DVD Disfigurement

Face.  Image courtesy of Tartan Asia Extreme Female Yakuza Tale.  Image courtesy of Panik House Sex & Fury. Image courtesy of Panik House

This Week’s Region 1 DVD Releases

FACE (2004)
South Korea. 88 minutes
Directed by Yoo Sang-gon
Release Company: Tartan Video

“A forensic examiner, exhausted from his work, turns in his resignation. His former boss, pressed because of a recent series of murders in which the killer disassembled the bones of the victim, sends a young and beautiful fledgling examiner to convince the reticient expert to return to his duties. The examiner, plagued by what appears to be the ghostly apparitions of the departed, finally returns to work, even as he is distracted by the serious illness of his young daughter, who is in need of a new heart.

“The film never builds any real suspense. The first scene appears to be an outtake from the first scene of TELL ME SOMETHING (body on an examining table is brutally sliced open) and another liberally borrows from THE RING. The early spooks work well on a visceral level (eliciting at least one genuine ‘Oh s–!’ from an audience member), but they don’t really mean anything and it’s difficult to relate them to the plot.”

My recent complete review of a cinema screening. DVD includes interviews with director, cast, and crew, plus outtakes.

Directed by Teruo Ishii
Release Company: Panik House

“Heroin is the contraband. Prostitutes-turned-drug-mules are the Japanese mob’s new means of transporting the narcotic. Avenging angel Reiko Ike, once again, stands in the way of the Yakuza’s evil machinations – wielding a blade nearly as lethal as her killer beauty. Stunning, glorious swordplay inundates this high-octane tale of gambling, smuggling and hookers gone wild.”–Panik House.

Audio commentary by Chris D., production notes, poster and still gallery.

Directed by Tomoharu Katsumata
Release Company: ArtsMagicDVD

“Based on the best-selling comic book, Salaryman Kintaro follows the adventures of Kintaro Yajima, a motorbike gang leader who is hired by the Yamato Construction Company when he saves the CEOs life. With his forthright way of dealing with matters, he starts solving problems the only way he knows how, by busting heads and spilling blood.”–ArtsMagicDVD

DVD not pictured. Anime. Four episodes. Interviews with director and producer.

SEX & FURY (1973)
Directed by Norifumi Suzuki
Release Company: Panik House

“A frenetic, thrill-packed ride of wild period action set in Edo-era Japan, Sex & Fury is known the world over for the indelible image of stark-naked, sword-wielding Reiko Ike slashing her way through dozens of gangsters to the groovy strains of lounge-jazz on the soundtrack. Sex & Fury also features Swedish sexbomb Christina Lindbergh (Thriller: A Cruel Picture) in a typically revealing role.”–Panik House.

Audio commentary with Chris D., production notes, still gallery.

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