Blu-ray Release: Shogun’s Joy of Torture

Blu-ray Release Date: Feb. 23, 2021
Price: Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Arrow/MVD

From the outrageous imagination of cult director Teruo Ishii (Yakuza’s Law) comes 1968’s Shogun’s Joy of Torture, the infamous omnibus of three shocking tales of crime and punishment based on true-life documented cases set during the reign of the Tokugawa shogunate.

The first tale sees the beautiful Mitsu (Masumi Tachibana) going to horrifying lengths to tend to her older brother Shinz (Teruo Yoshida), a carpenter injured in a work accident, but the law catches up on them and metes out a terrifying retribution after they violate the ultimate taboo. In the second, unfettered passions in a Buddhist nunnery are not allowed to go unpunished after abbess Reih (Yukie Kagawa) and her attendant Rintoku (Naomi Shiraishi) encounter a virile young monk from a neighboring temple. In the closing segment, a sadistic torturer (Fumio Watanabe) attempts to show a tattoo artist (Asao Koike) how to depict convincing expressions of faces of pain in his work by allowing him to sketch a selection of Europeans as they are tortured for entering Japan with the aim of spreading Christianity.

Ishii’s notorious portmanteau of Edo-era excess signaled a change in direction for a director until then regarded for his crime and yakuza films, setting the ball rolling on the run of grotesque historical anthologies for which he is now best remembered. Vehemently denounced by the critics of the day, Shogun’s Joy of Torture set a new benchmark for the depiction of sex, sadism and depravity in Japanese exploitation, with Ishii staging his elaborate torture methods with an unmatched verve and inventiveness.

Here’s what’s included in the package:

  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
    · Original uncompressed mono PCM audio
    ·  Optional English subtitles
    ·  Audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes
    ·  Teruo Ishii: Erotic-Grotesque Maestro an exclusively newly filmed interview with the author Patrick Macias
    ·  Bind, Torture, Thrill author and critic Jasper Sharp discusses the history of torture in Japanese exploitation cinema
    ·  Original trailer
    ·  Image gallery
    ·  Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jacob Phillips

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mark Schilling


Buy or Rent Shogun’s Joy of Torture

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.