Horrors of Malformed Men

Horrors of Malformed Men

Director: Teruo Ishii, Teruo Yoshida, Tatsumi Hijikata, Minoru Ohki

Cast: Teruo Ishii, Teruo Yoshida, Tatsumi Hijikata, Minoru Ohki

     
 
One of the most infamous films in the history of Japanese cinema has earned a worthy special edition, thanks to this impressive disc from Synapse Films. The anamorphic widescreen transfer of the film is candy for the eye, combining an impressively sharp level of detail with eye-popping primary colors. It is accompanied by the original Japanese mono soundtrack, which

Overview

One of the most infamous films in the history of Japanese cinema has earned a worthy special edition, thanks to this impressive disc from Synapse Films. The anamorphic widescreen transfer of the film is candy for the eye, combining an impressively sharp level of detail with eye-popping primary colors. It is accompanied by the original Japanese mono soundtrack, which is presented with well-translated English subs. The end result sounds nice and strong despite its non-stereo origins, especially the spooky musical score. The disc also offers an impressive array of extras. These extras begin with a commentary track by Mark Schilling: it was recorded during a break at a film festival and offers an informal, moderated chat that bypasses the usual scene-specific approach to cover Ishii's career in detail. Fans of Japanese cult cinema will find it interesting, especially the parts that focus on the inner workings of the Japanese film business and Ishii's on-set habits as a director. There is also an excellent featurette called "Malformed Memories," which has modern Japanese directors Shinya Tsukamoto and Minoru Kawasaki discussing their love of Ishii's work and, in Tsukamoto's case, discussing memories of working with Ishii. Another featurette entitled "Ishii In Italia" provides an informal video journal of Ishii's trip to a festival where Horrors Of Malformed Men was shown. The disc's extras are rounded out by the original theatrical trailer (which has some unforgettable narration), a poster gallery and text biographies of Ishii and Edogawa Rampo. Finally, a booklet in the disc case adds an essay on the film itself and a brief history of the screen adaptations of Rampo's work. All in all, this is an excellent package and a must for collectors of unusual cinema.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This intense Japanese horror film earned quite a reputation by being banned from public viewing for several years. That said, this reputation should not be taken lightly as Horrors Of Malformed Men is a powerful, transgressive work that still packs a punch. The storyline was stitched together from several stories by Japanese horror legend Edogawa Rampo and this gives the script a certain delirium as it hurtles from one bizarre plot twist to another. Writer/director Teruo Ishii lives up the madness of his source material by giving it a stylized approach, adding color-tinting to flashback sequences and using performance-art dancers to perform as the malformed men of the title. These unusual tactics work thanks to both the director's confident sense of style and inspired performances from the cast: Teruo Yoshida delivers a straight-faced turn as the hero that provides an anchor that the viewer can relate to amidst all the strange sights while Tatsumi Hijikata creates an unforgettable villain, mixing an effortless intensity with an unusual physicality derived from his performance-art dance training. The only real flaw with Horrors Of Malformed Men is that its pacing lags slightly around the midpoint but Ishii makes up for that with a mind-bending final half hour that piles on bizarre visuals and climaxes with an barrage of outrageous plot twists and secret revelations that will leave even the most hardened cult film fans slackjawed. Needless to say, the finished film isn't for all tastes but fans of bizarre cult cinema owe it to themselves to see Horrors Of Malformed Men at least once so they can see the extremes of what vintage Japanese cinema has to offer.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/28/2007
UPC:
0654930306499
Original Release:
1969
Rating:
NR
Source:
Synapse Films
Time:
1:39:00
Sales rank:
13,219

Special Features

New, Fully Restored, Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer Mastered in High-Definition From Toei's Original Vault Elements; Japanese Language With Newly-Translated, Removabel English Subtitles; Audio Commentary by Film Critic Mark Schilling; Malformed Memories, Featuring Interviews With Shinya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo the Iron Man) & Minoru Kawasaki (The Calamari Wrestler); Ishii in Italia, the Director's 2003 Visit to the Far East Film Festival; Original Japanese Theatrical Trailer, Poster Gallery and Biographies; Liner Notes by Patrick Macias, Tomo Machiyama and Jasper Sharp; Reversible Cover With Japanese Poster Artwork.

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Horrors of Malformed Men
1. Madhouse [7:02]
2. Man or Beast? [3:38]
3. Murder and Escape [4:43]
4. Strange Circus [1:49]
5. Doppleganger [4:34]
6. Switching Places [5:32]
7. The Komoda Household [8:43]
8. Female Troubles [10:12]
9. Repressed Memories [3:17]
10. Island of Monsters [9:32]
11. Searching For Answers [2:31]
12. "More Interesting Things to Show You" [6:07]
13. Surgical Horrors [3:15]
14. Mother [8:15]
15. Disturbing Truths [:38]
16. A Surprise Visitor [2:19]
17. Punishment [8:07]
18. Detonation [2:58]

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