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Horrors of Malformed Men (1969)

Teruo Ishii  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: Teruo Ishii
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Synapse Films
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2007
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,526 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Horrors of Malformed Men" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

* New, fully restored, anamorphic widescreen transfer mastered in high-definition from Toei's original vault elements
* Japanese language with newly-translated, removable English subtitles
* Audio commentary by film critic Mark Schilling
* MALFORMED MEMORIES, an all-new, half-hour documentary featuring interviews with cult film directors and Ishii fans Shinya Tsukamoto (TETSUO THE IRON MAN) and Minoru Kawasaki (THE CALAMARI WRESTLER), plus comments from Teruo Ishii himself
* ISHII IN ITALIA, the director's 2003 visit to the Far East Film Festival
* Original Japanese theatrical trailer
* Teruo Ishii poster gallery
* Director and writer biographies
* Liner notes by Japanese film writers Patrick Macias, Tomo Machiyama and Jasper Sharp
* Reversible cover with original Japanese poster artwork

From the Contributor

Directed by Teruo Ishii (Joys of Torture, Black Cat's Revenge, Female Yakuza Tale, Sonny Chiba's The Executioner, Japanese Hell, Screwed, Blind Beast vs. Killer Dwarf)

Based on stories by Edogawa Rampo (Black Lizard, Watcher in the Attic, Rampo Noir, Blind Beast, Gemini, Blind Beast vs. Killer Dwarf)

Starring Teruo Yoshida (Goke - Bodysnatcher from Hell), Minoru Oki (Shogun Assassin), Tatsumi Hijikata (founder of butoh dance in Japan), Yukie Kagawa (Female Convict Scorpion - Jailhouse 41), and Asao Koike (The Yakuza Papers).

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most unique and bizarre films I've seen December 29, 2007
And coming from Japan's long, unique, and often bizarre history of film, that is saying something. The fact that this film was produced in the sixties actually boggles my mind as does the amount of material pilfered from it over the years by both Western and Eastern filmmakers. The fact that it is still to this day banned in it's native Japan is another sticking point. Consider this a must for the film fan who's seen it all.

An insane asylum, psychadelic dancers in silver body paint, siamese twins, a pond full of beautiful naked women who are fed from a boat like so many koi, a bizarre family mystery, matching swastika scars on the feet of two different men -one alive and one dead, second-hand cannibalism via crustacean, women sewed to sheep, an island of custom made freaks, an murder scene that was ripped off wholesale for use in a James Bond film (You Only Live Twice), and a revenge plot so insanely convoluted that it must have influenced Oldboy are just some of the head-spinning madness "The Horrors of Malformed Men" has to offer.

The sensational cover of the DVD is extremely misleading, but it got me to watch the film so who's to argue? Fans of Takashi Miike are urged to buy this film ASAP and cult cinema/grindhouse afficianados should consider this a must-see as well. The gore is less than one would think, but there is plenty of sex, bizarre visuals, and insane and disturbing material here to make this a memorable experience for any exploitation fan. The only drawback is the poor makeup. But again, we are talking about a foreign film from the 1960's here so don't let that stop you from snapping this forgotten gem up.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horrors of Malformed Men October 27, 2007
This is my second run in with director Teruo Ishii, a film that is as twisted as the previous film of his I had seen Blind Womans Curse. Horrors I hear has a reputation for being a banned cult classic. I'll admit that I walked into this expecting rampant nudity and gore and a take on some taboo subjects. The taboo bits come up in the end of the film that I won't explain here to spoil it, but as a whole compared to the films of Takashi Miike and the like its banned status is a little perplexing. But that doesn't make it bad. In fact the film is a perplexingly awesome mix of the surreal and the over the top. It mixes the stories of Edogawa Rampo to create a smorgasbord of absurdity. From the opening where the main character escapes from an asylum where women bear their breast and stab people with fake knives to the part where the hero pretends to be the resurected son of a wealthy family who he just happens to resemble. And this is before we even see the butoh dancing ruler of a dream island who kidnaps beautiful women to take to an island where he surgically altering men to take over the world. The movie takes it to level ten when it comes to giddy silliness. And this is before Rampo's Kogoro Akechi shows up at the end to reveal the plot. I've already revealed some plot details but that I'll keep secret to avoid spoiling it.
To me the whole thing feels like the predecessor to the films of Takashi Miike or Katsuhito Ishii. Unlike others I didn't find it a masterpiece of horror but at least Shinya Tsukamoto agrees that its goofy blast.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a nightmare on film October 8, 2007
It's too bad that "Captain Samba" doesn't know what he's talking about. It's fine if he didn't like this film, but his claim that "maybe one line in 30 is translated" is just plain wrong. Everything in the film is translated, and the subtitling is one of the better jobs I've seen of a classic Japanese title. Even written signs and songs are translated, which is uncommon for many DVD labels.

Rent the film yourself to judge - don't believe this clown's review.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Teruo Ishii's long-banned 'Horrors of Malformed Men' (1969) is a genuinely nightmarish piece of Japanese horror cinema. Both highly disciplined and extremely excessive, its plot elements include deceitfully-assumed identities, doppelgangers, family secrets, murder, revenge, unrequited love, adultery, kidnapping, incest, bestiality, dismemberment, torture, cannibalism, human beings purposefully deformed through radical surgery, and almost every other known perversion.

The film's 'mad doctor,' Jogoro Komoda (Tatsumi Hijikata in a wonderfully bizarre film-stealing performance), who kidnaps and deforms innocent men and women so as to surround himself with literal reflections his own emotional scars and psychosis, is the maddest mad doctor in the long history of world cinema. Compared to Komoda, H.G. Wells' Dr. Moreau, as depicted in both the original novel and by Charles Laughton in the 'Island of Lost Souls film' adaptation of 1933, is a paragon of virtue, benevolence, and rationality.

Komodo joins the very upper ranks of nefarious screen villains, such as Eleanor Iselin (Angela Lansbury) in John Frankenheimer's 'The Manchurian Candidate' (1962) and Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) in David Lynch's 'Blue Velvet' (1986).

The first half of 'Horrors of Malformed Men' is a conservatively-produced drama concerned with the mysteries of identity and memory: Hirosuke Hitomi (Teruo Yoshida) awakens in an insane asylum, suffering from amnesia and surrounded by rioting female inmates. Escaping, Hirosuke discovers that a prominent citizen, who resembles him exactly, has just been murdered.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars one seriously messed-up film
I, too, feel something may have been "lost in translation" with this one. Not literally, but, culturally and without a contemporary context. Read more
Published 17 months ago by W Mianecke
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Masterpiece.
Teruo Ishii is a genious. This is one of the best and most unique films ever. Truly bizzare, erotic and fascinating. You have to see it to believe it!! Read more
Published on August 29, 2012 by BILL
2.0 out of 5 stars Great film quality but not a whole lot else..
The first twenty minutes of this movie were really interesting, and the next two hours were equal parts meandering, bizarrely comical, and redundant. Read more
Published on April 20, 2010 by Amanda J. Henning
5.0 out of 5 stars The horror of humanity
If you make a film involving cruel experimentation on animals, you are bound to face some serious backlash. The movie will most likely get banned in several countries. Read more
Published on February 5, 2010 by C. Christopher Blackshere
Published on August 26, 2009 by 4-Legged Defender
1.0 out of 5 stars Horribly Boring Malformed Men
This is super boring and not very shocking at all. Sex? None. Sure there is nudity, but it's all like a few Japanese folk singers ate some pot brownies and decided to take up... Read more
Published on April 28, 2008 by Jason A. Greeno
1.0 out of 5 stars Cult Classic???!?? Yeah Right......
Short and sweet: This movie was probably the worst pick of any film Synapse could have invested their time into, putting out such a lacklustre release. Read more
Published on November 23, 2007 by 42nd Street Deuce
4.0 out of 5 stars The Island of Dr. Mor What the F
Eight years before the original The Island of Dr. Monreau director/ writer Teruo Ishii gives viewers Horrors of the Malformed Men, a much darker film that is still banned in... Read more
Published on November 16, 2007 by Mike Liddell
5.0 out of 5 stars a film that defines 'cult classic'
this one has been in demand since the advent of DVD, and the fine folks at Synapse have done an outstanding job as usual.... Read more
Published on October 26, 2007 by jaybo
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