Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa was challenged to make two films in two weeks with the same actors and a budget of miniscule proportions. All of that should be borne in mind when choosing to see either of these. The first is about a man who seeks revenge on the man who raped, tortured and killed his young daughter. It descends into cruel revenge inspired nastiness quite quickly. He gets a school teacher to help him and I kept wondering what his motive was. Well a film that leaves you asking questions is not all that bad.
The second is about a man whose daughter has been killed and you start to think déjà vu but you would be wrong. This is a very different film altogether. This guy Niijima, sort of joins up with some nasty Triad types and becomes a hit man so not what I was expecting at all. Needless to say the violence is quite full on and no prisoners are taken.
Both of these deal with revenge and the futility of an emotion that just creates hate and anger. There is violence in both and scenes of enforced captivity but, this is not so called `torture porn'. It is also very hard to say that I liked either film. They were compelling, they were surprisingly well made considering the restrictions on production, but I was left feeling empty for the most part. I watched in two sittings as the total running time is 168 minutes. There are also themes of double cross and realisation of mistakes all too late that brims over with pathos. This is in Japanese with good to average sub titles, I am torn between 3 to 4 stars but these are far from bad films as such I will round up. Originally made in 1998 which accounts for the fashion and vehicles which do show their age and they are just now being released in the UK.