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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Zankoku ij gyakutai monogatari: Genroku onna keizu")

 

Directed by Teruo Ishii
Japan 1969

 

Legendary Toei director Teruo Ishii tells three stories of moral sickness set during Japan's prosperous Genroku era in this bloody follow-up to his sexploitation classic Shogun's Joy of Torture, and the fourth entry in Toei s abnormal love film series. Ishii s politically incorrect moral lessons paint a trio of tales of tragic heroines caught up in violence, sadomasochism, incest and torture.

Told in anthology style by an impassive physician (Teruo Yoshida), the first story follows Oito (Masumi Tachibana), an innocent young girl deceived by a handsome yakuza and sold into prostitution who finds herself in a doomed love affair with the man who brought her to ruin. The tale of Ochise (Mitsuko Aoi) is about the daughter of a rich merchant whose insatiable appetite for filth and perversion draws her deeper into violence, darkness and betrayal. Finally, the story of Omitsu (Miki Obana) follows a sadistic lord (Asao Koike) whose eye is caught one day by a beautiful member of his harem who shares his strange taste for pain and blood, but who holds a secret of her own that will destroy his entire household.

A stylistic about-face from the director s prior work for Toei on the successful Abashiri Prison action series starring Ken Takakura, Ishii s erotic films grew increasingly shocking, violent and strange, and Orgies of Edo finds him combining period film detail with carnivalesque grotesquerie to create his own particular vision of love and sex. This landmark ero-guro film allowed Ishii to experiment with elements that would later show up in his masterpieces Horrors of Malformed Men and Blind Woman s Curse, including the participation of sideshow performers and butoh dancer Tatsumi Hijikata.

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 9th, 1969

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Review: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:33:40.031        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,486,360,495 bytes

Feature: 27,355,865,280 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,486,360,495 bytes

Feature: 27,355,865,280 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

The Orgies of Ishii an exclusive, newly filmed interview with author Patrick Maccias (16:02)
Theatrical trailer (02:37)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Tom Mes


Blu-ray Release Date:
November 19th, 2018
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Arrow Video present director Teruo Ishii's triptych of debauchery, "Orgies of Edo" on a dual-layered Blu-ray. The 2.35:1 image is maintained by a nicely maxed out bitrate. The image quality here is satisfactory, with Arrow stating that this is a 2k scan from "original film and audio elements." Such lack of specificity could be slightly telling, as this doesn't seem to be from the original negative. Grain is present but not overwhelming, with a typical filmic look. Detail is not too fine as to be overly impressive, what with some scenes seeming to have been filmed with different lenses (or perhaps film stock), resulting in this fluctuation of detail in the image. Colors look healthy, though there is certainly a muted Autumnal (gold/yellow/orange/brown/puce) leaning palette. Whether or not that is intentional is up for debate. Contrast levels are strong, with a wide spectrum of blacks.

The "Orgies of Edo"
Blu-ray presents the film with the original uncompressed, linear PCM 1.0 Japanese mono track. The audio here is decent with only the occasional hiss. Dialogue is clear, with as much separation as you could hope for in a mono track. The strange and fascinating score is thanks to Yagi Masao, a Japanese jazz pianist who started out covering Thelonious Monk tunes. There are optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on this Region A Blu-ray.

There are two extras on this disc, the main one being "Orgies of Ishii", a newly filmed interview with author Patrick Maccias. The only other extra here is the film's trailer. Though an audio commentary or longer documentary would have been nice, the 16-minute piece with Maccias is quite illuminating and well worth your time.

"Orgies of Edo" is not at all what I would have expected, given the context of late 60's cinema, Japanese or otherwise. The film is absurdly dark and twisted, almost reveling in the salacious. Arrow present the film with a modest transfer, and the 16-minute extra with author Patrick Maccias is very welcome. Though this film is certainly not for everyone, I would recommend this
Blu-ray to the more adventurous viewer.

Colin Zavitz

 


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