Muzan-E | Varied Celluloid

Muzan-E

Posted by Josh Samford On September - 3 - 2008
The Plot: Set Up as documentary of the Japanese pornography business, dealing mostly with the shadiest and taboo segments of the video market – we are lead by a young female filmmaker who leads us on a trip through the most disturbing an disgusting segments of the niche video market for these types of movies. Soon enough our reporter is onto a possible snuff video ring that leads her even deeper into this psychotic world of unbound pleasure leading to ultimate destruction. Will she crack the case, or simply become another victim?




The Review: I’ve been looking for Muzan-E for such a terribly long time. It, along with Psycho: The Snuff Reels have turned into a unholy grail of sorts for horror fans. Truthfully, they’re not that hard to track down if you know where to look – but it takes a particular type of horror fan in the first place to sit there and track these movies down and then watch them. I have been reading about these new types of Japanese horrors with a very Snuff oriented focus for a few months now and have found myself very intrigued with this concept. I figure, if I’ve sat through Flowers of Flesh & Blood – how much worse can it get? Being that this is a review for an unsubtitled version of the film, there’s no real way for me to gauge the plot as I do not speak Japanese – so this will be a “review” without a rating or much judgment. I can just tell you whether or not the violence lives up to the hype and raw generalizations of the film itself. First off, does Muzan-E live up to being another “Guinea Pig”? Well, you can’t really say that. There’s only one Flowers of Flesh & Blood even at this point (though Psycho: The Snuff Reels comes close and I have not seen the Eccentric Psycho Cinema series). However, Muzan-E is a pretty sick one. Without a doubt, the obsession with women menstruating throughout the film makes for some unbearable moments in cinema and is absolutely repulsive. Two of the most disgusting moments come from a video we are shown with a man performing cunnilingus on a menstruating woman and spitting the blood out in the tub they are, umm, “making love”. Then the second comes during a sequence where our reporter is on-set at one of these shoots where she watches a scene featuring a woman and two men. It seems like a faux-rape sequence that quickly becomes a total bloodbath from all of the menstruation. All three are covered in the blood before it’s over and I guarantee this one will be hard to sit through if that idea alone grosses you out.

I have to give Daisuke Yamanouchi credit in that his films, although speaking to an incredibly niche market of genre fans who look for the horrible and extreme, he does add a great deal of time and effort to the plots of his films. This very well could be a thirty minute gore sequence like Flowers (how many times am I going to namedrop that in this review?), and no fans would be left complaining. However, with this film as well as his Red Room series and Kyoko vs Yuki, he does offer a lot of storytelling. Aside from the previously mentioned “fetish” scenes, more than forty five minutes of this 1:06:00 long feature focuses heavily on the plot and story of this reporter. Blame it on them not having a full hour length of torture segments to fill out the movie if you want but it’s clear to me that Yamanouchi at least wants his films to tell us something. Even if the guy is just a simple porno director in his off-time, I still see some artistry in his work. In Red Room his focus on our love of money and the things we will go through in order to achieve it is very well done. Admittedly it’s just a device used to show a bunch of people torturing one another – but I’m pretty sure he could have got the financing for a feature simply called “Torture Show” that showed nothing but the torture sequences in that film. It is after that first forty five minutes mentioned earlier that we are finally introduced to the “snuff” segments of this film, and our reporter starts to track down just who might be responsible for a tape featuring a young woman being stabbed with a machete and then disemboweled. When the final snuff sequence comes long it is brutal and quick, but also a massive tie-in for the story which you have seen. Yes, there is a twist in the end – but I won’t give it away here.

Although I can’t give much judgment for a film I cannot understand, I will say that with the brief running time and all the intriguing visuals (oh, and the super disturbing stuff too!) I can recommend it to other gorehounds out there who are looking to expand their collection and have been looking at this one for a while. However, I have to say, we may all want to just wait for Unearthed to officially release the movie which they have said they intend to do. I get the feeling that subtitles are really going to help this one with it being so story driven. Still, based on visuals alone and all the grue, I definitely think it’s worth the notoriety it has been receiving since its release in the underground horror community. So here you go, that’s my temporary review for Muzan-E, expect an update as soon as I get a subtitled version.

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Varied Celluloid is a film website intent on delivering views on movies from all genres. Started in 2003, the website has been steadfast in its goal and features a database of over 500 lengthy reviews. If you would like to contact us about writing for the website or sending screeners, please visit the about page located here.

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