Horrors of Malformed Men is a 1969 Japanese horror film directed by Teruo Ishii from works by Edogawa Rampo.
The movie is considered a precursor to Toei’s ventures into the “pinky violent” style in the early 1970s. Effectively banned in Japan, Horrors of Malformed Men was rarely seen in the decades after its release.
On September 17th and 18th, 2018, the film was released on Blu-ray by Arrow Films in the USA and UK.
Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original negative
High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
Uncompressed mono 1.0 PCM audio
Newly translated optional English subtitles
Two audio commentaries by Japanese cinema experts Tom Mes and Mark Schilling
Malformed Movies: a new video interview with Toei exploitation movie screenwriter Masahiro Kakefuda
Malformed Memories: Filmmakers Shinya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo the Iron Man) and Minoru Kawasaki (The Calamari Wrestler) on the career of director Teruo Ishii
Ishii in Italia: Ishii and Mark Schilling visit the Far East Film Festival
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dan Mumford
Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Jasper Sharp, Tom Mes and Grady Hendrix
After escaping from an asylum, young medical student Hirosuke assumes the identity of a dead man in order to solve the mystery of a weird doppelgänger whose picture he sees in the newspaper.
Travelling to faraway Panorama Island, he discovers a mad scientist surgically remaking normal human beings into misshapen monsters but that is only the beginning. Hirosuke soon learns the horrible truth about the island and his own families shameful past and finds himself plunged into the depths of unnatural breeding, murder, and madness…
“Combining a spectrum of influences that stretches from Rampo to butoh, it taps into the country’s post-nuclear trauma so audaciously that people reportedly fled theaters in disgust upon its release. Yet, it is beautiful, haunting and oneiric; it is the closest one can come to a dreamlike experience without closing one’s eyes.” Midnight Eye
“The scene with the naked animalistic women being whipped by “Malformed Men” while crawling around on all fours, snarling and thrashing their hair around was effective, but brief – shots like this redeem the film a little, but not enough. Then there’s the laboratory scene where the malformations look about as convincing as having painted people in clay or stuck wadded up balls of wet toilet paper on their faces. Chilling.” Digital Retribution
“Filled with completely bizarre and at times rather surreal imagery, Horrors of Malformed Men appears to borrow from Todd Browning’s Freaks in a few spots but definitely puts a unique spin on things making this film one that has a strange lasting effect on the viewer.” Rock! Shock! Pop!
On August 28, 2007, Synapse Films and Panik House released the film on DVD in the USA.
Buy DVD: Amazon.com
Edogawa Rampo Zenshū: Kyoufu Kikei Ningen