Thursday, September 30, 2010

HANZO THE RAZOR TRILOGY (1972 to 1974)

Hanzo the Razor (Shintaro Katsu) is samurai cinema's answer to Shaft and then some. A funky blaxploitation track plays over the opening credits of each of the films in the Hanzo trilogy (Sword of Justice, The Snare and Who's Got the Gold?). Hanzo is a police official dedicated to rooting out corruption at its highest shogunate levels and sticking it to The Man. Hanzo also has a certain "way with the ladies." You see, there's also this little thing he does with his penis. Never has the term "beating the meat" been rendered so literally.

Hanzo, preparing his "broad sword" for battle

The phrase "unorthodox methods" is often bandied about in press notes and descriptions for thousands of cop movies. Maybe he flagrantly overlooks Miranda rights when making a bust ala Dirty Harry. Maybe he dangles guys off roofs like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. Maybe, if the movie is desperate enough, he even has the power of second-sight. But, honestly, when's the last time you can truly say you've seen a ceiling-mounted sex swing come into play during an interrogation?

Hanzo, taking his latest suspect for a "spin"

Hanzo's methods are not just unorthodox...they are downright pornographic. To keep himself pure and prepared in his battle against corruption, he routinely knocks down stone statues with his bare hands, plays "whack-a-mole" in the sauna with his naked member, then drenches it with hot water and uses it to violate a large bag of rice with a hole cut out in the center. Basically, his wang is a substitute for his gun. It's the biggest tool in his arsenal, one which he uses liberally in a special "torture technique" aimed at breaking the will of female suspects. Did I mention Hanzo also has an actual hidden arsenal? Yeah, he keeps it right next to the hot tub. He's also got enough booby traps, flying arrow levers and hidden doors to spiked pits to rival any and every James Bond villain to date.

Hanzo, revealing his tub-side arsenal

I could go into the plots of each of the three Hanzo movies, but if you're a fan of samurai cinema, sexploitation films, masturbation techniques involving sacks of grain or rice or just really, really weird films then I figure you've already popped all three Hanzos in your Netflix queue by this point. For a very full and very strange night at the movies, it's not the worst thing you could do.

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