It's finally here! A movie that has been banned for years that I've only ready about -- Teruo Ishii's Horrors of Malformed Men is finally out on DVD (http://www.synapse-films.com/). Based on stories by legendary Japanese horror fiction author Edogawa Rampo, it's about an imprisoned medical student, whose has repeated weird dreams about a strange island enclave. He escapes and pretends to be a dead man so he can be taken to his father (a mysterious doctor)'s island, where the doc has been doing unspeakable experiments on people and transforming them into misshapen monsters.
Yes, it's Island of Dr. Moreau, but so much more. The newly remastered transfer is astonishing, but while I was watching the beginning it was a tad disappointing, especially since I've been waiting to see what all the fuss was all about after reading about it all these years. But suddenly when the movie got to the island and the freaks appeared and the father (played by Butoh school of avant-garde dancer Tatsumi Hijikata) shows up and loony secrets are revealed -- the movie catapults into full-fledged Cinemaniac-approved madness. The human fireworks explosion at the end with leave you slack-jawed. The disc is filled with wonderful tributes to the late director Teruo Ishii, and commentary about the scandal the movie created at the time. (Post-Hiroshima, a movie about freaks went over as well as a 9/11 comedy would go over in New York). But you have to see this movie to believe it!