Wednesday, September 28, 2011

1,500th Post Special: Men Behind the Sun 2

What better way to celebrate than with the deaths of thousands of people?  With my 1,500th Post, I knew that I needed something big, something strange and something that many people may not even have heard of.  Naturally, I thought of the sequel to one of the most controversial films of all time.  With the Faces of Death films not available to rent (darn) and the Traces of Death films being awful, I went with Men Behind the Sun 2.  Oh wait- it's Men Behind the Sun 4.  Well, here's the truth.  Men was made by Tun Fei Mou in 1988 as a long-dormant pet project.  After it's success, local cheapskate and rip-off artist Godfrey Ho stepped in and made two films of his own.  By 1995, Mou had attempted to reclaim the series.  Naturally, he decided to make it about the worst massacre in Chinese history- the Rape of Nanking.  Yeah, this is going to be a fun movie!  All you need to know is that this film is violent, quite racist and very confusing.  To see more, read on...
This movie begins with telling us that it's dedicated to the victims of the war.  Naturally, they are going to spend 90 minutes re-enacting their deaths.
Does your film need at least three screens full of historical information to explain them?  If so, make a different movie...or make a documentary.  This- not so much.
Speaking of deaths, this random guy gets decapitated by a Japanese soldier.  I do like the realism here.  I mean, why shoot the people in the street when you can stop, wait for them to stick their out a window and decapitate them?
Just 17 minutes in, the movie indulges in a special effect that is so gross (and random) that I can't show it.  I can imply it heavily though...
Yeah, that's the appropriate reaction to that.  By the way, the film just cuts after this shot and the guy escapes.  How?!?
Immediately following an absurd and sudden gore effect, we get five minutes of these guys talking about swords- and by default- and war.  Who Edited this?!?
After twenty-plus minutes, the film thinks that we still don't think that Japanese are evil.  Too subtle?
Oh yeah, they also give this Japanese Commander a 'Hitler' mustache.  Real nice.  You get the point, I think.  The End.
Do you like racism and murder?  The plot of this movie is alright, but there's not much to it.  It's essentially a bunch of scenes based around the Japanese being nationalistic jerks who murder people for fun.  The Rape of Nanking was a terrible thing.  It is called The Rape of Nanking- we all know that it's bad!  The key problem here is that the violence is represented in such a silly way that it's hard to treat it with the seriousness that you would expect.  Did the Japanese really do the 'call people in for a meeting and gun them down' trick so many times?  Did they pull Buddhist Monks out of a room one-by-one and shoot them?  Did they randomly attack pregnant women and pull out their babies?!?  I would like to say that this film treats a serious and traumatic piece of World History with respect and reverence.  Unfortunately, that would be a lie.  This is a bizarre piece of Exploitation that does nobody a service.  If you're Chinese, it treats a serious incident like some sort of joke.  If you're Japanese, you're a murderous scumbag.  As a bonus, all of the Japanese people are dubbed into Cantonese (as is the one 'German' guy and the one 'American.').  Makes me wonder how bad the Godfrey Ho films are.  Take us away, way too silly mustache for a drama...
See you in another 100 posts.  I hope that review won't feature Troma effects and mass murder...but it probably will.

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