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H D - S E N S E I
A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze
Wolf Guy aka "Urufu gai: Moero Űkami-otoko" [Blu-ray]
(Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, 1975)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Toei Tokyo
Video: Arrow Video
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 28,537,522,536 bytes
Feature Size: 21,428,514,816 bytes
Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: May 22nd - 23rd, 2017
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio Japanese 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
•New video interview with actor Sonny Chiba (14:31)
• New video interview with director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi (10:31)
• New video interview with producer Tatsu Yoshida (17:30)
• Trailer (2:55)
Description: Shinichi 'Sonny' Chiba is a martial arts ''manimal''
in the ultra-70's, 100% bizarre mixture of horror, action
and sci-fi that is Wolf Guy, one of the rarest and
most sought-after cult films produced by Japan's Toei
Studio. Based on a manga by Kazumasa Hirai (creator of 8
Man), and never before released outside of Japan, it's a
genre film classic waiting to be discovered and a completely
unclassifiable trip into phantasmagoric funk.
Just to keep it entirely honest, I didnít know much about Wolf Guy prior
to checking it out. In fact, I knew four things: itís a Japanese
exploitation flick from the Ď70s based on a popular manga piece. That
was the extent of my knowledge in advance of screening the flick. Now I
realize that, for damn near 40 years (I wasnít born in 1975, when the
flick was originally released stateside) Iíve missed an absolutely
masterful display of over the top ass kicking and pure pimp smack,
bat-shit crazy cinema. This movie is balls to the wall madness in every
way you hope to the good lord your exploitation adventure will be.
A movie with Sonny Chiba as a werewolf crime fighter, that also involves the Yakuza and a supernatural tiger? Uh, yes please. Wolf Guy promises a wild ride and it delivers, with outlandish moments and just over the top craziness. The story starts out simple enough, with people being murdered by an invisible tiger and a werewolf looking into the case, but, wait what? As off the rails as that sounds, that is just the start of this movie and trust me, it gets even wilder. Sonny Chiba is at the epicenter of this madness, being his usual bad ass self. He kicks ass, tracks down important leads, and bangs chicks, even offering his services to a syphilitic girl to earn her trust. I should also mentioned that while he is a werewolf, Chiba never transforms, he just gains power during the full moon. While the lack of transformation might seem weak in some films, it is never missed here in the least. Wolf Guy piles up the bloodshed, violence, fights, sex, nudity, and outrageous story elements, all while Sonny Chiba swaggers on screen and presses his face into tits that remind him of his mother. For anyone interested in the offbeat cinema realm, this is a must see movie.Excerpt from MarcFusion located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
This is the another Arrow Blu-ray release that is being simultaneously released in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same package on both sides of the pond to the best of our knowledge.
NOTE: As Michael Brooke informs us on Facebook in regards toDay of Anger: 'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup (or Region 1 or 2 for DVD - and in the latter case the video standard is NTSC, to maximise compatibility). The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.' Wolf Guy is a similar situation.
Wolf Guy gets a dual-layered transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow with a high bitrate. For the most part the image is not remarkable but is consistent and I believe a faithful representation of the original. The quality is thick with frequent adjustment of the film's focus and kinetic camera for action sequences exporting, occasional, softer visuals, frequent close-ups and the film is chock-full of exploitive nudity and gore (7 NSFW captures at the bottom). There are some flashback sequences in Wolf Guy that are monochrome looking a shade greenish. The 1080P reproduces a typically heavy presentation in the 2.35:1 frame (we find this similar to many Japanese films of this time period.) It's very clean with infrequent depth. This Blu-ray probably looks just like the theatrical version of the film - which is all we, ever, ask for.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is transferred via a faithful linear PCM mono track at 768 kbps (16-bit) in the original Japanese. The, predictable, effects are present with crashing kicks and explosive gunfire. I don't know who did the score but it moves right along with the action in a typical fashion for the genre. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being region FREE.
Arrow add some great extras including three new video interviews. The first runs 13-minutes with director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, recorded in September 2016 in Tokyo (as were all 3), where he reminisces about his long career as a genre movie specialist at Toei, and he shares memories of making Wolf Guy with Sonny Chiba. The next runs 18-minutes with producer Tatsu Yoshida who discusses his long career at the studio, including his work on Wolf Guy, and other genre films. The last new interview spends 1/4 hour with martial arts movie star Shin'ichi "Sonny" Chiba who discusses his start in action films and his significant role in educating future generations of action stars. There is also a trailer for Wolf Guy and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter and for the first pressing there is an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Patrick Macias and a history of Japanese monster movie mashups by Jasper Sharp. It includes a second disc DVD.
May 20th, 2017
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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