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Directed by Nobuo Nakagawa • 1960 • Japan
Starring Shigeru Amachi, Utako Mitsuya, Yoichi Numata
Shocking, outrageous, and poetic, JIGOKU (HELL, a.k.a. THE SINNERS OF HELL) is the most innovative creation from Nobuo Nakagawa, the father of the Japanese horror film. After a young theology student flees a hit-and-run accident, he is plagued by both his own guilt-ridden conscience and a mysterious, diabolical doppelgänger. But all possible escape routes lead straight to hell, literally. In the gloriously gory final third of the film, Nakagawa offers up his vision of the underworld in a tour de force of torture and degradation. A striking departure from traditional Japanese ghost stories, JIGOKU, with its truly eye-popping (and -gouging) imagery, created aftershocks that are still reverberating in contemporary world horror cinema.