Hei Tai Yang 731 Xu Ji Zhi Sha Ren Gong Chang or Laboratory of the Devil is really just a shot for remake as well as a lose remake of Men Behind the Sun (it also goes under the title Men Behind the Sun 2).
Despite it all it’s just cheaper and tries to be something different compared to the first.
Let me just say THE FIRST WAS BRUTALY SNTUNNING, It’s kind of like a Documentary/Film with both working on each other throw the film. Of course being the first Cat III Hong Kong picture many just assumed it was plain trash to insult the Japanese… But no.
Of course with the firsts world-wide success they did a second film right away but this time with action and stupid Kung Fu scenes.
In the spring of 1945, Japan established a secret base, Unit 731 in Manchuria, where many innocent Chinese, Korean and Mongolian people were killed in grotesque experiments. An idealistic young doctor, Morishima, is horrified by the experiments being performed in the camp and when his fiancée arrives disguised as a Chinese prisoner he sets out to liberate the camp.
The story is one of the many problems with the picture, the first took a serious tone as well as being historically accurate and disgusting at the same time but this tries new stuff that isn’t even needed. Stupid action scenes and out of no-where a bunch of people start getting Kung Fu on each other that just does nothing but ruins the already awful pace.
It’s mostly boring and it lacks what the first had… STRUCTURE!
The acting is below average but is good from some of the cast… Though I have only seen the English dubbed version (The only version here in AUS). Though the gore and special effects make up for all the films problems and mistakes! Though considering there is nothing new and there only doing everything the first did… But overall it looks great.
This no doubt had a much lower budget than the first, the sets look crap and their mostly shot on location (you can tell).
Here are some facts I found
The uncut version was originally refused classification by the OFLC in Australia in September of 1992. One month later, the film was resubmitted, only heavily cut. It received an R18+ rating for cinema release, but when the heavily cut version was resubmitted for a video rating in 1994, it was again refused classification and banned in Australia, even though the same print was given a cinema rating. Finally, in 2004, the film was resubmitted and received an R18+ rating for the original uncut print on video.
Look overall I will personally give it a 50% despite all the problems it has… These Men Behind the Sun films are fun and racist but still… My final verdict isn’t recommended but if you did see it try the first.
Jesse’s Laboratory of the Devil score 55%-100