Jigoku

Jigoku

4.0 1
Director: Nobuo Nakagawa

Cast: Nobuo Nakagawa, Shigeru Amachi, Utako Mitsuya

     
 

Criterion has assembled an informative package for this chilling cult favorite. Jigoku is given a strong anamorphic, letterboxed transfer that does a good job of capturing the film's stark, shadowy look with an impressive depth of detail (the primary colors used in the film's creepy second look positively startling here). The audio portion of the disc sticks toSee more details below

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Overview

Criterion has assembled an informative package for this chilling cult favorite. Jigoku is given a strong anamorphic, letterboxed transfer that does a good job of capturing the film's stark, shadowy look with an impressive depth of detail (the primary colors used in the film's creepy second look positively startling here). The audio portion of the disc sticks to the original Japanese mono soundtrack, which is presented with clear, well-translated English subtitles, and the track sounds pretty good for its age and its mono-based limitations. Criterion has also assembled a tidy little package of extras for the film. First up is "Building the Inferno," a 40-minute featurette that covers the making of Jigoku, the career of Nobuo Nakagawa and how the film influenced many modern Japanese horror film directors. It provides a loving tribute to the film and its creator and those who are new to Japanese horror cinema will be happy to note that this featurette goes into detail about Japan's uniquely personalized approach to the genre. Elsewhere, the disc features the film's original theatrical trailer and a gallery of posters from selected Nakagawa films and Shintoho releases. The package is rounded out by a booklet with an insightful, detailed essay on Jigoku and Nakagawa by critic Chuck Stephens. All in all, this is another strong release for Criterion and a great introduction to vintage Japanese horror.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
A stylish and frightening look at hell both figuratively and literally, director Nobuo Nakagawa's influential 1960 masterpiece remains effective not only because of its shocking journey into the underworld, but also for its remarkable attention to character detail. As the film opens and the viewers become acquainted with college-age protagonist Shiro and his young fiancée, Yukiko, the future is looking decidedly bright until their seemingly perfect relationship is thrown into chaos with the introduction of Shiro's evil friend, Tamura. Following the incident in which Tamura and Shiro run down a notable yakuza on a lonely stretch of road, Shiro's life quickly descends into hell on Earth as his morals crumble and those around him suffer and die. It's important that the viewer identify with everyman Shiro as he begins to wind down the slow road to hell, and by the time he does arrive at his final destination, it's easy to understand why he made the decisions that he did. Standing in stark contrast to the comparatively naturalistic Earth-bound scenes, Nakagawa's vision of hell is a surreal and technically masterful vision -- glowing with lakes of fire and shimmering with the flayed bodies of countless tortured souls. Nakagawa's hell is not a vision for the faint of heart or easily disturbed. It is here that Shiro's journey becomes both heartbreaking and horrifying as he makes his way through a phantasmogoric netherworld in search of his lost love and his unborn child -- all while suffering the endless torments of the damned. It's truly unsettling how Jigoku can remain so contemporary well into the new millennium, and though this isn't likely the first trip genre or fantasy fans have taken into the underworld, it's likely to be the one that remains most vivid and effective long after memories of What Dreams May Come have faded.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/19/2006
UPC:
0715515020121
Original Release:
1960
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:41:00
Sales rank:
12,266

Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer; "Building the Inferno," a documentary on director Nobuo Nakagawa and the making of the film, featuring exclusive interviews with actor Yoichi Numata, screenwriter Ichiro Miyagawa, Nakagawa collaborators Chiho Katsura and Kensuke Suzuki, and Cure and Doppelganger director Kiyoshi Kurosawa; Theatrical trailer; Galleries of posters from selected Nakagawa and Shintoho Studios films; New and improved English subtitle translation; Plus: A new essay by noted Asian-cinema critic Chuck Stephens

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Jigoku
1. Opening Credits/Sanzu River [3:57]
2. "Concepts of Hell" [2:31]
3. Shiro and Yukiko [2:32]
4. Hit-and-Run [5:08]
5. Plans for Revenge [3:29]
6. Another Accident [6:48]
7. "Come Immediately" [3:21]
8. Sachiko [6:58]
9. The Devil Returns [4:19]
10. Roomful of Killers [3:21]
11. Anniversary Festival [4:06]
12. Suspension Bridge [8:15]
13. Father and Son [3:26]
14. One Final Drink [2:48]
15. Enma, King of Hell [2:23]
16. Children's Limbo [2:16]
17. Rokudo Crossroads [4:53]
18. River of Filth [3:56]
19. Punishment [2:03]
20. Needle Hell [7:48]
21. Corrupt Desires [1:00]
22. The End of Tamura [4:16]
23. Harumi and the Wheel of Life [4:30]
24. Color Bars [4:32]
1. Nobuo Nakagawa [8:15]
2. Shigeru Amachi and Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan [6:13]
3. Jigoku [2:23]
4. Tamura [3:16]
5. Hell Imagery [1:44]
6. Production Design [6:09]
7. Suffering and Karma [5:35]
8. Lasting Influences [5:48]

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