When I think of Japanese horror most of my thoughts turn to either the sadistic styles such as Audition or Ichi the Killer or the more haunting visions of Ringu. However, there has been horror as long as Japanese cinema has been around and there is one film that Arrow put out recently called the Horrors of Malformed Men and it looked rather interesting.
I wasn’t ready for what I saw.
Now this doesn’t mean the film was bad – on the contrary it was a film that kept me riveted to my seat from the moment that it started to its conclusion. This film was based on the works of a Japanese author named Edogawa Rampo. Rampo was popular for writing short stories based on horror and detectives and this movie starts out with a young man that comes to an island. On this island is his father and he is trying to establish a perfect society based on malformed men. That is how the story starts and it goes from there and believe me when I tell you once you see this movie you will never forget it. I don’t want to give away what happens as this needs to be watched especially if you are a fan of horror or even Japanese horror. The director of this masterpiece, Teruo Ishii has done some other nightmarish films including Blind Woman’s Curse and Shogun’s Joy of Torture so if you love this film I highly urge you to check out his other works.
There are a few amazing special features on this disc as the movie has been restored to its former glory from the original negative in 1080p along with newly translated English subtitles. There are two audio commentaries by Japanese cinema experts Tom Mes and Mark Schilling. Also two featurettes which are Malformed Movies which is a new interview with the screenwriter of the film Masahiro Kakefuda and Malformed Memories where two filmmakers (Shinya Tsukamoto & Minoru Kawasaki discuss the career of the director. Another featurette shows off Ishii and Tom Schilling visiting the Far East film festival before he passed on. The original theatrical trailer and an image gallery round out the special features on the disc.
If you love horror or are new to Japanese horror I would recommend that you check out Horrors of Malformed Men as it is amazing and it should be treasured. For more information on this and other films that Arrow has in store for us check them out at http://www.arrowvideo.com/ and get ready to experience the horrors of malformed men.