All Night Long 2: Atrocity (1994)
By: Mr Intolerance on October 1, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Japan Shock (Holland). All Region, PAL. 4:3. Japanese DD 2.0. English and Dutch Subtitles. 76 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Katsuya Matsumara
Starring: Maso Endo, Kanori Kadomatsu, Masahito Takahashi
Screenplay: Katsuya Matsumara
Country: Japan
AKA: Atrocity, All Night Long 2, Ooru naito rongu 2: Sanji, All Night Long 2: Sanji
In terms of the old ultra-violence, as Alex would say, this is the shit. Forget your Guinea Pigs, forget your August Undergrounds, forget your Murder-Set-Pieces', they're just story-less special effects reels. All Night Long 2: Atrocity is the tits. Intelligent, misanthropic and positively reeking of evil, this is a film where every character is degraded, debased and unsympathetic, despite what you might at first think.

A brief bit of history: the original All Night Long is an unconnected story to its two sequels, an uber-violent rape-revenge flick with the morals of a rutting Alsatian. This, by comparison, is far, far worse. When presented to Eirin (the Japanese version of the OFLC, the BBFC or the MPAA), even with substantial cuts, it was denied theatrical release, citing the tone of the film as "unacceptable", and went straight to video, despite howls of protest from family-oriented political pressure groups. If you could find me a more brutal, violent, life-denying, misanthropic morally abhorrent film as intelligently made as this one, I'd like to fuckin' see it. Number 3 in the series actually trumps this one in terms of misanthropy (one character famously states, "Man is born an incomplete dead body, and it takes a lifetime to become fully dead. Humans are living garbage."), but lacks the visceral, no-holds-barred-barbed-wire-around-the boxing-glove-God-almighty-wallop of this one.

Bespectacled high school uber-otaku (I am a master linguist, no?) Shinichi is being violently victimised by a right pack of cunts, led by an enigmatic, nameless white-suited, blow-torch-wielding Sadean homosexual fella at the end of summer break, and needs help, badly. He's ambushed under a bridge, and given a fierce beating. The gang tell Shinichi that if he doesn't turn up with a shit-load of yen post-haste, they will fuck his shit up but good. To show their seriousness, one of them stubs out a cigarette in Shinichi's genitals. Oddly enough, Shinichi isn't as worried about the pounding or the burning or the threat of his imminent demise or the openly homosexual advances of the gang's leader, as he is by the breaking of a manga-style model from his backpack. The reason becomes apparent later, and adds a very fucking sinister note to Shinichi's character, indeed. He tries to find help on-line to no real avail, being led astray by some mysterious web character calling himself "Good Man", who may very well be our white-suited villain. Speaking of which, the bad guy later brings Shinichi back to his pad for dinner (having mutilated his boyfriend the previous night by pouring superglue down his ear before sawing the damn thing off), and produces a girl who the gang have raped, hooked on heroin and have torn the fingernails from – deteriorating her humanity, taking away her dignity and sanity, to some extent, reducing her to little better than a primal urge machine, a dog that can walk upright. Then we enter some really fucked up headspace (to the tune of a Japanese punk band's cover version of the Dead Kennedy's "Too Drunk to Fuck"), where some of Shinichi's real character is revealed.

We get a bit of possible light at the end of the tunnel, briefly, with Shinichi enlisting the aid of some fellas he meets and one of their girlfriends (let's face it, darkness doesn't work without light to play off) – but that light is an oncoming train, if it's anything. The last twenty or so minutes of this film are about as gruesome, grotesque and gratuitous a display of butchery and degradation as you could possibly want to see.

Despite the carnage on display, this film possesses an icy elegance, a detachment that its imitators (the August Underground films, for one) lack, and that to me, is one of the things that gives Atrocity its power. That coldness, that lack of human feeling, that unflinching, uncaring misanthropy in the truest possible spirit of the Marquis de Sade – it all adds up to one evil, vicious film that truly brutalises its viewers. The really horrible, repugnant thing is that you start being drawn into the film's total amorality, and buy into the whole concept that the abjectly degraded human animal is an object worthy of nothing less than utter contempt.

I will say no more regarding the plot; anything else would ruin it for you, and I want you to experience this film the same way I did: as a nasty piece of video violence with a reputation to match, but having no real idea about how it's going to end. I think you'll be unpleasantly surprised – I mean that in a good way. Don't think that you'll be able to shake this film off for a while, the reprehensible actions of the characters, and the moral no-man's land you'll be dumped in, will stay with you for quite some time to come.
Video
It looks like, and actually is, a V-movie, a la Guinea Pig: Flower of Flesh and Blood, or Miike's Dead Or Alive series, and is presented full-frame, which is a bit of a bummer, as while I don't know that a widescreen presentation would really benefit the film that much, it's worthy of better treatment. And while this film has been remastered, a letterboxed anamorphic transfer might have been more than simply an afterthought.
Audio
Crisp and clear, nothing special either way. I don't speak Japanese, so it's a little difficult to tell properly, as I'm really concentrating on the subtitles (thank Christ this wasn't dubbed – I'm an original language fella every time). Some of the dialogue isn't subtitled, which is annoying, but it's very infrequent.
Extra Features
A Slide Show. A fuckin' Slide Show. Now that is cheap – it's not even a full screen one! This is a film that deserved better than that. Oh, and there's a booklet with some happy-snaps from the film in it.
The Verdict
Evil. Atrocity could never be made by a Western nation having the same impact or with the same visuals. It is simply too extreme, too intense, too degrading, too affecting an experience. Okay, so the disc is a bit lacking in terms of presentation and special features; I don't care – this is still a five star film. You'd be hard pressed to find a nastier piece of work with the same level of intellect and the same amount of narrative layers. Black Metal band Abruptum were once touted by their record label Deathlike Silence Productions as "the audial essence of pure black evil", well, welcome to the visual version. This makes Salo look like Sesame Street.
Movie Score
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