BLOODY MUSCLE BODY BUILDER IN HELL (2009) Reviews and Visual Vengeance Blu-ray news

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Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell is being issued on Blu-ray by Visual Vengeance, a new sister label being launched by Wild Eye Releasing, on July 5, 2022.

The new collector’s Blu-ray label is dedicated to vintage sometimes overlooked micro-budget genre independents from the 1980s through to the 2000s. The upcoming slate of releases will span underground genre history including action, horror, and sci-fi titles – and will feature SOV, Super 8, 16mm and 35mm lensed movies – though its primary focus will be shot-on-video movies of the beloved VHS and early DVD era when independent film output flourished.

The label will include movies from enduring genre fan-favourite directors such as Todd Sheets, Bret McCormick, Mark Polonia, Brad Sykes, Kevin Lindenmuth and Donald Farmer, as well as many others – and a good selection of the movies to be released have been feared ‘lost’ or remained out of print for decades.

All releases will include participation in brand new bonus features with the original creators and stars of the movies, and be released in deluxe collector’s editions with limited edition slipcase packaging – as well as being loaded with special features. Plus, many will have the addition of liner notes and premium items such as posters, stickers and more surprises.

Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell bonus features:
New interview with director Shinichi Fukazawa
Commentary track with directors Adam Green (Hatchet franchise; Frozen) and Joe Lynch (Shudder’s Creepshow series, Mayhem).
Commentary track with Japanese film historian James Harper
Liner notes
Limited Edition Slipcase
Collectible Mini-poster
‘Stick your own’ VHS sticker set
Vintage style laminated video store rental card
And More

Here is our previous coverage of the movie:

Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell aka The Japanese Evil Dead is a 2009 Japanese horror feature film written, directed by and starring Shinichi Fukazawa. It also stars Masaaki Kai and Asako Nosaka.

Originally titled Jigoku no chimidoro Muscle Builder it is a real labour of love and personal obsession – the film was shot and edited in 8mm, then digital video, over a period of fourteen years!

Plot:
After a surprise phone call interrupts his daily workout, beefy body builder Shinji agrees to meet his photojournalist ex-girlfriend to help with her research on haunted houses.

Accompanied by a professional psychic, they visit an abandoned house once owned by Shinji’s father. However, inside the house, a dark secret lingers and they find themselves trapped and tormented by a relentless ghost with a thirty-year grudge…

Review:
We’re used to the idea of hit movies being ripped off, but what is the statute of limitations on imitation? When does a copy become a tribute? Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell brings such questions to mind, partly because this 2014 film is a blatant imitation of The Evil Dead – right down to directly copying several shots – but mostly because the on-screen action is so uninteresting that you will find your mind wandering should you be foolish enough to sit through this.

Also known as The Japanese Evil Dead (and yes, that’s a giveaway I suppose), this film barely scrapes past the sixty-minute mark, but feels a lot longer, as it sets out to prove just how good Sam Raimi’s film is by rehashing the same ideas in a ham-fisted, barely watchable story. Three people – including the son of a man we see involved in a violent altercation with a jealous lover in the opening scenes – find themselves in a haunted house… the very house where bodybuilder Shinji’s father met a sticky end. Soon, we have possession by vengeful ghosts, which results in one of the trio – a medium – taking a distinctly Evil Dead Zombie appearance, and as Shinji battles to survive, there are plenty of gory moments.

This might sound fun, however, little happens for the first half of the film, and when the action does kick in, it’s handled in a staggeringly sloppy way – the gore is plentiful but poorly presented, and where The Evil Dead moved like a rocket, this has the dynamism of a sloth and becomes increasingly incoherent as it goes on.
David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:
“Gore is splattered across the screen throughout […] frequently delving into stop-motion animation for it’s more elaborate splatter sequences. Many horror comedies fail because they cannot find the correct balance between scares and laughs. Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell sticks to The Evil Dead blueprint by punctuating its comedic situations with buckets of blood.” Attack from Planet B

“Performances are enthusiastic but shrill enough to make the brief running time merciful. It’s a curiosity rather than a ‘real film’, but there are enough lo-tech horror effects to keep viewers entertained and it’s over with inside your average lunch hour.” The Kim Newman Web Site

” …a showcase of talents, from Fukazawa’s budget-wary thrills and genre-awareness to the quality and volume of the effects. Bloody Muscle Bodybuilder in Hell is an extended short film, or a feature film missing reels, either way, it feels like the kind of thing that used to hide on the top shelf of your local video store, which is no easy feat.” The Forbidden Room

“This movie is very much a product of the late ’90s when it was filmed, the stop-motion effects are actually very good and there is bloody aplenty to go with the gore. The acting is fine too and you do get the feeling that the two leads still have feelings for each other.” UK Horror Scene

“Fukazawa wisely kept the film’s running time brief, it comes in at just over an hour, and after a bit of buildup makes sure that Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell never slows down enough for the viewer to start caring about the obviously rubber body parts crawling around. He even plays into it at one point, Naoto throws an attacking hand across the room only for it to bounce back like a ball and hit him in the head.” 4 out of 5, Voices from the Balcony

In the UK, the film was released on DVD on April 24, 2017, by Terracotta’s Asian horror label ‘Terror Cotta’.
Special Features include a step-by-step artwork gallery by Graham Humphreys (The Evil Dead, A Nightmare on Elm Street), original Japanese trailers, an extensive behind-the-scenes photo gallery and two ‘making of’ video clips.

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