strange, but pointless.

Fetist, The (AKA Hot Breath)  
Slightly strange Sato entry from 1998 revisiting the gay pinku once again. A young man in a somewhat abusive gay relationship slowly loses his mind and becomes a serial killer, slashing random people in the streets. There's a next-door neighbour obsessed with capturing sounds and eavesdropping, another neighbour who has an S&M relationship with a girl that seems to unsettle and trigger violent and confusing thoughts in the young man, and there's a gay painter who becomes obsessed with the young man. Violence escalates and becomes chaotic, but none of their behaviour makes any sense. Just more of the typical Sato themes of obsessions and fetishes turning violent I guess.

Gimme Shelter AKA Exciting Eros: Hot Skin  
A family of husband, wife, son and daughter turn madly violent and perverted in a modern world of rock music, aerobics, radio and nuclear bombs. It's comical and filthy, like a Visitor Q, except without the happy ending. The father turns into a stalking homosexual, the son goes crazy with razor blades then rapes his mother and sister, the daughter is abused by a lesbian teacher with a syringe and some menstrual issues, there's abuse of food, a scene with a chainsaw and blow-up dolls, etc.

Gods Have a Nervous Breakdown (AKA Special Lesson)  
Another subtly strange Pinku entry by Hisayasu. A female student and her female teacher develop a strange relationship as they discuss spirits that return, death and the experience of dying as it revolves around a student project. When the fawning student visits her teacher in the middle of the night years afterwards, she imposes herself between the teacher and her husband, and a nonsensical psycho-sexual relationship develops between the three involving lots of sex, and a kinky fetish for blood, death, ghosts and vampires, the movie constantly hinting at these themes without bothering to build a coherent plot.

Hana-Dama: Phantom  
This follow-up to Hana-Dama: The Origins is a completely different beast and is not really a sequel, but it is even more insane and extreme. The theme is cinema, nostalgia for old-school celluloid in the form of an old cinema theatre closing down, as well as cinema used for perversions and transgressive kinks. During the last day of the theatre, an old man expresses his lust for the young usher, and a projectionist is haunted by a mute ghostly girl that emerges from the film to uncover his very evil deed in the past. The meaty big red flower blooms, and chaos once again is inflicted on the world, erupting in one repulsive, transgressive, or extremely gruesome act after another in the cinema. From wild incest, to sodomy, water sports, to splattery intestines mixed with insane lust and rape which literally turns into dynamite (don't ask). I have no idea what this movie is about.

Horse Woman Dog AKA Poaching by the Water  
Yes, Sato does a bestiality Pinku. The beach is swarming with perverts. A dominatrix abducts wandering girls with the help of her male sex slaves, submits them to rape, abuse, and forced sex with a dog, while a necrophiliac takes pictures of the dead bodies that wash up the next day. When a woman miraculously survives drowning, she shacks up with the photographer who falls for her, but when the dominatrix finds out, she brings in the horse to finish the job. Extreme perversion, on a theme of the bestial nature of both aggressors and victims, with a plot twist.

Lady of the Stable (AKA Wave)  
Based on the rare unsubbed copy I saw, I can only describe this as another artsy violent Pinku by Sato involving a woman with a strange, perhaps psychic relationship with her horse, and a group of people that get in her way. There's bestiality, sex with a severed horse penis which she then keeps in a jar, a strange artistic interest in setting up mannequins in the forest or beach in artistic configurations, some musings over acoustics, sound and communication with beasts via sound waves, severed mannequin limbs, and ultimately, humans turned into objects as well, all of which makes statements I can only guess at.

Lesbian Rape  
A disturbed female lab researcher with a sexual fetish for lizards and test tubes develops an obsession for her female assistant and motherhood. At the same time, a young man develops his own obsession for a gun that shoots liquids. As the researcher's obsession grows, giving her bizarre dreams involving raping the assistant or sodomizing a man with a lizard, she forms an uneasy alliance with the man whom she sends to rape and inject her assistant with his gun. The man grows restless with his role however and becomes more demanding. The ending features an amusing abrupt showdown as a real man's 'gun' appears, but overall, this is fairly uninteresting Pinku twisted sleaze full of strange fetishes.

Lolita Vibrator Torture (AKA Secret Garden)  
An early film by Sato that deals with vibrators and how a young schoolgirl may be more knowledgeable and advanced in these matters than perverts. A twisted, disturbed man kidnaps girls and tortures them with a huge vibrator, paint and various liquids, and finally, acid. One day he meets his match in the form of a sadistic, horny schoolgirl with a twisted fetish for vibrators and blood. A mostly uninteresting, pretty extreme Sadean Pinku film.

Muscle (AKA Kitami)  
Sato sometimes explores gay Pinku movies and this is one of his more strangely violent and more well-known entries in this sub-genre. It's also an uninteresting one. An editor for a muscle magazine becomes obsessed over Kitami, the relationship evolving into sadistic, bloody games with knives until he snaps and chops off his arm. After jail, he searches for him to return his severed arm but detours during his quest and becomes involved with a hetero S&M couple for no apparent reason, leading to a bloody finale.

1999- by The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Table of Contents