Philosophy of a Knife

Philosophy of a Knife
by: Tim Wambolt

It has finally happened. It took nearly 16 years for it to happen but it has now officially happened. An impressively long cinematic record held by Braindead since 1992 has at last been broken. Andrey Iskanov has created the most violent movie ever made. This is not an opinion, the film is over 4 hours of pure torture, consisting of the sickest and most explicit violence imaginable. So until somebody makes a 5 hour long gore-fest, Philosophy of a Knife shall remain the most violent movie of all time. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect about all of this is that the scenes in this film are reenactments of atrocities that actually happened.

Before the credits even roll the film opens with a prisoner being decapitated in the snow by a member of the Japanese Army, this will be the quickest and most humane death you will witness in the entire film. After this a very stylized title screen appears quickly followed by a scene of graphic dismemberment, as corpses are hacked to pieces with axes and limbs are sawed off and burned in furnaces. With this Andrey Iskanov welcomes you to Camp 731, the facility that was conducted by the philosophy of a knife.

During World War 2 a research laboratory was created by military police of the Imperial Japanese Army for researching epidemic prevention and developing weapons of mass destruction. Within these facilities a unit of chemical and biological warfare research team called Unit 731 committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by conducting torturous and fatal experiments on Soviet and Chinese prisoners with estimations resulting in around 200,000 casualties.

The chief medical officer of the Japanese Army, Lieutenant General Shiro Ishii was the commander of Unit 731 and lead the various weapons testing and warfare experiments being conducted in the laboratories, many of which are depicted in the film Philosophy of a Knife. The first of which involves the vivisection, the experimental surgery of a living pregnant woman without anesthesia. The doctors impregnate her then infect her with diseases and remove her organs and fetus while she is still alive, simply to study the results of these diseases before her decomposition. After this Andrey brings us to the infamous teeth yanking scene that you may have caught part of in the trailer for the film. If not, you should know this, the victim's teeth are not just pulled out, they are painfully twisted and bent and hammered out of her gums one by one, as she screams and bleeds until every last tooth is removed from her mouth.

Throughout the film survivors of the incident such as Anatoly Protosov, a former military translator for the USSR, are interviewed and reveal insider information, such as the incident of authority figures being convinced that Ishii's testing facility was actually a lumber mill, causing Unit 731 to often jokingly refer to their test subjects as "logs". After several scenes of vile experiments are depicted, such as the one involving a kid's face boiling from exposure to x-ray radiation, or the scene where a woman is experimentally raped by a man with syphilis for research before the man is slowly gassed to death, or the scene where the researchers strap a woman to a chair, cut her forearm wide open and then shoot her in the neck, it is then that we see their "joke" being taken one step further as these "logs" are chopped apart with axes and thrown into the fire.

Even watching Men Behind The Sun 1 and 2 back to back probably will not prepare you enough to view Philosophy of a Knife. The film is presented without any restrictions or censorship issues towards it's depictions of excessive violence or graphic nudity and with this Andrey Iskanov enters into territories that neither Tun Fei Mou or Godfrey Ho dared to or were allowed to venture. For example, in one particular scene a woman is stripped naked and tied to a chair while a large cockroach is forced inside of her vagina in graphic detail. After several hours of the cockroach moving around inside of her, the doctors cut and peel off her entire face and the cockroach exits from her mouth. They then put her face back on her head and carry her off to the chopping room. As the experiments continue, a man's face is slowly burned off, a woman's forearm is cut open and sawed in half, and a screaming pregnant woman's unborn fetus is ripped out through her bleeding vagina with pliers, piece by piece, along with parts of her own organs and intestines.

Unit 731 had a great interest in researching the effects of frostbite and gangrene on test subjects exposed to extreme temperatures. In one scene of the movie a boy is stripped naked and left tied to a post outside in the snow for several hours while soldiers pour ice cold water on his feet, hands and genitals. He is then taken inside the laboratory where his affected body parts are sliced open with knives. He is then forced to walk, causing him to collapse and die as his legs and feet split apart. After this his face is sawed open and he is chopped to pieces and in the chamber with the rest of the rotted, dismembered corpses. And all of this is in the first half of the movie, it only gets worse from here.

By the time you insert the second dvd you might at this point, be slightly more prepared for the violent radiation exposure scene to follow, which causes a naked man to graphically shit and vomit blood until he dies. Hopefully you handled that well because the next scene gets pretty rough! It features a woman being hung by her arms and electrocuted with cables shoved in her mouth, as the doctors cut open deep, wide gashes into her biceps and face. After this, they pull out her tongue and cut it in half with a knife. Following this scene is a very long and graphic autopsy. Then another woman experiences a similar treatment but this time her back is cut open until her vertebrae is exposed and the electrical cables are forced into her open wounds. Which leads us now to that compression chamber that made Men Behind the Sun so infamous. This time we get an up-close-and-personal glimpse of a boy being exposed to so much pressure that his limbs cave in and his head bursts apart in an explosion of blood.

Many more deaths follow, 3 boys are hung by their arms and gassed to death, a woman who tries to escape is shot through the chest and head and another woman looking for an easier way out slits her own throat with a katana. The death scenes in this film are given a creepier ambience through the use of haunting industrial music and various film filters giving each death scene a dark, bleak and morbid atmosphere similar to a David Lynch movie or a Nine Inch Nails video. Gorehounds and historians are guaranteed to be both fascinated and disgusted by all the newly discovered evidence, interviews, photos and video footage of the actual atrocities that took place, presented for the first time in this film! Andrey Iskanov was actually investigated by the KGB regarding his research for the film. They searched his property and confiscated his computers, along with all of his evidence and film footage. He was arrested and taken to a Military base for interrogation and locked in a concrete cell without a toilet. He was given very little food and was made to sign consent forms for search and seizure of all of his property.

The incidents at Unit 731 were hidden from the public for so long and even to this day, as you can see from Andrey's imprisonment, extreme measures are still being taken towards covering up the truth. It makes you wonder what else is going on today that we may never know about for years to come when someone else finally decides to risk everything just to make the truth known to us. In a way this makes Philosophy of a Knife one of the most powerful films ever made, it simply can not be ignored any longer. Andrey did his part and more, please do yours by helping to support his efforts and order Philosophy of a Knife now, this film must be seen. Please contact Producer Stephen Biro of Unearthed Films for ordering information.