Men Behind the Sun (1988)

Plot: Japanese troops Roundup Chinese and Russian prisoners of war and take them to a place called squadron 731 where they are grotesquely tortured and experimented on to test new biological weapons.

Starring: Jianxin Chen, Hsu Gou, Linjie Hao, Haizhe Jin

My Review and Thoughts:

I suppose I could say there are some movies that are apart of film history, disturbing movies in nature, films that might deserve to be swept away and forgot about in some viewpoints. Going into Men Behind the Sun for the first time I had that thinking reality because of all the testomonies to this film. 

Men Behind the Sun is a film based on horrible events and experimentations during World War II. In 1945 the Japanese decided to start experimenting with biological warfare in hopes to win the war.

World War II needs no introduction on the crimes against humanity. From Nazis, to death camps, to suicide missions and ultimate bombs closing the ordeal. I will skip on my useless knowledge of the war because most basic knowledge of the event everyone knows. This is a story on the biological and chemical aspect of World War II and the squadron 731 of the Japanese army and the ultimate step in that direction.

Like the Nazi doctors that experimented on innocent men women and children so did the Japanese experiment on the innocent of their own kind or I should say any living person was subject to the experiments. The Nazis were one kind of evil but I find the heartless destruction created by the Japanese a true horror of evil for they joined Hitler and his cause.

This movie is a slow burn at first, with the basic training of Japanese youth soldiers. When the ultimate news comes in that the Japanese are failing the experiments begin. 

Their images and actions in this film are twisted and gut wrenching, sadly there are moments that are comical and has not stayed the test of time. Mainly because there has not been any high transfer DVD so it is sadly dubbed and in most cases has not been corrected in film audio.

The storyline is not just about experimentation it's about altering minds of changing the idea of youth and the use of propaganda of war and bringing up the innocent youth in the depiction that certain races of society are not normal and are not part of the human race. I feel the movie has gained a lot of hype over the years and it's become a cult-like status.

I for one was greatly looking forward to it but then after seeing the movie I was not impressed like a lot of others. That does not mean, it's a bad movie, it is just a film that I feel is overhyped. I still feel it's worth a watch for those who like war and gore and countless images of death. 

I think what happened is everyone I know praises it and praises it and so I had to much of an expectation. I don't want to sound negative to it because there are moments that are mindnumbing such as the mute child with the ball and his final ordeal, there are useless moments of animal cruelty that I fast forwarded through. The movie does have a cheesy quality to it at times, it's a film that has a graphic depiction of man's inhumanity to man. Sadly it's edited horrible and pieced together horrible. I am sure the movie if restored could be a wonderful example of wartime horrors mixed with that mentality of the killers nature but in all reality this is just has an exploitation feel. All in all the movie is a good watch, not  for all but for a few. I will say in all honesty I do not see what all the hype was about and what the constant mentioning of it on movie buff's list, because I have seen far greater and far more disturbing and graphic in my watching years.

Give it a go if you like cheesy drive-in grind house exploitation type cinema.