Directed by Yasuzo Masumura
Written by Ishio Shirasaka
Cinematography by Setsuo Kobayashi
Music by Hikaru Hayasu
Cast: Eiji Funakoshi, Mako Midori, Noriko Sengoku

1969/84 Mins/Colors/Mono
2.35:1 anamorphic/Japanese/Japan/NTSC Region 1

Review from Fantoma DVD

Blind sculptor, Michio (Eiji Funakoshi), kidnaps beautiful nude-art model Aki (Mako Midori). Helping him is his mother (Noriko Sengoku), whom is simply too attached to her son, for either of their own good. They take Aki to his art studio, where he holds her captive, amidst his work- all of which are sculptors of female body parts. He wants to use her to make the perfect, nude (of course) sculptor. She refuses to obey, and pays for it via rape and punishment. She eventually decides to use her sexuality to see if it can lead to her freedom, but as time passes the relationship between them gets more perverse and horrifying.

Based on the short story by Edogawa Rampo, BLIND BEAST is a powerful bit of psychological and erotic horror. Although, it starts off rather slowly; it begins to get more horrific, perverse, and twisted, as it goes along. Until it reaches the shocking S&M climax which rackets up the intensity to the nth degree. It all leads to an ending, that while has very little actual blood, is very violent and alarming.

Director Shirasaka’s film is has a very weird and nightmarishly surreal look to it, greatly enhancing the disturbing and claustrophobic feel of Michio’s art studio. The set design here is magnificent. Kobayashi deserves major credit for his flawless cinematography. The movie strongly combines elements of the horror, erotic, and dramatic genre with the look and feel of an arthouse movie.

Equally impressive are the three actors. They have an amazing depth of interaction between them, in what is effectively a three-person character study. The chemistry works so well, that they draw you into what is occurring onscreen. Midori is the perfect choice to play Aki, because her gorgeous beauty leaves you breathless. She is a work of art, all unto herself.

The artistic horrors of BLIND BEAST are visible thanks to this release by Fantoma. Presented in its enhanced 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the picture has no artifacting, but it is a bit soft looking, more so in darker looking scenes. The Japanese mono is very good and clear and the subitiles look good, too.

There is little in the way of extra features, though. Both a filmography and bio are included, as on screen reading material. Featured as well is a gallery of behind the scenes photos and cool black and white and color stills which feature some facts and info pertaining to them. It also comes with the film’s trailer.

To be honest, the best extra features are the excellent linear notes by Patrick Macias author of the book “TokyoScope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion” in a booklet included in the keepcase that holds the DVD. The booklet also lists all the twelve chapters that the movie is broke up into. The menu screen for the DVD is really cool looking, as images play in the background.





This Film Features:

Review by Giovanni Deldio. All Right Reserved. 2008. ©

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