Blu-ray Review: Blind Beast (1969)

August 20, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Michio (Eiji Funakoshi) is your typical artist; he lives with his mother, is blind, and lives in a bizarre studio filled with a surreal tableau containing titanic sculptures devoted to the senses… and tits n’ ass… lord the gigantic tits n’ ass that studio-space contains… He’s also not above kidnapping a mother fucker outright if kids thinks she’s hot…
That is exactly what he does to beautiful model Aki (Mako Midori), who is naturally really not that into it… and promptly attempts to escape, which you’d think would be easy given that her captor, I don’t know… can’t fucking see her and all… but, alas she fails… more than once…
Before you can say Stockholm syndrome, Aki begins to really dig on the sadomasochistic shenanigans ol’ Michio is laying down… so much so that she begins to take things even further. Fondling of statue ass ensues.
Comprised of a darkly sexual tone (while not being overly graphic… for the most part unbelievably enough) and an amazing design sense, director Yasuzo Masumura (working from a story adapted from Japan’s Edgar Allan Poe, Edogawa Rampo… read it fast), Blind Beast is a heady concoction that meets at the crossroads of obsession and pleasure and jumps up and down on the surface until it’s “art dust” seeps into your pores and leaves you breathless from the resulting fever dream!
Among the strangeness is a bizarre tenderness that belies the imagery and themes at hand, and as I mentioned up yonder, it’s the cerebral aspect of the cruelty at hand that makes this one what it is… well, that and the batshit cinematography (courtesy of Setsuo Kobayashi) and art design (Shigeo Mano to the rescue… Go Shigeo, go!)… but mostly the mind-fuckery.
Along with all of that happy horseshit, the fine folks at Arrow Video (along with MVD Entertainment) have included some fine bits n’ bobs of the “special features” variety including:  a new, fact-packed n’ scholarly audio commentary by Asian cinema expert Earl Jackson, a new filmed introduction to the film courtesy of Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns, a new visual essay by Japanese literature and visual studies scholar Seth Jacobowitz, the picture’s original trailer, and an image gallery.
Also included are a reversible sleeve featuring new artwork by Tony Stella, and with the first pressing only; an illustrated booklet featuring new writing by film scholar Virginie Sélavy.
Blind Beast is hallucinatory, horny, and downright perverse… so yeah; highly recommended!

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