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Having seen many of Takashi Miike’s films, a slew of questions always arise when surviving them: What is he smoking? Where does he get it? And more importantly…WHAT IS HE SMOKING? Only the sweet herbs of life can explain as to how he comes up with this incredibly twisted shite, then again, maybe he’s just a motherf*cking genius. To be honest I don’t watch Masters of Horror much, I’ve seen a couple of episodes but I’m not a TV guy, hence I rarely get my horror fix there. But when I heard that Takashi Miike’s IMPRINT one hour episode was banned by Showtime, even with they’re more slack violence/nudity policies in tow when it comes to this particular show…I knew I had to see it. See it I did and man did it hurt!
I don’t want to go into too many details about IMPRINT’s storyline as NOT KNOWING much will make sure to whoop you stupid like an unwanted mother of an unwanted redheaded stepchild but I will say this; Miike isn’t getting softer with age. Praise Ulysses! Lynch came to mind as Miike reeled me into a world of wild production designs, kooky yet evil characters and flamboyant costumes. Barfing came to mind when graphic depictions of homemade abortions were slapped in my face. And wincing I DID, when needles came into play once more in Miike land (as they did in Audition) to act as instruments of torture that made the pain caused in Roth’s HOSTEL look like a walk in the park with a stuffed Teddy-Bear.
Once the needles out, I will be honest and say that “not again” did pop in mind but as the film clocked forward, I was in a tizzy to discover that "needles" wasn’t all the evil he was gonna put out in this mad Circus... there was more! The best way I can describe IMPRINT is that it was akin to a rotten fruit. As the film moved forward, I painfully witnessed the layers being peeled off, one at a time, until the horrible truth was discovered. Which brings me to my sole yet hefty complaint; the final frames made no sense to me. I know symbolism was into play and all but after being put through the ringer like nobodies bitch, I wanted the whole picture to be crystal clear, I f*cking deserved it!
With that impaled and cooked over a warm fire, IMPRINT was a keeper and then some. Only Miike can take extreme moments of torture and manage to make them look like arresting macabre paintings come to life. Yup, the man is an audacious sadist/artist! Survive Imprint!