Twisted Minds - Underground Reviews

söndag 30 december 2018


Directed by: Andrey Iskanov
Written by: Andrey Iskanov
Stars:  Tetsuro Sakagami, Tomoya Okamoto, Yukari Fujimoto... read more

Country: Russia | USA
Style: Documentary | Extreme | War
Runtime: 4h 9min

When it turned out that one of my favorite directors Andrey Iskanov had made a drama documentary about World War II and its infamous story about Unit No. 731, there were no barriers from attaching my eyes on this creation.

Swedish distributors Last Exit Entertainment has made a skillful work with this masterpiece and re-released it in two different special versions, one 2-disc edition and also a 3-disc part with the original soundtrack. There's hours of extras in those releases, including a new exclusive introduction, never before seen color version excerpts, previously rare unseen photos, music videos and interviews. You'll not be disappointed.

Philosophy of a Knife is very stylistic, artistic and thoroughly executed and provides a frightening atmosphere that's very tiring to watch. Andrey uses a very unique style as well. In here he uses noises and visual effects, buckets of red paint (which in this case is black & white) that splashes in Andreys very own direction. The music is also composed by Alexander Shevchenko which always have a great impact on its scary atmosphere; it raises very unpleasant sensations in our body along with the somewhat ambiguous images that easily attaches itself firmly like a parasite in the cornea.

Andrey sacrificed a lot of time (4 years actually) and energy to complete this documentary. He was arrested by the Russian secret because of some information he got hold of. Survivor Anatolij Protasov also tells us the story from his own perspective on what really happened; it was one of the most gruesome acts done by humans in history of mankind.

Unit No. 731 was, during Japan's occupation of China and World War II, a unit in the Imperial Japanese Army, which was part of a water purification department and the epidemic barrier where they secretly researched biological and chemical warfare. With these chemical tests, they used political prisoners under the leadership of commander Shiro Ishii (1935-1942) and his successor, General Masaji Kitano (1942-45).

During biological bomb experiments, scientists where dressed in protective suits when they investigate the dying victims. The prisoners were subjected to painful experiments such as being hung upside down to see how long it would take for them to choke to death. Air was injected into their arteries to determine the time until the onset of embolism, but also horse urine injected into their kidneys. They were placed in the high pressure chamber, and the experiments were performed to determine the relationship between temperature, burns, and human survival.

There were many experiments that were carried out, it's hardly possible to list them on your fingers. But what made me most upset to look at, was when they pressed up a cockroach in the vagina of a woman to see how long it could live, to let it lay eggs in her body and multiply itself in there. Much of the experiments degenerated in that the researchers actually enjoyed what they was doing. All the victims didn't were used only for experimental research, but also for sexual acts and pleasure. It was a sadistic entertainment, frankly, just because they had the ability, power and could do whatever they wanted.

It's hard to compare this movie with Tun Fei Mou's work of "Men Behind the Sun" from 1988. Both films deal with the same subject, but they are conducted in two different ways. Philosophy of a Knife happens to be over 4 hours long, but it provides a much more developed explanation. I would say that it's horrible and raises a great disgust, not only the film but the whole event itself. There's nothing I hate as much as I hate people, and this film shows further signs of man's true nature. It's disgusting!

My rating: 4 out of 5


Produced by:  Andrey Iskanov
Cinematography by: Andrey Iskanov
Editing by: Andrey Iskanov
Special Effects by: Andrey Iskanov
Music by: Alexander Shevchenko
Language: English | Russian
Color: Black & White

DistributorLast Exit Entertainment


Editor of and writer for Twisted Minds. Swedish consumer who collects odd articles and marries all abnormal creativities, whether it's music, film or literature. Former owner and writer for Surreal Goryfication and Goregasmic Cinema Magazine.