The Sinners of Hell (1960)

NOBUO NAKAGAWA

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB

Original title:  Jigoku

Japan, 1960.  Shintoho Film Distribution Committee.  Screenplay by Nobuo Nakagawa, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by .  

The punishment of hell becomes a genuine reality in this creative horror-drama. After attending a lecture on the infernal fires as interpreted through various religions, a graduate student is out with his best friend when they accidentally hit a drunk man with their car. The shady friend being in the drivers’ seat, they take off and leave the victim for dead, inspiring a desire for revenge in his surviving family that puts our hero into a downward spiral for the rest of the film. Of course, it doesn’t help that he had no idea that his badass buddy is actually a demon in human form. The visuals get wonderfully kinky by the time you get to the big set pieces at the end, when we actually enter the realm of the inferno itself, and although the characterizations aren’t quite strong enough to meet up with the power of the visuals, it is a memorable and highly original piece that is worth checking out as a curiosity if nothing else.

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