Friday, January 24, 2014

Horrors of Malformed Men

Hmm. Um. Not sure how to explain this one. A former mental patient impersonates a rich man he happens to be identical to, and after some intrigue he ends up on an island full of strange, beautiful & grotesque freaks made by his mad scientist father. Or something?

I had really wanted to get to more Edogawa Rampo adaptations in October, but sadly only managed to catch this one and Watcher in the Attic. But at least the two films turned out to be a nice fit; like Watcher, Horrors of Malformed Men is an amalgamation of several Rampo stories.... including "Watcher in the Attic" and at least one other story that the Watcher film incorporated into its narrative. I watched this one with roughly the same group that saw Watcher, and it was a real kick during the protracted finale when one character tells a story that is essentially the same plot as the other film, even doing its own version of the same "poison string" set piece. Only this movie came out first.

This is some groovy, nightmarish, cult-movie type shit. Even before the movie reaches the island and its strange and fantastical freaks, it takes all sorts of weird stylistic chances. It's an odd, grotesque, eye-popping film that occasionally feels sort of like a Japanese Alejandro Jodorowsky film.

Rating: B+

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