Allow me to experiment a bit with this film writing. This isn't some attempt to bash a film but rather, a calling out to cinema-goer's of all types who appreciate film for more pretentious values. I've done it before. I've loved certain films because of how they look or the plot devices used. It's rare to find someone that hasn't had this guilty pleasure. This isn't so much a review as it is a testament to how wrong this film was made.
Regardless of inspirations, the first thing I noticed about this film was how horribly they butchered the source material for the classic serialization of Blind Beast, let alone the masterpiece in Roman porn that Masumura created. To kick it off, imagine (if you have seen it) Blind Beast. We can all agree that it was a solid masterpiece and could be the poster child for any perverse or sadistic fetish that no one had the gumption to admit having.
Blind Beast was a mosaic of perpetual sexuality. The Set's alone were among the most disturbing pieces I have ever encountered. Imagine if you will, Taking true art and pissing all over it. For instance; Any Warhol painting or Tarantino film. (Although I did enjoy Pulp Fiction regardless of how many ideas he stole from short films) Teruo Ishii has taken the setting of the tortured artists studio and dulled it down with embarrassing sculptures that I could even re-create.
(Blind Beast: 1969)
(Blind Beast vs. Killer Dwarf: 2001)
I first blame Rampo for this. Being the writer who penned the serialization of the original story; Blind Beast, It is quite saddening to see this raping of a classic. This is almost as bad as when George Sluizer remade his own masterpiece (The Vanishing) into another rife Americanized film which debases art or originality in cinema while forcing you to spend 60 minutes starring at a younger Kiefer Sutherland in tight blue denims.
I'll be the first to admit I haven't seen any of this directors other films. Judging by his filmography and cult status, I understand that he might have been a great director, but this last film before his death due to lung cancer stunk to high heavens. Like the "great" Tarantino, it seems that Ishii had decided to mesh a few good ideas stolen from original movies to create an even more original film. Not even science would allow such an abomination to occur. Now more onto the film, It's filmed in a generic soap opera style, the acting is abysmal, there is no engaging experience, and the dialogue feels like it is written by a children's book author.
The next plot point is a Killer Dwarf who walks around parks at night dropping a woman's arm cut off to the shoulder. A noir detective played by legendary Shinya Tsukamoto (Shame on you!) attempts to follow the midget around various set So Ishii and Rampo teamed up to create a cross between Blue Velvet, Blind Beast, and every "curious author who wants to find the truth in an extremely risky situation" film. So they've done that, now what? You think a detective following a midget samurai around is bad? Wait till you find out that this midget also played Godzilla's son in one of the many sequels. What a resume.
As my original argument stated, I don't understand how people can conform to a certain film for bare bones aesthetics. I guess that same could be said for my love on Švankmajer's Alice. While I never tire of the film, I can understand how the annoying dub and some of the scenes can rub a cinephile's skin the wrong way. It definitely wasn't his best work, but I still hold a fan-boy crush on all of his works. Another example could be Slaughtered Vomit Dolls. This is a remarkable achievement in vomit cinematography but that's really about all the steadfast weight it carries. It does have deep meaning and several underlying themes which chill you to your bones, but when you watch Slaughtered Vomit Dolls, face it, you're watching it for the gore.
More examples are Santa Sangre from autuer Jodorowsky, Pretty much any Miike film, most of Argento's work, and most of Lynch's later works. While these films lack in substance or any narrative, most people still flock to these films due to the popularity of his other works. Obscurity is the new fad and it won't stop with the birth of the term "Indie Rock" or "Indie Films" True Story: Ty E and I saw 1408 in Target with an Indie sticker. What has the world come to?