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With an interest in both extreme Japanese horror and the theme of snuff films in general, I simply had to see Muzan-e, which by all accounts was pretty messed up. As I expected, I found myself quite sickened by this film, although surprisingly it wasn't the brutal violence that upset me the most, but rather the taboo-busting and rather stomach-churning scenes that centred on the bizarre world of fetish porn, all of which only go to reaffirm my idea of Japan as a Mecca for the truly twisted!
Muzan-e seems fairly routine at first: shot in faux documentary form, it sees a female reporter investigating the disappearance of an AV starlet famed for her 'specialist' work. After unearthing some background information on the missing girl and conducting several interviews with those who worked with her (during which we snippets of her 'performing'), the reporter gets her hands on a video tape that purportedly shows the woman being tortured and killed on-camera by two brothers, fans who abduct their idol only to decide that they have the wrong person. Although it's strong stuff, after what had gone before, I wan't too phased by the realism of the tape or the gore effects, which is par for the course for this kind of thing.
However, in an unexpected twist (that I have to admit doesn't completely make sense to me), the reporter eventually becomes a victim of the brothers herself, but while she too is subjected to torture and mutilation, it is revealed that well, I won't spoil it for you, but don't be surprised if you are left a tad confused by what you have seen. Overall, though, this is a bold, bloody and disturbing film and a must-see for fans of the rough stuff.
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