Imprint is some of the best filth you will have the displeasure of seeing. I was foolish enough to watch it as a teen and at least two images have never left my mind. I had forgotten the rest of the degraded genius this casually throws off, esp Miike’s lunacy when it comes to depicting periods. I don’t know if it’s related to Memoirs like suggested, but it’s a fun affront either way.
the american tv commission that never aired. very impressive art direction and keeps the traditional japanese horror story vibe despite all the graphic torture. miike is definitely a master of the grotesque.
much stronger work than most give it credit for, this film uses its inherent limitations (english language, billy drago) to ramp up the theatricality inherent in miike's 2000s work (he had made 'demon pond' only a year before), filtering it here through ero-guro aesthetics and nods towards the editing rhythms of taisho trilogy suzuki. minor miike, but should be approached on its own merits...
If the notorious torture sequence is just Takashi playing provocateur for the American audience, it is the films endlessly disturbing blend of monster movie imitation, supernatural mystery and bleak psychological drama that makes this one to watch. Not just the definite highlight of the otherwise disappointing Masters of Horror series, but for me, one of Miike's best and most interesting films.
The special effects were a bad choice, they give the movie kind of a Sci-Fi Original Movie feel and detract from what is otherwise a pretty mesmerizing and uniquely brutal distillation of cruelty and evil.
Miike's angry and twisted rebuttal to the forced-exoticism and historically inaccuracies of MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA is by no means perfect in terms of story or acting, but the art direction is absolutely stunning and is worth 3 stars alone.
5 stars for art direction alone; the acting is something best forgotten. The infamous torture scene didn't live up to its reputation, but the Torturer (岩井志麻子, author of the original story) was quite perfect. Many successful vignettes scattered throughout - the buddhist monk introducing hell to a child, for instance, still lingers. Billy Drago's little lullaby to a fetus was at once endearing & appalling.
This was the film I was most looking forward to from the Masters of Horror collection. It's strangely good and bad, the visual side of things is very surreal and colourful which does add a unique layer to the film. There are some weak moments in this film however (mostly the acting, although that's mostly due to language barrier) but this film certainly will leave an impression (or imprint).