Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Resurrected (1992)


After receiving an inheritance from a distant relative, Charles unearths a trunk filled with
family secrets and spells. He discovers that his ancestors were faithful practitioners of
the black arts, accused for their involved in many diabolic feats. A figure of notable
fascination is his ancestor, Joseph Curwin. A known wizard, necromancer and grave robber.
Who's remains Charles discovers and uses for his research.

Already an esteemed scientist, Charles decides to recreate some of the scientific data
left to him.What his devoted wife, Catherine does not know is that the documents contain the
knowledge to re-animate the dead.

Soon after, Charles begins to devote most of his time to conducting strange experiments.
He receives cargo shipments filled with unknown contents, later found to be human and animal remains. Commitment to his research eventually begins to effect his marriage,
after Catherine grows tired of the smells and noises emitting from the guest house
he has taken up residence in.

To avoid any further conflict, Charles decides to uproot to a family property bequeathed to him along with the trunk. There he continues his explorations with the assistance of two undesirables. Notably the ominous looking, Dr. Ash.

Once in the company of his associates, Charles begins to distance himself from his wife.
His cold demeanor worries Catherine, so she enlists the aid of Private Detective,
John March, hoping that he will be able to uncover the mystery surrounding her husband's experiments.

Several days into the investigation, Catherine receives a frantic voice mail from Charles, warning her to stay away from Dr. Ash. Fearful for his life, she rushes to his laboratory with Detective March, only to find Charles a mere shell of the man she once knew. Not only are his mannerisms out of character, but he also begins to speak in an unfamiliar way.

It's safe to assume that from this point things begin to go very wrong, and malevolent dopplegangers are just a notion of what's to come.

"Is to be expected. The dead, they take much blood."


Pardon my random fit of nostalgia. This is another notable fright feature from my childhood
that I think has aged quite well.

This is a film adaptation of the H.P Lovecraft short story, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

The scenery is moody and grey. Filled with overturned headstones, and
misshapen monstrosities that roam cold and dark catacombs waiting for fresh flesh.
The enticing Chris Sarandon also gives a really memorable performance with duel roles.
While he makes a convincing protagonist, he always truly shines as a villain.

I really do love this film. The fact that I have watched it several times in a course of a week should attest for it's greatness!

Highly recommended!

Sadly, this film is out of print. But the VHS can still be easily found for purchase.

Price: For the DVD (24-60+) VHS (5-16$)

Screen Captures: (No copyright infringement intended.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Horrors of Malformed Men (1969)


Hirosuke is an amnesiac fresh from the asylum. During his lamentable moments in his cell,
he is serenaded by an anonymous girl, who's youthful lullaby seeps through the stone walls.
The tune immediately reminds Hirosuke of his childhood, even if he has little
recollection of it. Chance would allow him the opportunity to meet the curious night owl,
Hatsuya while she strolls through the streets.

Hirosuke inquires about the song's origins, and Hatsuya agrees to do a little
investigating for him.The two agree to meet the following day in front of the traveling circus
tents, where Hatsuya happens to be employed. Only for the scenario to pan out violently
when the young girl is fatally stabbed in broad daylight by an unknown assailant.
A frenzy of panic stricken spectators accuse Hirosuke of Hatsuya's death.

Now a wanted man, he begins his quest to clear the perpetual fog blanketing the details
of his past. A twisted journey that begins once he discovers that he also has an
identical twin, Genzaburô, who has recently passed away. Hirosuke decides to fake his
own suicide, so he can begin a new life as his newly re-animated twin brother.
Although, pretending to be someone else proves to be an exhausting task.

While he tries his best to convince his family and wife, Hirosuke finds out about his
estranged father, Jôgorô. An eccentric man with disfigured hands who's taken up
residence on a deserted island. A refuge that allows him the chance to create his own ideal world.

Hirosuke decides to pay his old man a visit, but will be shocked to find what secrets
and abominations await him on the island of malformed men.


While this it not my first introduction to Edogawa Rampo. This film along with  
Blind Beast (1969) are perhaps my favorite cinematic incarnations of his writing.

The scene where Jôgorô dances by the water with dark hair, white kimono and
webbed fingers has to be one of the most beautiful and startling scenes I have witnessed.

The film is engaging. The visuals stunning, and the mystery that unfolds is quite memorable
considering that it is rife with betrayal, disfigured flesh.....and a little incest ;)

Highly recommended!

Availability: In print and available through a multitude of retailers.

Price: 12-19$

Screen Captures: (No copyright infringement intended.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Star Of David: Hunting For Beautiful Girls (1979)


Tatsuya's birth was an unfortunate result of his mother's rape. An event that transpired
graphically in front of his step-father. After he is forced to watch while his partner is ravished
by an uninvited house guest. The trauma is heightened further when his wife
begins to enjoy being violated by her aggressor. This obviously creates a rather bizarre and
destructive family dynamic.

Rather then allow himself to feel the overwhelming burden of shame. Tatsuya's step-father
prefers to subject his wife to increasingly violent acts. His savage behavior persists during
her pregnancy, and increases once Tatsuya is brought into the world. Their bed room antics
are no secret to Tatsuya.

Now as an adult, Tatsuya's seemingly collected exterior conceals his true twisted desires.
When he's not masturbating to images from the Holocaust. Or lusting after his childhood
crush, who affectionately calls him "oniisan" or "brother". He decides to act on his ideals that
are conceived with the influence of his step-father's tendencies for kink, and his real father's
insatiable murderous drive.

A deadly combination that creates a cocktail of delusion and madness when Tatsuya
decides to target beautiful and prideful women, so he can demean them and make them
his willing sex slaves.

It appears that his eyes weren't the only things Tatsuya inherited from his dear old daddy.


Despite the depravity rampant in almost every frame. There are many eye catching and
beautifully shot set pieces.

For instance, in one memorable scene. One of Tatsuya's female victims is tied up and
covered with butter. Only to have it licked off by a rather enthusiastic German Sheppard.
Talk about squirm inducing!

Even with an overwhelming misogynistic tone. I still found myself immensely enjoying this
twisted character study.

Also, Discotek always goes above and beyond in regards to packaging their films.
This title comes with a really neat reversible DVD cover, which allows the purchaser to chose
from a censored or uncensored cover. I am sure you can figure out which side I chose to display ;)

Highly recommended!

Availability: This title still appears to be in print.

Price: 17-28$

Screen Captures: (No copyright infringement intended.)