Oct 3, 2018

IMDb: Horrors of Malformed Men

Director: Teruo Ishii

Stars: Teruo Yoshida, Yukie Kagawa, Teruko Yumi

Teruo Yoshida is the director of one of my favorite underrated releases in Arrow Video’s catalog. Blind Woman’s Curse was a film starring cult icon Meiko Kaji and it flew under the radar; so I hope this film, although it has a much less recognizable cast, gets the recognition it deserves. It is a surprisingly awesome example of classic Japanese horror with enough added absurdity and surrealism to appeal to many genre collectors. It is a psychedelic ride through the sexual and supernatural grotesque that even the most seasoned viewers will have trouble categorizing. In fact, the director is often credited for creating the genre known as Erotic Grotesque to encompass is strange films.

The film centers around a man who escapes a mental institute, only to end up in an ironically worse situation involving a horrific island reminiscent of The Island of Dr. Moreau. The horrors he witnesses on this island will quickly become burned into your memory. I’m telling you, if you don’t already know about this one, it will be a pleasant surprise. In fact, I have found myself a little bored with this company’s releases lately. Their incessant releasing of sub-par Spaghetti Westerns and repetitive Giallo films has been driving me nuts. So I welcomed this film with open arms, and found myself disturbed and mesmerized by the film’s visual aesthetics.

Despite a few slow spots, this movie’s costume design and lighting make it stand out as a stylistic and insane ride through genre cinema. When the horror actually starts (about halfway through) the effects work and the violence (although antiquated) is portrayed in hilariously memorable sequences. This movie transcends genre and therefore applies to many of the things I like to collect. It will surely fit many of your collections, whether you are a Criterion collector of something like House or Jigoku or a cult collector who enjoys the stranger side of things like the Female Prisoner Scorpion series.