Flower and Snake/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Review of Flower and Snake
Media Blasters does a heroic job by bringing some Nikkatsu roman porno to US markets. Appart from Artsmagic’s Angel Guts box set there hasn't been any remasted dvds available (edit: KimStim released 4 Konuma films later in 2007). MB’s choise of title is not a very surprising one; Masaru Konuma’s original 1974 Hana to hebi. The new generation Flower and Snake films by Takashi Ishii were already released on dvd so it’s time to take a look at the famous original.
The dvd case states; ”based on the novel by Oniroku Dan, this beautifully lensed film helped usher in the S&M Roman Porno genre in Japan and many numerous sequels and remakes. Flower & Snake '74 (aka Hana to Hebi) was directed by Masaru Konuma (Wife to Be Sacrificed) and boasts an ultra-groovy score by Riichiro Manabe (Godzilla vs. Megalon, Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster).”
Sadly there’s one problem. The movie is total garbage, in my humble opinion. Mixing awkward and silly story with plain disgusting content this ”S&M masterpiece” is about as far from ”beautifully lensed film” as I can think of. A fair amount of the movie’s 74 minute running time is put into torturing Naomi Tani in various ways, including forcing her to defecate. Konuma shows little visual ambition, and it’s hard to find any impressive aspects from the storyline. The soundtrack is forgettable as well.
As a single positive element Naomi Tani manages to convince with her cult actress essence. Hopefully I’ll get to see her again in a better movie. However, I do know some people enjoy seeing her in this movie as well. Many genre fans consider Hana to hebi one of the best in the genre, so if you feel like it might be your cup of sake, you may want to give it a try.
Reviewed by HungFist - 9/22/07