Talk about sick and fucked up movies… Men Behind the Sun is both, and really disturbing to make things even more intense. The story is set towards the end of World War II, in a Japanese prison camp. There, the Japanese will conduct experiments on humans and animals. In another words, this is the Japanese version of the crimes done by infamous German doctor Josef Mengele (Angel Of Death). They’ve done experiments like what would frostbite do to the human body along with the consequences of decompression. Another shocker is that all of this happened. Crimes were committed by Unit 731 and their leader Shirō Ishii. If you want to read up on this, there’s a link to a Wikipedia page below. As you can imagine this is an extremely difficult movie to watch. It spawned four sequels out of which only Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre is worth considering.
There are a lot of gruesome and brutal scenes in this movie, so I do not know which one is the most brutal. Although the scene of the child’s autopsy stands out as one of the most shocking to the very least. There is also the infamous cat scene that will be difficult to get through. Luckily, the cat got out of it alive with rats just licking the red-dyed honey off her fur. It looked fucked up nonetheless. The scenes involving humans are another matter altogether. Mostly because Tun Fei Mou used real cadavers he was able to procure (frostbite scene, autopsy one). This fact alone should clear up any misunderstandings you might have about Man Behind the Sun.
The movie follows a group of young Japanese boys recruited into the army and assigned to Unit 731 led by Shiro Ishii. I won’t go into details about it because the story is one of the few redeeming values this movie has for those not looking for explicit scenes of violence and torture. The very structure of the movie detailing the human aspect of these dehumanizing events acts as a sobering reminder for all those just looking for gore. You will see just how ludicrous were the motives behind all this suffering. How madness can take over the mind and push it to do unimaginable things. And finally, how the next generation becomes just as fucked up as the one before it. However, the final Rabbit Reviews decision is that Men Behind the Sun is indeed an exploitation movie.
Director: Tun Fei Mou
Writers: Mei Liu, Wen Yuan Mou, Dun Jing Teng
Cast: Hsu Gou, Tie Long Jin, Zhaohua Mei, Zhe Quan, Gang Wang, Runsheng Wang
Fun Facts: Director Tun Fei Mou tried to be as accurate as he could be with the story about the Unit 731. He spent years researching the subject and shot the movie at their actual headquarters to the horror of local villagers.