Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 26th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, August 24th, 1985
Director: Shogoro Nishimura
Writer: Chiho Katsura
Cast: Kaori Asou, Mami Fujimura, Sei Hiraizumi, Masaaki Hiraoka, Kayo Kiyomoto, Kenji Kodama, Akemi Nagisa, Jôji Nakata, Kazuyuki Senba, Mari Somei
DVD released: 2007
Approximate running time: 69 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese (Chinese and English subtitles)
Subtitles: English & Chinese
DVD Release: Panorama Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 3 NTSC (Hong Kong)
Retail Price: $14.95
Synopsis: A blackmail plot backfires on a young woman named Kaori tries to extort money from her stepmother. The loan shark who lent Kaori has other plans for Kaori and her stepmother. Through various S&M acts he forces them into submission. Will Kaori and her stepmother be able to escape before their captor pushes things too far?
In recent years Japanese Pink films have been gaining a huge following in America and the UK. In Japan hundreds of Pink films have been released mostly by Geneon. Unfortunately these release have not been English friendly editions that is until a Hong Kong label named Panorama started releasing Pink films with English subtitles options in 2007.
Shogoro Nishimura’s Flower and Snake: Sketch of Hell is based on Oniroku Dan’s novel titled “Hana to hebi”). Over the years Oniroku Dan’s novel has served the inspiration of many films starting with Masaru Konuma’s Flowers and Snakes. Shogoro Nishimura’s name may not be a famous as some of his Pink film contemporaries even though he directed nearly 100 pink films over two decades. Some of his more notable films include White Uniform in Rope Hell and Naomi Tani’s final Pink film Dan Oniroku nawa to hada.
The premise for Flower and Snake: Sketch of Hell is one of the more nastier and interesting that I have come across out of the numerous Pink films that I have seen. The plot revolves around under world criminals and a blackmail scheme. Throwing the Yakuza type characters into the mix is an inspired choice. The tormentors have now emotional connection with Kaori and her step mother. Their only purpose for torturing them is purely financial. The film also explores how through torture the two victims Kaori and her step mother are now closer than ever.
The sex scenes in the film are almost all based around S&M outside a few rape scenes. The sex when it occurs is almost always brief. The director is more focused on showing the degradation of the two women. Visually the film is filled with many great set pieces. This film has it all nude break dancing, golden showers and enemas. The films’ ending somehow tops all the outrageousness which precedes it. Ultimately Flower and Snake: Sketch of Hell is sadistic film that revels in its excesses.
Panorama presents Flower and Snake: Sketch of Hell in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. The image looks detailed and there are no problems with compression or artifacts. Overall the image looks very pleasing with its natural looking colors and flesh tones.
Only one audio is included with this release a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Japanese. Two subtitles options have been included English and Chinese. There are no errors in the subtitles which are easy to follow and understand. The audio mix sounds evenly balanced, clear and it is free of any audio defects.
Extras for this release are limited to the films original theatrical trailer which is in Japanese and no subtitles are included for the trailer. Overall Panorama have given Flower and Snake: Sketch of Hell a solid release that is priced at a very affordable price.