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Abe Sada (Junko Miyashita), a prostitute, thinks she has found true
love in her favourite customer Kichi (Eimei Esumi) - and he loves her
back. But their love can never leave her room, because he is married with
children and she is a prostitute. So they spend hours, days even, in her
room making love, and their lovemaking gets more extreme almost by the
hour, soon involving bondage, rape, sadomasochistic techniques and even
asphyxiation. One experiment with strangling leaves a nasty scar on
Kichi's neck and makes it hard swallowing, which confines him to her room
weven more, because with the scar, he can't go back to his wife ... and
Sada couldn't stand him returning to her, either, so one night when he's
asleep, she strangles him to death (while having sex with him), not so
much out of jealousy, but out of pure (but grossly misunderstood) love.
Then she carved her name into his body as well as covering his body in
declarations of love written in her own blood, before cutting off his
penis, figuring this way Kichi will always be with her. Then Sada leaves,
first hides with her main patron, then tries to outrun the law - but her
mind is already too clouded to properly do so, and after all the evidence
she has left at the scene of the crime were too obvious, too ...
of the most perverted and macabre (and also most notorious) stories of
Japanese legal history retold as a tale of perfect love gone (horribly)
wrong - and the way it's told is quite captivating, as it cuts away most
of the subplots and instead confines the story to Sada's room, where some
sort of forbidden love developed and blossomed to ever more perverse
outbursts, with Kichi's death seemingly being the one logical culmination
of everything. And confining the story to mostly one set does the film a
heap of good, as it brings Sada's crime's emotional background to the fore
and makes her descent into insanity believable. Add to this a competent
cast, and a subtle directorial effort, and you get yourself a pretty
By the way, in 1976, acclaimed Japanese director
Nagisa Oshima gave the Abe Sada-story his own treatment in In the Realm
of Senses - a film that in direct comparison seems to be much more of
an intentional provocation than a serios approach to the story ...