Having problems viewing images on our site? Click here!
Men Behind The Sun is a fairly well crafted film that takes us to the underworld of the Japanese death camps. Im completely uncertain of my history but if this story is indeed fact based than it missed the"ball".
A group of teenage boys are inducted into what they assume is basic training..We open with a rather disturbing scene of a homeless man eating a rice cake while our cast awaits there trip to "disaster"...The man is beaten by the teens for not eating an apple, he is told that he is strange and symbolically gets up from the ground and slowly spits the apple out of his mouth.
In time we are at the death camps, were the teenagers learn their basic training. The usual happens which leads one of our central characters (don't bother asking me any of their names, just watch the dam movie) to become enraged at one of his leaders. This is were the film actually takes a turn for the better and attempts to display, what I think the film maker's wanted to and that is the subject of humanity. The kids are playing with a ball, the leader gets pissed, takes the ball, throws it and it slowly rolls down a path of snow and into a path of blue light (might have been blue light, who knows with my copy)...
Later in the evening the children head out into the night to get back the ball (the ball in fact was a gift from one of the kid's brothers), the kids are caught and disciplined and well, all hell breaks loose.
I respect this film for what it attempts and that is the subject of humanity. It center's itself around a baseball and there is a form of beauty to that. Somehow, it gets lost in the middle with (and forgive me for saying this) meaningless gore. Im not a doctor, so I don't know if any of the exploitation in this film is at all plausible (you'll know what I mean when you see it) but it kind of destroys the original attempt is sets out for.
It delivers in the gross out department, some of the autopsy scenes tend to get a little "too realistic" but it doesn't make sense. Maybe I shouldn't have followed the story and just took the film for what it should have been? Than again, what's a movie without a plot? I would imagine if D'Amato got his hands on directing this, the film would have must been a series of shock elements.
MEN BEHIND THE SUN circles around the subject of humanism but than again, maybe its just another deliberate attempt to "deliver the goods"
Overall Rating: **1/2
Gross Out Rating: ***
Puke Monitor: **** (see if you can watch a particular autopsy without closing your eyes)
Shock element: **
I have been having a hell of a time trying to sit through the sequels, so Ill zip my lips for those two predecessors.