BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Wolf Guy (1975) - Blu-ray Review

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Wolf Guy - Blu-ray Review

5 beersIf invisible tiger attacks and real surgical footage are both right up your alley, then Arrow Video has a super rare treat for you with their release of the B-movie glory hole that is Wolf Guy. Spirit Tigers, Werewolves, and Kung-Fu, oh my!

In the annals of low-rent genre filmmaking, there’s nothing quite like the monster mashup that is Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope.  In fact, the film is so brazenly bizarre and awesome in its fur-flying delivery of ass kicking that I’m absolutely pissed that it is only now – forty decades AFTER its original release – primed for home viewing.  All thanks and praises to Arrow Video for polishing this undiscovered gem of Japanese cinema and delivering in a mouthwatering way of epic coolness.   

Make no bones about it, Wolf Guy is a howling good time.  It’s how grindhouse films ought to operate: bloody, hilarious, and damned kickass.  This film is batshit insane.  Please know that.  And, if you are anything like me, you will love it for that sheer fact.  Wolf Guy is about a drug-addicted girl named Miki who finds herself cursed to roam the streets as a sprit tiger in her quest to seek revenge upon the band members who raped her and gave her syphilis.  The film is schlocky and absolutely unforgettable and that doesn't even begin to address the sheer amount of boobs, butts, and blood that this title offers freaks and geeks. 

It is also - as he plants his chiseled face into one pair of breasts after another - easily one of actor Sonny Chiba’s top performances as a lover AND a fighter.  The beloved Street Fighter plays the last surviving member of a werewolf clan named Akira Inugami and Inugami doesn’t need to change into a werewolf to scare up the truth about the gangs and corrupt politicians at the heart of this mystery.  Chiba always looks ready to rumble and that is the truth.  So, yeah, we have a spirit tiger on the prowl and a werewolf who never once becomes a werewolf; all tangled within a stylized flick of Kung-Fu violence and rage. And the women are just dying to get into Wolf Guy's bed.

The city streets bustle beneath his strut.  The pop music is hip, psychedelic, and jarringly fresh.  And Wolf Guy busts some heads as he uses his superhuman powers to solve crimes, protect people, and attract the ladies.  With a fantastic use of the zoom camera effect, the film wins its audience over by being a funkadelic expression of horny horror as your standard police procedural suddenly grows claws and scratches its way out of the mundane and expected.

This one has teeth, too.  Chiba takes down baddies with coins, fists, and reacts as coolly as you might expect when faced with the sheer volumes of effective gore this one puts on display.  He also flies with a sweet sound effect.  Through it all, there is a clever sense of style that it displays with rugged city streets, effective camera angles, and a grittier look than one might expect in its over-the-top action sequences. 

Wolf Guy is an oddity.  Its particular style of cinematic genre mashup shouldn’t work.  At all.  Yet, this one slays all others when it comes to steely-eyed style, badass beat downs, and city soul.  Directed by B-movie mastermind Kazuhiko Yamaguchi (of Sister Streetfighter fame), this crime-fighting tale of supernatural eccentrics is certainly a head scratcher, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t also entertain…which is exactly what it does in its brief 90-minutes.

Modern science be damned.  With the release of Wolf Guy on 1080p, Arrow Video gives fans of genre filmmaking something pretty wild to howl at the full moon about.

Wolf Guy - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime:
86 mins
Director
: Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
Writer:
Fumio Kônami
Cast:
Kyôsuke Machida, Shin'ichi Chiba, Saburô Date
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Wolf Guy.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Toei Company
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 5, 1975 (Japan)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 23, 2017
Synopsis: Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba is a martial arts “manimal” in the ultra-70′s, 100% bizarre mixture of horror, action and sci-fi that is Wolf Guy, one of the rarest and most sought-after cult films produced by Japan’s Toei Studio. Based on a manga by Kazumasa Hirai (creator of 8 Man), and never before released outside of Japan, it’s a genre film classic waiting to be discovered and a completely unclassifiable trip into phantasmagoric funk.

Chiba stars as Akira Inugami, the only survivor of a clan of ancient werewolves who relies on his supernatural powers to solve mysterious crimes. After a series of bloody killings perpetrated by an unseen force, Inugami uncovers a conspiracy involving a murdered cabaret singer, corrupt politicians, and a plot by the J-CIA to harvest his blood in order to steal his lycanthropic powers! At the same time, Inugami also discovers the truth behind his family heritage, and that he may not be the last of his kind.

Wolf Guy - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow Films
Available on Blu-ray
- May 23, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
Japanese: LPCM Original Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: B/2

Arrow Video presents Wolf Guy on 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 from a 2K restoration effort provided from the preservation negatives. The results are stunning and crisp and totally unexpected for a low-budget film like this one. The 35mm black and white separation masters have been digitally scrubbed and combined to offer the best looking color print positive. The hues are properly detailed and bright and the saturation offers an evenly handled look at the fashions of the time period. The sound – presented in the original 1.0 mono audio is adequate for this release.  There is a new optional English subtitle translation included with the release.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

If you act quickly and scoop this one up, then Patrick Macias and a history of Japanese monster movie mashups by Jasper Sharp will be your reward.  The illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film is included with the first pressing only.  It’s not to be missed.  Also included with the release is a new video interview with actor Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba, a new video interview with director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, and a new video interview with producer Toru Yoshida.  Reversible sleeve art featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter is also included. 

  • Interview with actor Sonny Chiba
  • Interview with director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
  • Interview with producer Tatsu Yoshida

Wolf Guy - Blu-ray Review

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