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Grotesque (DVD) (Unrated Edition) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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Grotesque (DVD) (Unrated Edition) (Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Prepare for lots of blood and lots of body parts in the extreme splatter-fest Grotesque from J-horror director Shiraishi Koji (Carved). Proudly described as "the cruelest Japanese splatter movie" on promotion material, Grotesque lives up to its infamous billing with a sick and twisted Hostel-like tale of torture, gore, and exploitation. AV actress Nagasawa Tsugumi and Kawatsure Hiroaki (OneChanbara) play a young couple who are suddenly abducted and wake up in a dark basement, bound and scalped. There they get endlessly tortured by a madman (Osako Shigeo) who slowly slices and dices different parts of their bodies with all manners of instruments and power tools.
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Technical Information

Product Title: Grotesque (DVD) (Unrated Edition) (Japan Version) Grotesque (DVD) (Unrated Edition) (日本版) Grotesque (DVD) (Unrated Edition) (日本版) グロテスク UNRATED VERSION Grotesque (DVD) (Unrated Edition) (Japan Version)
Artist Name(s): Nagasawa Tsugumi | Kawatsure Hiroaki 長澤築實 | 川連廣明 长泽筑实 | 川连广明 長澤つぐみ | 川連廣明 | 大迫茂生 Nagasawa Tsugumi | Kawatsure Hiroaki
Director: Shiraishi Koji 白石晃士 白石晃士 白石晃士 Shiraishi Koji
Release Date: 2009-05-22
Publisher Product Code: AD-11S
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: No Subtitle
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Rating: III
Publisher: Ace Deuce Entertainment
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1017090922

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Grotesque (DVD) (Unrated Edition) (Japan Version)"

August 22, 2009

In these post-Hostel days, with the so called torture porn genre having largely taken over the horror field, viewers have consistently been let down by cheap rip-offs and anaemic pretenders which fail to deliver the gore goods. As such, it is no small relief to report that Grotesque not only lives up to its title, but also to its billing as "the cruellest Japanese splatter movie ever" - a bold claim indeed, considering that the country was churning out the likes of Guinea Pig, Red Room and others long before Eli Roth's American Pie gone bad style antics ever painted screens red. The film was directed by Shiraishi Koji, somewhat of a veteran in Japanese horror, having previously been responsible for the likes of Carved, Norio: The Curse, and Ju-Rei: The Uncanny.

Needless to say, in the finest tradition of Japanese gore cinema, the plot is minimal, with a young couple played by AV actress Nagasawa Tsugumi and Kawatsure Hiroaki (recently in OneChanbara) being snatched off the street, only to wake up shackled in a grimy basement. Without even having the decency to explain why, a particularly sadistic madman (Osako Shigeo) proceeds to degrade, torture and mutilate them.

Probably the only thing that this review really needs to confirm is that Grotesque certainly is a nasty piece of work. Although Japan has produced a good many cruel and sadistic films, it does indeed stand proudly somewhere near the head of the queue, getting off to a gruesome start, and never really letting up, being unrelentingly brutal throughout. The gore is strong stuff, with graphic dismemberment, chainsaws, eye gouging, genital mutilation and more, obviously marking the film as only being for those with the hardiest of stomachs and an appetite for this kind of thing. Also included are some pretty sick scenes of sexual abuse, and the film is a perverse affair, with bodily fluids other than blood flying around and with much of the torture being inflicted on the victims while they are nude. Still, the film is nihilistic rather than misogynistic, as the maniac is as equal opportunities type guy, dividing his attention fairly between his male and female captive. It certainly does make for hard going at times, with the gore being all the more effective for Koji's harsh and unremittingly dark approach, offering not even a glimmer of hope, and playing unpleasantly with the viewer by way of a nasty twist halfway through. The film is tense, not so much due to the viewer actually caring about the characters, but as a result of waiting to see what the psycho will do next, or just how far Koji is willing to push things. Clocking in at just 73 minutes, the film is the very epitome of a short, sharp shock, and builds to a bizarre, though highly entertaining and satisfying climax.

All extreme nastiness aside, what really helps to lift the film from the Japanese gore ghetto is the fact that although the budget was obviously low, Koji is a highly talented director who makes good use of his limited resources. Indeed, as a three player piece, with really only one location, most of the money has quite clearly gone on the special effects, which are impressive and convincing. The film rarely flinches away, with most of the violence being onscreen and brought to life through some excellent makeup and prosthetics rather than the kind of weak CGI-blood which has sadly become prevalent in the genre.

This gives Grotesque a winningly old-school feel that does indeed hark back to the good old Guinea Pig days, with which the film has arguably more in common rather than the likes of Saw or Hostel. This is undoubtedly a good thing, as it gives viewers a chance to see how the torture porn genre really should be done, freed from the needless niceties of plot and good taste, and simply piling on the gruesome outrages. Shiraishi Koji is easily one of the most interesting directors working in Japanese horror today, and the film confirms that he is equally at home with scares and over the top gore, being one of the few willing to break away from the usual long haired ghost shenanigans in search of ways to genuinely make people squirm.

by James Mudge -

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of
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