Archive for July 11th, 2013

Muzan-e Video

A young beautiful female reporter is doing an investigation on snuff movies to see if they really do exist through the underground sex industry scene by visiting AV shops, porn shoots and interviewing the cast and crew of those that participate in these types of movies. On 1 such shoot the reporter is shown what kind of movie they are making and the unsavoury things that goes on makes her ill. However, this does not put her off but makes her want more so deeper into the mire she goes. She hears word that a video company is selling snuff pornography videos so she arranges with an unknown man to obtain one of their tapes. Close to the busy east exit of Shinjuku Station the transaction takes place between the reporter and a man. The package she’s obtained has a VHS tape and a 5 page letter. In the studio the reporter plays back the tape and reads out the content of the letter. Two brothers plan to kidnap an AV actress. Posing as her colleagues as she’s leaving her work they ask her if she needs a lift home in their car. She accepts and off they go. One of the brothers cannot control his sexual urges and he tries to assault her in the back seat. He seems to think that as an AV star she likes being touched by men but she roughly objects. As the situation turns sour the girl is taken to their shabby hideout and disposed of in a very nasty way which is taped by them. From one scene in the video which shows 2 large pylons in the background, the female reporter and her colleagues set out to find the location which is in a rural area. Miraculously they manage to find the place but the brothers come out to greet them and they do not like that the reporter is snooping around. Killing the reporter’s 2 colleagues, she awakens in a darkened room tied up to a chair with her legs spread out where the brothers decide on her fate………..

Muzan-e has quite a reputation amongst Asian horror fans due to some disturbing graphic scenes and it’s a movie that I’d been trying to get a hold of for quite a while. However, if you’re expecting a movie with wall to wall bloody violence you’re likely to be disappointed. There is indeed some gore but it’s not as much as what you expected. It doesn’t come close to the bloodletting and sadism experienced in the Guinea Pig movies. The problem is that word of mouth from certain sources over the years has hyped it up too much if I’m being honest but that’s not to say it isn’t shocking because it is. It certainly pulls no punches with the nastiness. Shot like a documentary and from a third person perspective it starts out rather tame until the first graphic sex scene appears. We’re talking full on pornography here but with the genital area pixelated as is usually the case with movies that come from Japan. What transpires is unlike anything you may have seen in a movie before and it will likely make some people rush to the toilet to throw up. It really is a disgusting segment but that’s just for starters! I’m certainly not going to reveal what exactly takes place but let’s just say it involves menstruation. There are far worse scenes to come. If you haven’t already switched off then maybe you soon will. It takes someone with a strong stomach to watch this movie in its entirety. The gore factor is ramped up towards the end. I did find several scenes sickening but never once did I feel like turning it off. Director and Japanese splatter-king Daisuke Yamanouchi hasn’t come up with an explicit blood and guts horror just to horrify and shock viewers. There is a good plot behind the gore with a great twist in the end though I could see it coming a mile off. It’s like you are watching a proper documentary until things turn pear shaped. The performances of the cast are pretty good and for a change in these kind of movies the lead female is shown to be strong though she does end up being a victim by the time the end credits roll on-screen.

Muzan-e screenshot

It’s unlikely that Muzan-e will ever be released I would imagine over in the UK although I have heard that a distributor in the US was planning on releasing it last year but that never materialised. Did Unearthed Films chicken out from releasing it? The subject of the video is just so extreme that it has never officially been released except in Japan. For many years you could only get it on a grainy video tape before it came out on DVD only for it to mysteriously vanish after a short while. I still think it’s a difficult DVD to track down. The copy I saw had no subtitles but I didn’t bother me that much. I understood a little bit of what was said. What is it with Asian cinema and especially Japan that makes them come out with movies that’s full of sadism and brutality? There must be a market out there for fetishists that like this kind of thing.  What I dislike most about these movies is the disgraceful treatment of women.

More likely to appeal to those that like Asian extreme and torture porn flicks, Muzan-e is one twisted sick movie. It was better than what I thought it would be. If you’re willing to trawl through the internet to seek out a copy be warned that it’s not for the squeamish!

Unfortunately there’s no trailer for the movie and I can’t find a suitable clip either.

Sadako’s Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Read Full Post »

Sun Vulcan Movie

The Black Magma’s Hell Saturn sends Amazon Killer and Monger (a fireworks monster) to try and destroy a military base but they are stopped by the Sun Vulcan team in their Jaguar Vulcan mecha. Hell Saturn is fed up of his plans always being thwarted by Sun Vulcan and has a new idea. Black Magma are to target Tokyo and plan to separate the Sun Vulcan trio so that they can’t combine into a mecha. This they do by kidnapping 2 young children from their home and luring one of the heroes – Vul Eagle into a trap. They distract the other two (Vul Shark and Vul Panther) when they discover that Black Magma intend to plant timebombs all over Tokyo and turn the city into a sea of fire. Meanwhile Vul Eagle is captured by Amazon Killer when he finds the kids and his Vulcan Brace (the transformation device) taken from him. Vul Eagle is scheduled to be executed by having him hang from a hovering helicopter whilst the Black Magma firing squad use their machineguns to kill him. The kidnapped children are of no further use to Amazon Killer so she orders them to be placed into a sack and dumped into Lake Hamasa where they will sink to the bottom. Hell Saturn launches a squadron of Hell Fighters to rain down bombs on Tokyo. Will the Sun Vulcan team manage to save the day?

Sun Vulcan Promo 2

Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan was the 5th Super Sentai series to be aired way back in 1981/1982. This Super Sentai team however, was different from any other that has been seen over the years as it consisted of just 3 males with no addition to the team over the course of the year that it was broadcast. It also had the honour of being a direct sequel to the series before it – Denjiman. In another claim for the show it was also one that used animal motifs on the costumes for the first time and Vul Eagle (red ranger) was changed around midway through the show. I’m not sure why this happened, if the actor in the role pulled out for a reason or not but a shift took place in the show. Plots became more comedic which didn’t please some fans. The villains for the series was the machine empire Black Magma which had a base at the North Pole and worshipped the Black Solar God. Their intention was to rule the world but they target Japan first as they needed to obtain the geothermal energy the country had to power up their weapons. The villainous organisation is ruled by the Fuhrer Hell Saturn. If some of you out there have watched the series in full, no doubt you will have recognised the legendary Machiko Soga as Queen Hedrian (the character is NOT in this movie BTW). Machiko is best known to Western Sentai fans as Rita Repulsa (Queen Bandora) from the original Power Rangers (Zyuranger) series. She had the honour of appearing in 6 Super Sentai shows (Battle Fever J/Denjiman/Sun Vulcan/Maskman/Zyuranger/Magiranger).

Most Super Sentai/Kamen Rider movies during this era were quite short, usually only lasting half an hour. This movie is no exception but at least the plot moves incredibly fast and the action is relentless with the viewer thrown into the thrills and spills of the plot very quickly. It goes from one set-piece to the next. The trio of heroes make a good team and the villains suitably dark and evil – their intention of chucking the kidnapped kids into a lake after serving their purpose of luring Vul Eagle into a trap is deliciously cruel! I wasn’t aware of this but apparently Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan was the first Super Sentai show to have vehicle mechas merge into one. The 3 mechas design are of course a lot simpler than what we see these days. Cosmo Vulcan is the coolest of the vehicles as it looks like a jet. When combined the mecha looks fantastic using its sword to carry out the Aurora Plasma Slash to finish off its opponent. The only complaint I had about this movie was during the planned execution of Vul Eagle. The way he escapes from his death is rather weak and unbelievable. The storyline could have had more tension in it had the filmmakers perhaps allowed the Black Magma to launch a full scale attack on Tokyo and seeing the carnage that would have unfolded. It would have given the viewer even more reason to cheer the heroes on to defeat the evil organisation but as such the small squadron of fighters that are sent to bomb Tokyo from the air is quickly snuffed out all too easily.

Still this was an enjoyable retro Super Sentai movie coming from a show that has been tagged as one of the best from the Showa era. Worth checking out if you’re a Super Sentai fan.

No trailer for the movie but here’s the opening for the show:

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Read Full Post »