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as of: 10/26/06

Masters of Horror: Imprint

Season 1, Episode 13



out of 10


Takashi Miike


Billy Drago .... Christopher
Youki Kudoh .... Woman
Michie Itô .... Komomo
Toshie Negishi .... Maid
Shimako Iwai


I'm ashamed to say that I haven't yet seen Audition or Ichi the Killer, so this was my introduction to Miike's work.  I can see in portions of this episode why Miike is lauded for his filmmaking, but several things took away from this one for me.  First was the laughably bad acting of Bill Drago.  This guy couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag!  He goes ridiculously overboard on almost every one of his lines.  That basically took me right out of the film from the start.  Second was the convoluted ending.  I basically caught myself saying "WTF??!!!" at the end.  That this film has no decent closure also left me  less than impressed.  Third, the Japanese actresses speaking in English through me off a little too.  I might be in the minority, but I would have rather seen subtitles in some of these scenes.  And lastly, without trying to give too much away, there are some scenes with a hand protruding from a strange place that made me laugh more than anything else. 

With all of that said, Miike does not pull any punches in the gore factor.  There are definitely some scenes that made me cringe and want to look away, but like true horror fans everywhere I was glued to the screen like a motorist rubbernecking to see a car wreck.  As most of you reading this probably know, Imprint was banned from being shown in the U.S. on Showtime for several reasons including graphic depictions of abortion and aborted fetuses.  The torture scenes weren't exactly child's play either.  I still need to get Audition, and I'd like to check out Ichi the Killer as well.  From everything I've heard about those movies, I believe I'll like them a little better than Imprint.

With all of this said, I found Imprint to be toward the upper middle of the first season Masters of Horror episodes.  I do not think I would have picked it up on DVD had I seen it on Showtime.  Fans of Miike will not be disappointed in this, from what I've read on the horror forums I frequent.  Others might want to rent this one first to see if this Japanese director is your cup of tea. 


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