Saturday, 15 December 2012

Lolita Vibrator Torture (1987) Hiseyasu Sato

A vibrator is a lot like a camera. Hotly throbbing thick black rubber or smoothly gleaming steel, a device to come between the body and its pinkly twitching sexuality. Cameras, their boxy light and glass come between the body and reality, both are objects made to arouse and transform. The two are techologies essence and purpose given pure form, the human urge to mediate and control. Hiseyasu Sato's great interest is in such mediating devices, how they attract and change the user, how they effect body and mind. Lolita Vibrator Torture expresses this simple, it is amusingly enough the most sane and straightforward of Sato's work that I have seen thus far, story of a murderer who torments his victims with a camera before killing, and photographs their death throes. But he meets his match in his latest victim, a girl warped more fundamentally, a new breed, even more perfect child of the modern age...

There aren't a lot of twists here and the progression is predictable, but the treatment is terrific. The camera treats breasts and blood and spluttering fluids with the chill grace of a medical training video, the use of stills and focus on decorative photographs (a two dimensional nod to Blind Beast?) makes for a clammy remove from the action. Sato's fondness for height and isolation is evident here (there's a nice surprise with regard to location), moving the interrogation from technological advance to spatial, deepening the horror (what if the rot springs from the essentials of modern living and not just the fripperies?). There are no overextended sex or masturbation scenes to derail the pace and no beaver blockers either, the visuals are pure and the ride as sleek as, well as sleek as the vibrator which plays such an important role. And all quite thoroughly unsettling.

Things aren't perfect, the psychology of the piece, that stated in dialogue rather than suggested by visuals, is pretty basic and not put across with much poetry. And there's a scene that totally looks like it's going to lead to pegging but then doesn't. Movies need more pegging, this isn't even opinion but cold hard fact, and so I really don't care to be teased. Especially irritating since Sato has made at least a couple of actual gay pinkus, so I can't imagine why he felt a bit of the old prostate stimulation wasn't a good idea here. I guess maybe since it was one of his earlier films he was wary. Ah well...

Still, this is awesome stuff and pretty much essential if you dig the artier, offbeat side of Japanese extreme cinema. 8/10 kinda film, highly recommended.

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