Directed by Nobuo Nakagawa and released in it’s home country of Japan in 1960.
Jigoku (aka Hell or The Sinners Of Hell) is a film that follows one man who seems to be forever burdened with hellish events.
First he and his friend run over a Yakuza in the heat of the night and then his child-laden wife-to-be dies in a taxi cab accident after telling him minutes earlier not to take a cab. To top it all off, he gets sent to hell to spend eternity in excruciating pain.
Before Jigsaw punished the humans he felt were useless, before Quentin Tarantino filmed violence and edited it to popular music…. there was Jigoku: a Japanese film which ecompasses just about everything the horror genre would later come to gratify. Not just violence but it’s characters fear and the sheer terror laid out by it’s antagonist – or in some cases it’s protagonist.
This may not be a perfect film but it has aged very well and it is a very effective horror movie – the very first to utilize gore in such a way. A must for all horror fans.