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March 2001

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In this issue:    Hannibal Ferox!    Japanese Porn!    Monster Truck Mayhem!    PLUS: Ash's Oscar Picks!   and way too much more!
In the Realm Of The Senses


In this week's cult pick, I thought I'd get a little removed from my usual 70s horror flick choice and go for something that shows that I'm a little more cultured than I often appear to be and am. So instead of my original review of I Spit On Your Grave, with an entire paragraph devoted to its famous castration scene, this month we shall focus on a slightly classier genre, namely Japanese porn, and only spend a sentence on its castration scene. But this is not your regular, run-of-the-mill pornography, no sir. I would never be so crass as to review a regular porn flick in a family newsletter. No, this is art-house porn, a far classier genre. What's the difference, you ask? Well, art-house porn has less plot. I know, I know, it doesn't seem possible to have less plot than a skin flick, but if you think about it, it can happen. Trailer Trash Nurses, for example, despite its poor scripting and numerous plot holes, still has a basic storyline, which is that the trailer trash nurses need donations for the sperm bank fair or something along those lines. In The Realm of the Senses, on the other hand, consists entirely of scenes of a couple having graphic sex interspersed with a crazy Japanian man dancing wildly while a geisha plays this horrible, guitar-like instrument that sounds like a cat being beaten to death with a banjo. I would like to assure all of you who may feel that this lack of story means less of a distraction from the sexin' that no plot is not a good thing. Sure, it's easier to focus on the Japanese couple having deviant sex, but that just makes it more likely that the five foot tall Tokyo native with the Ron Jeremy moustache will haunt your dreams at night. Also, the Japanese concept of deviant sex is far different from our Western ideals. Here, most people think of deviant sex as just some light bondage, a bit of slap and tickle, maybe some leather, a donkey, three cheerleaders, an enema bag and a Web-Cam, but in Japan they're just weird. They get into strangulation, food-sex, and in the end, and this should come as no shock to regular readers of the Cult Pick, El Moustachio ends up with a lot higher voice than he started out with, if you get my meaning. This is not pleasant to watch. Normal porn can fun enough for some people, but no matter who you are, this will just leave you feeling dirty and filled with the odd urge to trade Pokeman cards and fondle underage schoolgirls. For some reason, the film is lauded for its expressionistic use of colour and touching depiction of love, but I hope I never meet anyone who touchingly depicts love by chopping off my genitals, and I don't think I ever want to see the colour red again unless it's the inside of my eyelids after a 12-hour Mystery Science Theatre marathon. I used to think of Japan as a place where organized crime ran rampant and the chief industry was producing explicit animated films about tentacled demons with pedophilic tendencies, but I'm sad to say this movie has spoiled that idyllic perception and left me jaded with their culture. Some might say that it's wrong to judge an entire culture based upon one film, but those people have apparently not seen In The Realm Of The Senses. If we can't judge a people based upon their artistic output, than what can we judge them on? The people themselves, or rather each individual we meet, approaching the issue fairly and impartially? Keep dreaming, hippie. Do you think I have to go meet every Swede to know that they're suicidal and sexually repressed, or every Italian to know they're sleazy and into cannibals? No, it's much quicker, easier, and more convenient to make that call based entirely on the cinema from their homelands, or better yet rely on Hollywood's depiction of their culture. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go hide in my bunker in case Muslim extremists blow up Montreal.

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