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All Night Long 2: Atrocity

Review by: 
Don't Feed the Dead
Release Date: 
Tokyo Shock
Dark Drama
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
Katsuya Matsumura
Masashi Endo
Ryoka Yuzuki
Bottom Line: 

 Perhaps the most intriguing attribute of the All Night Long series is that it is all very real. Not real by way of the events captured on film, but by the actions and emotions conveyed by the actors. Life is not beautiful, according to director Matsumura, and Atrocity does more than make one count his blessings that he's not in the situation at hand.
Shuinichi is a high schooler that doesn't have a very active social life. In fact, Shuinichi devotes most of his time to sculpting and painting Hentai dolls. We get the notion of Shuinichi's solitude within the first 10 minutes of Atrocity, as he sits airbrushing a sculpture within the confines of his bedroom, surrounded by thousands of VHS tapes. However, Shuinichi's troubles run much deeper than his solitude, as he is met by an extortionist gang on his way home one day. Apparently, Shuinichi is in to this gang for 100,000 yen, and they intend on punishing him for not delivering payment. They duck into an abandoned warehouse with him and proceed to torture and abuse him. The gang leader, and also the other main character, Sayaka, immediately takes a homosexual liking to Shuinichi and attempts to molest him once the gang is finished. Shuinichi retreats from Sayaka's advances and runs home, grasping his amime sculpture that was ruined in the attack.
We now begin to see the innocence that Shuinichi represents begin to surface with short clips of him daydreaming about children playing in the park. Comparably to Salinger's "A Catcher in the Rye", Shuinichi intends on preserving his innocence by attempting to avoid the gang. Unfortunately, Sayaka shows up at Shuinichi's door, a result of him obtaining Shuinichi's address when they were classmates. Retreating back to Sayaka's apartment, the two sit down for a wonderful dinner, then Sayaka brings out a surprise for Shuinichi. He has obtained a girl left behind by the gang, overdosed on heroin and severely beaten. It is now that Shuinichi's innocence becomes lost, as he takes part in the psychotic torturing set forth by Sayaka. On a side note, excellent SFX used for the girl's hands, which had the fingernails removed prior to Sayaka bringing her out.
In my opinion, Atrocity is the crown jewel of the All Night Long Trilogy. In depth character development greatly details the loss of innocence in Shuinichi, further exemplified by his final bloody outburst at the end of the movie. Director Mastsumura beautifully paints the butterfly-like metamorphosis that Shuinichi goes through with graphic displays of rape and torture, enough to make any man's will buckle. Shuinichi finally gives in to Sayaka's masochistic ways and metaphorically, the children playing in the park die one by one. Art significantly parallels life in Atrocity, where Shuinichi becomes so desensitized by the gang's actions that he begins to believe that what he sees is normal.
Although some may find the All Night Long series offensive, I find it very informative from a psychological standpoint. The poignancy of the films reiterate the decline of mankind, especially once the main characters begin to realize that human life isn't as valuable as people think. In reference to the Trilogy's tagline "Human Beings are Garbage", this movie indeed symbolizes one person's ability to treat all around him like trash, and have people believe that garbage is the equivalent of their sole existence.
Unfortunately, Media Blasters leaves this volume completely nude, with just a few trailers for their other products shown before the film. Indeed, the lack of extra materials like a still gallery, commentaries and even a behind the scenes was a great disappointment. However, do not let the lack of extras dissuade you from seeing this movie. It rivals I Spit On Your Grave as one of the best shock horror films of all time with a climax that will have you either puking or cheering. I personally chose the latter.

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