Sweet Whip / Amai Muchi / 甘い鞭
Takashi Ishii, who once shined with his baroque outré explorations of the dark side of life, seems to have finally succumbed to the sweet whip of pure exploitation. Sweet Whip, with an ostensible the raison d’être of exploring the dark psychological manifestations of a young woman’s abduction, ends up slipping and sliding through its own bloody grand guignol with no apparent end in mind. The story alternates between young Naoko (Yuki Mamiya) being abducted and physically and sexually abused and her older self (Mitsu Dan), now a gynecologist (no less!) with a serious secret BDSM fetish. The fantasies and abuse from her adult life conflate with the real abuse at the hands of a psychopath in her past. Nothing good comes from this. By the end of Sweet Whip there’s no reason to care as Ishii’s fanciful and facile misreading of the SM world serves only to up the ante on more and more dreadful abuse of his subject. Cynical, sexist and abusive may be too nice to describe this bloody mess of a movie.
Originally published in EL Magazine, October 2013.