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Masters of Horror: Imprint


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Product Details

  • Actors: Youki Kudoh, Michié, Toshie Negishi, Billy Drago, Shiho Harumi
  • Directors: Takashi Miike
  • Writers: Daisuke Tengan, Mick Garris, Shimako Iwai
  • Producers: Adam Goldworm, Akira Yamamoto, Andrew Deane, Ben Browning
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2006
  • Run Time: 63 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GI3RHY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,008 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Masters of Horror: Imprint" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by critic and American Cinmatheque film programmer Chris D. and writer Wyatt Doyle
  • "I Am the Film Director of Love: An Interview with Takashi Miike" featurette
  • "Imprinting: The Making of Imprint" featurette
  • "Imperfect Beauty: The Make-up and Special Effects of Imprint" featurette
  • Takashi Miike Bio
  • Still Gallery
  • Trailers
  • DVD-ROM: Original Screenplay
  • DVD-ROM: Screen Saver

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Billy Drago, Youki Kudoh. Fond memories of a prostitute he had loved and abandoned years earlier in 19th century Japan, an American journalist goes back to find her and instead finds an unspeakable nightmare so cruel and perverse that much of it could not be aired on Showtime 's Masters of Horror program. But this new DVD captures every gory, uncut moment of it. 2006/color/63 min/NR.

Amazon.com

"Have I got your attention, mister?" By the time you reach this line in Takashi Miike's Imprint, the answer will be a resounding, horrified "Yes!" This much-rumored-about episode of Showtime's Masters of Horror series became notorious as the first installment to be denied an airing. Now that the hour-long episode is out on DVD, it's not difficult to see why the network balked (although on the other hand, if you have a series called Masters of Horror and you hire the outrageous Takashi Miike to helm a show, nobody should really be surprised). The story follows an American (Billy Drago) on a journey to a ghostly island bordello in Japan; he's searching for a girl he lost years before. The prostitute he meets has stories to tell--and they abound in incest, abortion, murder, and one of the grisliest torture scenes ever produced for a mainstream outlet.

Anybody familiar with Miike's films (Audition, Visitor Q) knows a couple of things about him: (1) there is no affront against civilized behavior he won't put on film, and (2) he's a heckuva filmmaker. Imprint confirms this, on both counts. The only weak spot is the English dialogue reading by the Japanese cast--and by Billy Drago, for that matter, although he does look very cool. The story may or may not make sense, but what stays with you are the pregnant, eye-filling images (cinematography by Toyomichi Kurita) and the truly shocking violence. It is really what the Masters of Horror series seems designed to do: give a director complete freedom to merge style with story. Take this to heart, oh ye of low nausea thresholds: Imprint will seriously mess you up. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

In fact, Miike proves he's not simply a master of horror, but rather has his doctorate.
J. W. Davis
I don't consider myself a Takeshi Miike expert but I have enjoyed the few films I have seen by him and I enjoy this movie just the same.
David Miles
I never felt any real fear from this episode, just cringed at the thought of how much pain the woman being tortured was going through.
Paul Schifferli

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Woopak VINE VOICE on September 21, 2008
Japanese director Takashi Miike has always been a master of controversial cinema. His films such as "Visitor Q", "Gozu" and of course, the cult hit "Audition" have always pushed the boundaries of horror filmmaking. "IMPRINT" is Miike's contribution to the "Masters of Horror" series; co-produced by American filmmakers, the film nonetheless, carries the Takashi Miike seal of disturbing images, creepy cinematography and a certain seductive execution that you just cannot take your eyes off its proceedings. This is the film's uncut version that almost never made it to U.S. audiences.

In 19th century Japan, (when the West began to influence Japan), an American (Billy Drago) arrives in an isolated area in search of a Japanese prostitute that he had fallen in love with. He has traveled far in search of a woman named Komomo (Michie), traveling from brothel to brothel in hopes of liberating the kindly woman from her plight. Night falls, and he has no choice but to spend the night in this forsaken town and he is kept company by a kindly courtesan with a deformed face. This mysterious woman (Youki Kudoh) has tales of his beloved Komomo and as to how she had passed away. The man insists on knowing the truth; little does he know that some stories are better left untold.

IMPRINT is a very disturbing mindblower of a story based on the Japanese horror novel "Bokee Kyotee" by Shimako Iwai and adapted for the screen by Daisuke Tengan (Audition). The film is an unspeakabe orgy of torture and depravity, extreme cruelty and perverse vengeance, twisted secrets and stunning revelations. The film's story is told in flashbacks as told by the deformed courtesan played by Youki Kudoh (Memoirs of a Geisha, Mystery Train) and the actress does a very excellent job.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By LARRY on December 21, 2006
I had never heard of the Masters of Horror series. I saw this movie at my friend's house and asked if I could borrow it. He warned me that I might be offended by some things in it. Nonetheless, I still wanted to see it.

The opening scenes made it looked like this was actually gonna be an interesting, perhaps scary, movie.

An American journalist returns to Japan to reunite with his long lost Japanese lover. However, he cannot locate her and searches for her everywhere in Japan. Finally, he comes onto an island that seems to be littered with prostitues. It is rumored that demons dwell there as well.

Immediately, the journalist inquires a little person has heard of or seen Komomo, his lover. When he gets a negative reply, he turns around to leave. However, he's immediately convinced to stay for the night.

Once, he settles into a room, a disfigured prostitute enters. She tries to get things started for a night of action but the journalist is not in the mood. Instead, he asks to tell him a story.

The stories are the main focus of the film. The stories are gruesome and graphic, which is definitely worse than any episode of CSI. These scenes will make you look away from the screen. For me, it was like I couldn't watch. Yet, I couldn't look away either. I was peeking through my fingers. Definitely not for the squeamish!

The plot builds up, which is excellent and intriguing...until the end. When the prostitute reveals something about herself, the movie just skydives. For me, I couldn't help but laugh. It was somewhat cheesy but it was bizarre as well.

Wisely, the movie ended at the right time. If it had been longer, it would have been downright silly and cheesy.
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Having viewed the entire "Masters of Horror" series, I was curious to see this episode that was "Banned From Cable Broadcast." It seems pretty silly in this day and age that something is "banned" from pay TV, and it's not as if Takeshi Miike doesn't have his films shown over here! But, OK, whatever. Miike is a colorful director who specialize in squeamish, sometimes graphic, torture horror. Probably his biggest film stateside is "Audition" which is certainly noteworthy, but my personal favorite is the bizarre musical "Happiness of the Katakuris" (currently out of print, but worth locating if you like absurd comedy).

So on to "Imprint." I'm pleased to say that "Imprint" is actually one of the stronger entries in the series. And seeing how dismal the first couple of episodes in season 2 are (it is currently broadcasting), I'm disappointed this wasn't made available. As the story begins, we're traveling down a river of death to an island of demons and prostitutes--and I was scared this episode would rapidly devolve into supernatural mumbo jumbo. It settles, however, into a two character drama with one of the disfigured prostitutes relating the story of the visitor's lost love. It's a fascinating tale that continues to evolve the more the guest presses for the truth. And the revelations are satisfying, if bizarre. I enjoyed this lurid tale very much.

Along the way, we get torture and plenty of abortions--and I suppose that is the controversial nature of this film (the abortions, I mean--violence is never controversial). No one, however, watching "Masters of Horror" would be the least bit put out by these scenes. If you are expecting something you've never seen before--there's nothing in "Imprint" that going to particularly shock you. But that said, it is definitely an accomplished and disturbing tale worth taking a look at. KGHarris, 11/06.
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Masters of Horror: Imprint
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