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Rubber’s Lover

Shozin Fukui
Japan 1996 / 91’

This extreme horror by Shozin Fukui recalls the spectre of the infamous Unit 731, in which Japanese ‘scientists’ conducted horrific experiments on war prisoners in the 1930s and 40s. The film details a clandestine group of researchers who conduct psychic experiments designed to release special powers through torture and drugs, for whom the doors of perception turn out to be the gates of hell where sadomasochistic visions pulsate among concrete and steel cages, test tubes and twisted cables. Human guinea pigs foam at the mouth, latex bound bodies shake and mysterious figures emerge from bellowing smoke, all of its set to mind-bending cacophony of drones, rhythmic industrial music, as well as whispers and screams looped into a mad mantra.

Shozin Fukui

Shozin Fukuiwas born in 1961. He spent the 1980s living in Tokyo, part of the local punk scene. There, he formed his own band and became interested in underground cinema. He initially shot promotional videos for various musicians, but over time started to create auteur works. His best-known films include 964 Pinocchio (1991) and Rubber’s Lover (1996), considered classics of Japanese cyberpunk cinema. Fukui’s work has been compared to films by Shinji Tsukamoto, another cyberpunk master, though he cites Possession by Andrzej Żuławski as his favourite film.

Selected filmography

1986 Metal Days

1986 Gerorisuto (short)

1991 964 Pinokio / 964 Pinocchio

1996 Rubber’s Lover

2006 Den-Sen / Suicide DVD

Cast & Crew

director Shozin Fukui
screenplay Shozin Fukui
music Tanizaki Tetora
sound Akihiko Suzuki
cast Nao, Norimizu Ameya, Yôta Kawase, Mika Kunihiro, Sosuke Saito
producer Hiroshi Kobayashi
production Honekoubou
sales Honekoubou
language Japanese
colouration b&w