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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Fairy in a Cage [Blu-ray]


(Ky Ohara, 1977)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Nikkatsu

Video: Impulse Pictures



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:10:24.720

Disc Size: 18,131,278,908 bytes

Feature Size: 17,585,025,024 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.88 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 12th, 2013



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 1668 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1668 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English, None



4-page Liner Notes from Japanese Film Scholar Jasper Sharp





Description: During World War II, the tyrannical Judge Murayama uses his military power to imprison and torture innocent people. Suspected of helping an anti-government movement, the lovely Namiji Kikushima (Naomi Tani) is captured, along with a local kabuki actor. Helpless and unable to escape, the two are subjected to a grueling series of tortures including rope bondage and physical assault. As the Judge and his evil assistant Kayo revel in their perverse fetishes, a new military recruit they've hired named Taoka may be the key to prisoners freedom. He loves Namiji and will do what he can to help her, even if it means betrayal to organize an escape! Impulse Pictures is proud to present FAIRY IN A CAGE, one of the most controversial films of 1970's Japanese cinema, in a brand-new high-definition transfer taken from the original 35mm camera negative.



The Film:

The film is a long series of tortures and humiliations, Ōkōchi as the sadistic judge is fantastic, even more so is Japanese "Rope Queen" Naomi Tani whom endures many physical torments, mostly by the way of exotic rope bondage which look exquisite on film as she is strung up and degraded through humiliation. Her accomplice is subjected to the wild sexual demands of his female captor, forced to endure fellatio and as punishment for disobedience. At one point late in the film both he and the Lady Kikushima are bound as an itch inducing liquid is applied to their genitalia, thrown together into a cell they grind against each other in a desperate attempt to relieve their uncontrollable irritations, weird stuff.

Excerpt from McBastard's Mausoleum located HERE

One of the more infamous of Nikkatu’s Roman Porno films, Fairy In A Cage has never been given an official DVD release anywhere in the world until now, and that includes its native Japan where it was put out on VHS once and only once back in 1997. Sure, plenty of grey market bootlegs showed up in both physical and digital form but those would seem to stem back to that same tape release, fast approaching its twentieth birthday. Impulse Pictures, however, have stepped up to the plate and now this controversial classic of kink and bondage can be enjoyed uncut and in excellent quality by discerning viewers aged eighteen and up!

Excerpt from Rock! Shock! Pop! located HERE

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

Fairy in a Cage has a single-layered Blu-ray transfer from Impulse Pictures but the short, 1-hour 10-minute, feature is supported with a high bitrate. I wouldn't say it looks particularly special but the 1080P surely exceeds the simultaneously released SD edition. The black levels look adequate with some layering and detail is quite acceptable - but certainly not stellar. Colors, notable in the frequent skin tones, are true without manipulation. There is no damage and I expect that this didn't look vastly superior originally although this print may have faded a bit over the last 35 years.
















Audio :

Audio is in the form of a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1668 kbps in the original Japanese. As you might expected there is some screaming and aggression/effects in the track with ropes/pulleys and gun play. The decent original score is by Hajime Kaburagi (as Taichi Yamanashi) who did work on Tokyo Drifter and some of the Zatoichi Films.  There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

There are no digital supplements but the package does include a 4-page liner notes booklet with a picture of the Japanese poster and an essay from Japanese Film Scholar Jasper Sharp.



I don't really need to say much here. You can gather what type of film this is. They attempt a plot but it seems to really only allow the onscreen female nudity and sado-masochistic perversions. In one sense it is quite funny and I'm sure, for some, mildly erotic. The Blu-ray does its job with this Japanese exploitation flic providing an adept, if less remarkable, 1080P presentation.  It was kind of goofy at times but a bona-fide curiosity for fans of this genre. 

Gary Tooze

March 5th, 2013



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