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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Môjû" or "Blind Beast" or "Warehouse")

 

Directed by Yasuzô Masumura
Japan 1969

 

Blind Beast is a grotesque portrait of the bizarre relationship between a blind sculptor and his captive muse, adapted from a short story from Japan’s foremost master of the macabre, Edogawa Rampo (Horrors of Malformed Men, The Black Lizard, Caterpillar).

An artist’s model, Aki (Mako Midori), is abducted, and awakens in a dark warehouse studio whose walls are decorated with outsized women’s body parts – eyes, lips, legs and breasts – and dominated by two recumbent giant statues of male and female nudes. Her kidnapper introduces himself as Michio (Eiji Funakoshi), a blind sculptor whom she had witnessed previously at an exhibition in which she featured intently caressing a statue of her naked torso. Michio announces his intention of using her to sculpt the perfect female form. At first defiant, she eventually succumbs to his intense fixation on her body and finds herself drawn into his sightless world, in which touch is everything.

Blind Beast is a masterpiece of erotic horror that explores the all-encompassing and overwhelming relationship between the artist and his art and the obsessive closed world that the artist inhabits, with maestro director Yasuzo Masumura (Giants and Toys, Irezumi) conjuring up a hallucinogenic dreamworld in which sensual and creative urges combine with a feverish intensity.

***

A blind sculptor kidnaps an artists model and imprisons her in his warehouse studio a shadowland of perverse monuments to the female form. Here a deranged passion play of sensual and sexual obsession is acted out in world where sight is replaced by touch.

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 25th, 1969

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Review: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:24:07.376        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,564,423,896 bytes

Feature: 24,709,254,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.54 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

DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 1087 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1087 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,564,423,896 bytes

Feature: 24,709,254,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.54 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Brand new audio commentary by Asian cinema scholar Earl Jackson
Newly filmed introduction by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns (18:33)
Blind Beast: Masumura the Supersensualist, a brand new visual essay by Japanese literature and visual studies scholar Seth Jacobowitz (10:51)
Original Trailer (2:25)
Image Gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated booklet featuring new writing by Virginie Sélavy


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 23rd, 2021
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray (August 2021): Arrow have transferred Yasuzô Masumura's Blind Beast to Blu-ray. It is on a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate. It's not as crisp as many of the other Japanese films to 1080P that we have seen from Arrow. It's a shade 'clunky' but looks consistent in-motion. The minor blocky-ness is not intrusive and most will appreciate this thick HD presentation.

NOTE: We have added 50 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Arrow use a DTS-HD Master 1.0 channel mono track (24-bit) in the original Japanese language. Blind Beast has few aggressive effects (kidnapping, restraint, a fight, mostly grunting or a few screams) but the violence is heightened by the, often-dramatic, score by composer Hikaru Hayashi (Irezumi, Death By Hanging, Voice Without a Shadow, Onibaba, Kuroneko, The Naked Island) sounding authentically flat but clear and audible. Arrow offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Arrow Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Asian cinema scholar Earl Jackson, the author of Strategies of Deviance: Studies in Gay Male Representation as well as numerous articles on Japanese and Korean Cinema. He's full prepared and gives a strong analysis of the film's agendas, themes and less-obvious intents of the filmmaker. He provides valuable information on Mako Midori's career and her roles in a few Kurosawa films, and many other less-discussed details on Blind Beast. It's worth the indulgence to expose further layers of this fascinating film. Arrow also add a new, 8-minute, introduction by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns and a wonderful new 10-minute visual essay by Japanese literature and visual studies scholar Seth Jacobowitz entitled Blind Beast: Masumura the Supersensualist reflecting on the rebellious counter-cultural, and art house pretensions associated with Japan's new-wave cinema including touching upon 'Toei pinky violence' and Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses. There is also an original trailer and image gallery. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella (see below) and included, for the first pressing, is an illustrated booklet featuring new writing by Virginie Sélavy.

Arrow's Blu-ray of Yasuzô Masumura's Blind Beast follows their releases of similar (if there can be) Japanese cinema; Irezumi, Inferno of Torture, Orgies of Edo, Giants and Toys, Shogun's Joy of Torture and Horrors of Malformed Men exploring the darker edges of sexuality, fetishism plus obsessions with the female form and art with the oversized sculptures of breasts, buttocks, eyes, ears, mouths, arms etc. (somewhat reminiscent of Pasolini's The Canterbury Tales.) You could find comparisons to Wyler's The Collector but Blind Beast has more perverse, darker, psychological layers. The film is fascinating, to say the least, and the Arrow Blu-ray has their high a/v standards plus a commentary, Tony Rayns intro, a valuable visual essay and a booklet! Fans of this highly unique genre will consider this bizarre, horror-esque art film, and curious guilty pleasure for cinephiles - a must own.

Gary Tooze

 


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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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