‘Horrors of Malformed Men’ – a Trick or a Treat?

A R T L▼R K

Following Orson Welles’ psycho-social experiment, we have one more proposition for this year’s Halloween for you. Horrors of Malformed Men is a rare gem of Japanese cinematography. Released on the 31st of October 1969, the movie was banned in Japan shortly after its premiere. A mixture of pink film and horror, in Japan commonly known as ‘ero-guro’, which means ‘erotic grotesque’, it turned out to be a bit too much for the audiences of the 1960s. The movie director, Teruo Ishii, based the film on stories by a popular pulp novelist, Edogawa Rampo, whose literary pseudonym does sound in Japanese a lot like Edgar Allan Poe. It explains then the surreal, almost dream-like atmosphere of the movie.

The whole story, which begins in an asylum (very Poe-esque indeed), is constructed around the figure of a young medical student, Hirosuke (Teruo Yoshida). His long and complex journey into the…

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