Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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Be forewarned: "The Embryo Hunts in Secret" is strong stuff. Over within a brisk 72 minutes, this so-called "pink" film follows a troubled, misogynistic sadist (Hatsuo Yamaya) who seduces one of his employees (Miharu Shima, who never acted again) and imprisons her in his unfurnished apartment. Once he has the door barred, he mercilessly whips her, starves her, flicks her with knives and keeps her tied to a bed. Two past traumas -- a mother who committed suicide and an ex-wife who left him because he refused to father her child -- fuel his bitterness toward women. The cast has just three actors, but the story is so intense that you'll hardly notice.
Koji Wakamatsu's leering direction lacks subtlety, and the characterizations are thin (flashbacks repeatedly harp on the same baby problem with the ex-wife, and the victimized girl is just a pretty cipher). The minimal set and a score of licensed classical music signal a low budget, but the kinky plot can't help but be compelling. The film is not as explicit as one might expect (this is 1966, after all), and the nudity goes no further than a few topless shots.
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