5 August 2006 | Coventry
Disturbing, passionate and gruesome!
Wow! If you're about to watch "Imprint", you should prepare for sixty of the most intense and horrific minutes of your life, as Takashi Miike's contribution to the "Masters of Horror"-franchise is, in one word, perplexing! I have yet to see the director's acclaimed masterpiece "Audition" but, until then, this is definitely my most favorite piece of his work! The themes and style here are totally different to, say, "Itchi the Killer" or "Fudoh", but it's disturbing and terrifying on entirely different levels. The story is macabre and definitely has an Asian folklore feel to it, but the torture sequences and perverted sub themes are typically Takashi Miike; meaning very explicit, shocking and on the verge of sickening. It's also a real pleasure to see the hugely underrated actor Billy Drago star in a glorious horror project again! He also appeared in the recent (and surprisingly great "The Hills Have Eyes"-remake), so here's to hoping that this charismatic actor is in the middle of making a successful comeback! Drago plays a mysterious American who travels through Japan all by himself to find the lost love of his life. He arrives on a crazy island where only prostitutes and their pimps live and discovers that the woman he loved passed away. Her sad story is told to him by a deformed whore who also has a lot of other peculiar revelations to share, each one more morbid and repellent than the other. "Imprint" was banned in the States for some obvious reasons, notably the incredibly unsettling torture scene in which a poor girl's fingers and gums are used as a pin-cushion! I'm used to a lot, but this particular part was really hard to watch. Other deeply shocking moments of the story include a brutal and detailed abortion sequence and the overall nihilistic attitude towards unborn humans. This short movie is beautifully made, with sublime camera-work and masterful make-up effects. Miike's directing is solid as a rock and proves that he truly deserves to be called a "Master of Horror". "Imprint" is often hard to watch but impossible to forget. Highly recommended!