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Vengeance Is Mine Blu-ray Review

Vengeance Is Mine Blu-ray

“Vengeance Is Mine” offers a chilling look at the life of a serial killer.

1979’s “Vengeance Is Mine” (which is based on true events) chronicles the life of a thief, scammer, impostor, and murderer named Iwao Enokizu. Bouncing around from various time periods of Iwao’s life, the sprawling story covers his childhood (where we get a glimpse of his anger and rebellious behavior), his parents (namely his sleazy religious father), his wife Kazuko, an innkeeper (Haru) he falls for, the brutal and vicious murders he committed, the massive police manhunt for him, the numerous con jobs, and Iwao’s eventual capture.

As distressing and disturbing events continue to pop up in the news day after day, “Vengeance Is Mine” remains an all too relevant film about the dark world that we live in. As you can tell from the above plot synopsis, the story (which takes place amidst cultural change) is a disturbing examination of a twisted mind. While the film gives you an idea of how Iwao became a human monster and why he did what he did, the movie doesn’t offer up any concrete explanations. Director Shohei Imamura opts to take a documentary style approach to the film by merely laying out the events before the viewer’s eyes. He lets the audience experience this horrific tale through Iwao’s point of view which makes it all the more unsettling (not to mention exhausting). Granted, there’s a bit of surrealism and artistic license taken with the story, but that’s to be expected. This is, after all, a piece of art from a dedicated filmmaker.

As impressive as the film is from a directorial and storytelling standpoint, actor Ken Ogata’s performance as the psychotic Iwao is the clear highlight of this production. It’s not an easy task for any actor to play an unsympathetic killer and yet Ogata does so with ease. It’s an incredible and frankly underrated performance to be sure.


Presentation: 1.66:1 1080p. How dies it look? This beautiful hi-def print will impress fans of Imamura’s classic film.

Audio Track: Japanese Uncompressed Mono. How does it sound? Positively lively for a mere Mono track.

* A teaser and trailer for “Vengeance Is Mine.”
* A thick booklet containing cast and credits, a 1 page piece on “Vengeance Is Mine” by director Shohei Imamura, an essay by author/writer Michael Atkinson, a lengthy interview between Toichi Nakata and Shohei Imamura, and another piece by Shohei Imamura titled “My Approach To Filmmaking.”
* An excerpt of an interview with Shohei Imamura, Kunio Takeshige and Ken’ichi Benitani.
* An informative, but dull commentary by film critic and film historian Tony Ryans.


September 2, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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