Last week, we explored 5 disconcerting, demented Japanese films that are sure to bend your horror-loving brain. Check out last week’s list here.
This week Blumhouse.com is back with another list of insane horror flicks from Japan. Some of these get very intense, so approach with a stable, open, and versatile psyche.
HORRORS OF MALFORMED MEN (1969)
A man wakes up in a mental institution unaware of why he’s there and with no memory of who he is, only strange visions and random memories he can’t place. When a man from a wealthy family (who happens to look exactly like him) dies, he assumes his identity. Posing as the dead man, he learns about his “father”, a strange and deformed man living on an island just off shore, which his father is now is turning into a bizarre amusement park.
Banned in its native country of Japan, HORRORS OF MALFORMED MEN is APOCOLYPSE NOW meets THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, but instead of Brando you’ve got a tall, skinny, web-fingered lunatic with fluid dance moves. MALFORMED MEN is a Toei production and is often considered to be a precursor to Pinky Violence films. Although it does have a weak ending, it is beautifully shot and exhibits the all the pain of a madman unleashing his wonderful genius onto the screen.
When a severely ill man leaking green fluid arrives at an isolated hospital, the overnight staff begins experiencing disturbing visions and supernatural events. This one gets gooey!
Director Takashi Miike gained acclaim with US audiences for his demented film, AUDITION. But he has ample amounts of surreal and disturbing movies on his resume including THE HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS and the nauseating yet fascinating VISITOR Q. But none of his films have destroyed with my brain to the level that GOZU did. Though it presents itself as a yakuza film about a man searching for his brother in a gangster underworld, the film follows the style of a Greek episodic quest complete with incoherent scenes, peculiar imagery, and monsters.
MYSTERY of RAMPO (1994)
A mystery writer finds a news article that details how one of his stories has become true- a banned novel he wrote about a woman locking her husband in a chest until he suffocated. The writer becomes obsessed with the woman behind the alleged real crime and begins stalking her. This leads him and a fellow writer to a strange Gothic castle full of surreal entertainment, sexual desires, and suicide. RAMPO blurs the lines between fiction and “the real” ultimately swirling everything into a frenetic climax of Edgar Allen Poe, porn, and live “art”.
RAMPO NOIR (2005)
Painted with vivid colors and pure chaos, this anthology film based on the works of writer Rampo Edogawa (same guy the film above is based on) features four of the strangest and most captivating film segments ever. Some of them are mystery, and some seem like love stories, but all are beyond wild, horrifically f’ed up, and beautiful!
GO, GO SECOND TIME VIRGIN (1969)
Imagine if Godard had made a highly artistic exploitation rape movie. High contrast black and white photography beautifully paints the screen. Shots are held endlessly on inconsequential movement like traffic or laundry fluttering in the breeze. Yet, amazingly important details (like the apparent suicide bandages around a character’s wrists) are glossed over. A hand held camera circles a maze of unceasing stairs. Even some of the most brutal scenes like gang rapes and suicides are shot in the utmost poetic, peaceful manner. And to complete this avant-garde artwork, an amazing score enchants all of the action with a mix of bluesy jazz, southern gospel, and startling strings. And yet, this movie is about endless gang rapes- brutal ones. Most of the people I know would be disturbed as hell, if not scarred for life by GO, GO SECOND TIME VIRGIN. It radiates off the screen with beauty, but it is still an incredibly intense exploitation flick that is literally about a girl who keeps getting repeatedly raped. But, if you can stomach the content, the film is absolutely captivating and a mind twisting blend of enchantment vs. repulsion.
And some other fantastic weird and wild Japanese horror selections that we have recently covered on Blumhouse.com:
HAUSU (HOUSE)– Blumhouse.com article here
EXECUTIVE KOALA– Blumhouse.com article here
UZUMAKI- Blumhouse.com article here