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4.0 out of 5 stars Rampo circus of sanity
Firstly, no synopsis could convey this 99 minute festival of flamboyance. So let us simply approach with caution and declare it is a cult film, a psychotronic midnight movie. The film is peppered with humour, some of it distinctly asian, some of it broadly speaking black humour. The veering plotlines suggest much of the Rampo style upon which this was based, in that...
Published 23 months ago by Zaroff

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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars crazy jap horror madness
I decided to write a review because I thought that the other review was extremely harsh. A lot of what it says is kind of correct but should be seen as possitive aspects of the film, which is a little bit tongue in cheek anyway. Also it does have some great cinematogrophy, humour and alot of originality. There are also some excellent extras. I would say this is a good...
Published on 30 Nov. 2007 by B. Thomson


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4.0 out of 5 stars Rampo circus of sanity, 15 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Horrors of Malformed Men [DVD] [1969] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Firstly, no synopsis could convey this 99 minute festival of flamboyance. So let us simply approach with caution and declare it is a cult film, a psychotronic midnight movie. The film is peppered with humour, some of it distinctly asian, some of it broadly speaking black humour. The veering plotlines suggest much of the Rampo style upon which this was based, in that logical deduction and an almost Conan Doyle-Poe approach to a mystery is taken. There are times when it is clear these Rampo detection meanderings are almost absurd...which is where the film might suddenly diverge into an art film and annoy a great many people. The visual representation of narrative becomes ever more potent & discursive, the people employed to play a great many characters are in fact circus folk and so it all becomes a 'performance'.

The nearest i could say this visually and narratively seemed to be similar to were the films of both Moctezuma, particularly Mansion of Madness, and occasional bursts of Jodorowsky, El Topo or Holy Mountain perhaps. And yet, because of the melange of Rampo stories deployed, rather than one coherent narrative, we have a flair, a firework display of images against what could easily have been a mystery plot made by Roger Corman in his Poe cycle. This extends as far in similarity in as much as the crashing waves, the coastal shots & the grotesque horrors played out against the natural beauty. Also of distinct flavour is the psychological spiralling that occurs to many characters. Every one in this film is in some way either starting with questionable sanity or is clearly going to come out of the whole circus of horrors with shreds of dignity and mind, a world in tatters. Imagine Island of Dr Moreau taken to extremes with the perverse logical linear ideas of madman played out in almost theatrical style.

So, a cultic-psychotronic flick that bares similarities to a few equally barmy mexican midnight movie-makers, shot through with comic-tragic overtones, played with vigour by a circus troupe ensemble. Sounds messy?...surprisingly not. What did come across, especially after the hilariously audacious closing act, was how much control must have occurred not to have let this film run away from the director. It could have been a mad film about madness. As it stands it is quite simply unique, audacious, grotesque, funny & most importantly damn right weird. If these sensations appeal, if the idea of depraved minds losing their tether in a mad murder mystery floats your boat, this will definitely entertain. And that is the key here, regardless of content and the tendency to hysterical acting or lunatic narrative...this will entertain and like the better cult flicks, will outlive a great many superior, greater budgeted pieces of low-imagination. Recommended with or without literary hallucinogens.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deranged horror, 18 Oct. 2008
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Mr. G. Sturdy "sakura amazon" (Yarm, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Horrors of Malformed Men [DVD] [1969] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Gotta say I love this movie. Whilst it could be said the film makes no sense, it's actually a collection of stories by Edogawa Rampo which the director has tried to hold together. If somewhat unsuccesful it does make for amusing viewing as the story shifts abruptly to varying degrees of strangeness.
The filmin banned in Japan due to its depiction, supposedly, of the mentally ill. However, as the story is so wierd anyway, these concerns become somewhat redundant....just who is disturbed in this movie?
The Synapse Films dvd has an exceptionally good quality print - it looks gorgeous with bright clean pictures and sound. There's a short but informative 8-page bookelt, filmed interviews with other respected directors, and a film of its 2003 italian persentation. A commentary by film critic Mark Schilling is also included, though the sound quality of this somewhat echoey.
Well worth purchasing.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars crazy jap horror madness, 30 Nov. 2007
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B. Thomson "the dark ghost" (Dorking, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Horrors of Malformed Men [DVD] [1969] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I decided to write a review because I thought that the other review was extremely harsh. A lot of what it says is kind of correct but should be seen as possitive aspects of the film, which is a little bit tongue in cheek anyway. Also it does have some great cinematogrophy, humour and alot of originality. There are also some excellent extras. I would say this is a good package.
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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hammy Horror, 17 Nov. 2007
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Bela Lugosi's Dad "Bela Lugosi's Dad" (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Horrors of Malformed Men [DVD] [1969] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Supposedly one of Japanese cinemas most notorious films (banned for more than 30 years!, Horror of Malformed Men suffers from a severe case of the Emperor's New Clothes. It's absolute tosh - the plot is too ridiculous and convoluted to even attempt to relate here but it involves lots of gratuitous female nudity, some terrible 'creature' effects (okay, this was made in the late 60's)and two laughable lead performances - particularly from the Dr Moreau like leader of the 'malformed men' who makes the Bela Lugosi stand-in in Plan 9 From Outer Space look like Laurence Olivier. Cultural differences notwithstanding, this is rubbish in any language.
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