Blind Beast (1969) Poster

(1969)

User Reviews

Review this title
39 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
8/10
Unforgettable Sick SM Love Story
claudio_carvalho5 March 2006
The successful Japanese model Aki (Mako Midori) is abducted by the obsessed and lonely blind sculptor Michio (Eiji Funakoshi) and his mother (Noriko Sengoku). Aki unsuccessfully tries to escape from Michio's studio, and seduces and manipulates Michio against his mother. Aki develops a weird, sick and tragic relationship with Michio, after her long imprisonment and the close contact with him.

The first thing that came up to my mind while watching "Môjuu" was the clear inspiration of its storyline in William Wyler's "The Collector" (1965); by the other hand, the screenplay of the recent "Tiresia" (2003) is certainly based in these two movies. These three films have the same storyline - an obsessed fan kidnaps a woman and imprisons her, but have very different conclusions. "Môjuu" follows a bizarre and weird way, using destructive sadomasochism between the two lead characters, and the most impressive, in a 1969 movie, i.e., thirty seven years ago. Mako Midori is extremely beautiful; the sets are awesome; the cinematography is wonderful; but this unforgettable sick SM love story is recommended for very specific audiences only, since it is impossible not to feel a disturbance after watching this movie. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Cega Obsessão" ("Obsession Blind")
12 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Man, Japanese sec movies are wild
BandSAboutMovies5 August 2021
Warning: Spoilers
A blind sculptor and his captive muse are at the center of this Edogawa Rampo adaption, directed by Yasuzo Masumura (Giants and Toys, Irezumi). This movie looks like the inside of a maniac's dream after they've done days and days of psychedelics and I couldn't be more excited to have watched this.

Aki works as an artist's model, but she's never been hired like this before. She's been kidnapped and taken to a warehouse filled with gigantic female body parts like eyes, legs, lips and breasts as well as two huge male and female figures. There, Michio tells her that he plans on using her to sculpt his most perfect version of the female body.

At first, she wants to escape, but she slowly comes to obsess over her captor as much as he does her. However, his mother, who has helped him to this point, may keep their strange romance from achieving its perfect flower.

Make no mistake - this is a dark and strange movie for grownups. But if you've ready for the challenge, it will reward you with an eerie story and some incredible visual scenes.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Blind Beast
Scarecrow-8818 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Aki(Mako Midori)is a famous model for an artist who frames her in all forms of sadomasochism such as being nude within tied ropes and buckled chains. A friend of that artist actually sculpted Aki's body with which, through gossip, beckons a blind sculptor to the gallery. Aki finds this man, Michio(Eiji Funakoshi), fondling the statue with extreme delicacy, touching every part with passion and care. Later, Michio uses a false identity in getting a job as a masseuse so that he can get into Aki's apartment. As he massages her, Michio can not resist groping her private no-no areas and is told to leave. What Aki doesn't expect is Michio using a drug to knock her out as his mother assists in a kidnapping. Aki awakes inside Michio's own personal gallery where plaster casts of body parts, he has felt through various encounters with women, protrude from the walls creating a creepy surreal landscape. Aki tries desperately to escape, but the only door is locked and encased with iron. She will not be allowed to leave unless she poses for what he confirms will be his greatest sculpted work..he wishes to feel her body inch for inch and sculpt it. Aki simply wishes to leave, but even when she almost escapes his clutches, Michio's mother(Noriko Sengoku)prevents her from fleeing. Seeing very few chances for freedom besides being his model, Aki will use manipulation, through sexual advances to virginal Michio(while also tapping into the mother's obsessive love for her son, the only male she has had close contact with over the years)to separate the son from his mother. Mother loathes Aki and sees her as nothing but a slutty harlot who uses her nakedness for greedy pay-off. Aki still just wishes to leave, but Michio slowly grows more and more obsessed with her pushing away the mother who has taken care of a blind child by herself for many, many years. The shattered relationship ends in a scuffle and tragedy as the mother tries to kill Aki with Michio interfering.

The more notorious portion of the film is the last 30 minutes as Aki will be raped and sodomized by a vengeful, heartbroken Michio who realizes that his beloved model was merely deceiving him so that his relationship with mother would deteriorate offering her a possibility of escape. Not allowing Aki to leave, they slowly bond through animalistic, continual sex which descends more and more into sadomasochism and violent depravity..or as Aki put it, "..descent into a nonhuman abyss." It starts through biting into each other's skin, grows into being tied up by rope and whipped, before descending into bruising and knife-stabbing. They even drink each other's blood from the knife-wounds. But, the magic of this disturbing tale is that director Yasuzo Masumura doesn't really show you anything much..he uses the sounds of the objects hitting and penetrating the flesh creating the act in your own mind. Seeing somewhat normal people grow more and more mad(Aki even goes blind!)through the pleasures of pain as they stretch the boundaries of what the human anatomy can take is the raw power of this film. The warehouse gallery is quite a bizarre, unusual, yet poetic setting for this groundbreaking masterwork.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Interesting meditation of art, pleasure and life
dbborroughs4 August 2004
I had been haunted by an image in Phil Hardy's Overlook Encyclopedia of Horror of the two leads in orgasmic contact. The description of the film made me wonder what sort of sick twisted film this was. Twenty years later the film came out on DVD and I picked up a copy.

The plot, such as it is, concerns a blind man who kidnaps a model and holds her against her will. What happens next would be telling, as the three characters, the blind man's mother is his accomplice, interact in ways that are both surreal and primal. Even if you know what happens, you still can't be prepared for what happens.

This is NOT for every taste. The psycho-sexual twists and turns may be not some peoples cup of tea. Even the blood, which by todays standards isn't much, kicks you in the head.

No, its no perfect. The film is a bit too long, but its a trip and a half for those willing to take it on its terms.

Recommended
16 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
An inspiration for Almodovar's "Matador"?
lastliberal15 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Yasuzo Masumura's story of obsession and pride is definitely one worth watching.

Just three characters, with Eiji Funakoshi as the blind man, but there is enough to keep your interest. Michio (Funakoshi) relies on touch as his primary means of pleasure. He is a sculptor that has created a warehouse of body parts that will blow you away, But, he wants the perfect form to sculpt and he sets his sights on the model Aki, whom he only knows by touching a sculpture of her.

Aki is Mako Midori, an exotic beauty, who is best known to Japanese art-house fans in this country. She is kidnapped by Michio and enters into a bizarre S&M trip to his warehouse. Her attempts to flee result in the eventual death of Michio's mother - the third character in this film. Finally, we see love blossom into a bizarre ending that is both gory and surreal.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
One of the better movies within its genre.
Boba_Fett11383 November 2009
Yes, believe it or not, these weird, artistic looking, violent, sadomasochism movies are actual part of a much larger genre, that mostly the Japanese have specialized in. Its genre is often hard to watch but at the same time you will also be able to appreciate the visual beauty and delicateness of the movie.

Out of all the movies I have seen so far that can be put under the same label as "Môjû", this movie is certainly one of the better ones. Its storytelling shock you more than the actual images of the movie and visually it's also a great looking movie with grand and unusual looking sets. It's definitely an artistic movie but it's story will still grab everyone, no matter how simplistic it and odd it all gets at times.

Even though in essence its a sadomasochism movie, the movie is more focused on its psychological sexual aspects and how the characters experience them. There is nudity and gore but that is not just simply what the movie is supposed to be all about.

It's definitely a movie you simply need to experience. A lot can be written about it but it in no way can capture the essence and mood of the movie.

8/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A strange and bizarre genre effort
kannibalcorpsegrinder9 December 2021
After being kidnapped from her appointment, a model finds herself in the clutches of a blind artist and his mother who are looking to use her as the muse for a new art exhibition he's preparing to make, but the longer they remain together the more their obsession and desire spill over into a dark madness.

This was a highly impressive psychological character study. Among the more enjoyable features here is the escalating tension and psychological revelations that emerge as the film carries on. With the film focusing heavily on the slow introduction of the girl to the strange world he has created with the impeccably designed studio layout offering the chance for a surrealist experience of the featureless but recognizable sculptures detailing the female form in various poses, it creates the kind of abstract setting that allows the unfolding psychological explorations to continue unabated. The surrealist atmosphere carries on with the way they carry out the early stages of the relationship where the constant pawing and groping of her nude body in the name of getting a feel for what to do with the sculpture he's going to create while in the presence of his mother adds immeasurably to the kind of nightmarish scenario present here. The second half here, as the film begins to explore the twisted and perverse desires of both the further this goes on. Not only is the frantic escape attempt doomed to fail but the aftermath results in a brutal rape that keeps her compliant to his whims, but the feverish and direct desire to finish the painting but being held up by the sudden realization that her actions have been intended to seduce him against his mother. This intermingling of storylines creates a highly unnerving and suspenseful setup that just combines together with the setting and atmosphere to make for a highly impressive and surreal setup that may or may not appeal to all out there. Those who aren't interested or intrigued by the film, especially with the absurd antics and heavy nudity on display, can feel outright bizarre and unappealing as this carries on which doesn't hold this back overall but does lower it somewhat.

Rated Unrated/NC-17: Nudity, Violence, Intense Sexual Themes, and Rape.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
As weird as they come with some 'interesting' ideas!
The_Void1 February 2007
The only 'pinku' film I'd seen before this one was Masaru Konuma's Wife to be Sacrificed, but that didn't prepare me for the oddity of this Japanese 'classic'! Quite what the writers and directors were on is anyone's guess, but whatever it was; it lead to them creating an interesting and unique film that is memorable thanks to it's strange storyline and the way that the ideas are presented without a lot of fuss, which only increases the potency of what the film has to say. The basis of the story is sadomasochism, but director Yasuzo Masumura seems to want to go further as the pleasure-pain idea that S&M is based on is completely overruled by the idea of absolute pleasure through the sense of touch. The film focuses on a blind sculptor who, along with his mother kidnaps a young model after he heard some young kids talking about how exquisite she is. He takes her to his warehouse, which is filled with huge statues and naturally she wants to escape as soon as possible. After a couple of failed attempts, however, she begins to buy into the sculptor's ideas, and soon develops his fixation.

This film definitely is shocking, but not because of any large amount of gore or particularly brutal sex scenes. Director Yasuzo Masumura has done an amazing thing in that he's made a film that is shocking thanks to the ideas that it promotes. Naturally, there's a fair amount of nudity; but it's very soft and clearly wasn't what the director valued most when it came to making this film. There is a rather visceral sequence towards the end which is sure to get the audience cringing, but it's not the most shocking thing about the film - which again is amazing since this would have been the standout in most other movies like this. The atmosphere is surreal throughout, and this is good as it allows the director to throw in just about anything and it comes off as being believable in spite of the fact that a lot of the ideas in the film are really quite ridiculous. I always find it difficult to judge things like acting when a film is subtitled; but the lead duo are at least believable, while Yasuzo Masumura's cinematography and attention to detail is the finishing touch that makes the film what it is. Overall, Blind Beast is a bizarre oddity that verges on brilliance. Well worth seeing!
16 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
An S&M masterpiece; Please, release more stuff like this!
zetes9 April 2002
A discovery like this reminds me how much more there is to Japanese cinema besides Kurosawa, Ozu, and Mizoguchi. Well, my two favorite Japanese filmmakers are Sezuki Seijun and Shinya Tsukamoto, maverick filmmakers in their own country. Yasuza Masumura may be thrown on that list pretty quickly here, although this production doubtlessly had more money than, say, Branded to Kill. I won't go into too much detail with Blind Beast. Suffice it to say that it's one of the best films I've ever seen. It's easy to compare it to some vaguely arty trash like In the Realm of the Senses (and I say that in the best way). That film was discovered by the French. I wish they would have found this and canonized it instead. It's far more artistically accomplished, and much, much more emotionally and physically draining. 10/10.
11 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A Nutshell Review: Blind Beast
DICK STEEL28 August 2009
Since this is partly a blog, if I may indulge in a personal story and experience involving a touchy feely blind man, that while watching this show somewhat reminded me of him. I was with a female friend minding own business at a train station near the West. I left her at the ticketing counter while I answered nature's call. When I returned, there was this blind man talking to her, and out from nowhere, a hand shot out and grabbed her arm. I wondered what the heck was going on of course, only for her to assure me that he was just asking for directions, and needed help.

I didn't buy his story naturally, and especially not when his hand started to roam along her arm. Suspicious and not liking this blind dude, I reached out and to my surprise had to exert considerable force to pry his grip on my friend's arm, and he reached out for mine instead. He pleaded that he needed someone to guide him home, and from the address given, it wasn't that far away. So we decided to escort him rather than dumping him there, though along the way he had this iron-vice grip on my arm, as if punishing me for disallowing him the touch of my female friend. To cut it short, we let him be along his way at the foot of his block. I was left with an arm with fingernails dug right in, and a supposed neighbour told us that the blind man is a little crazed, and to ignore him. Who knows what we would have found should we have escorted him to his doorstep, probably find a studio like that in the film! Which was nothing short of amazing, and I think many in the audiences gasped at the audacious sculptures of body parts handing from the walls, like a 3D police photo-fit containing limbs, facial features, and boobs of all shapes and sizes. Eiji Finakoshi plays the blind sculptor Michio, who is looking to transcend his art by seeking a muse with whom he can explore the female body, and together with his acute sense of touch, translate the intricacies and sensual female form to clay. The film opens with his visit to a photography exhibition featuring the model Aki (Mado Midori), and through her narration, there's some strange connection being felt when Michio starts to fondle a sculpture of hers.

Almost like Psycho, Michio lives under the confines of his small house cum studio, under the close supervision of his mother (played by Noriko Sengoku), who go to great lengths in order to care for her disabled son, and that included conspiring with him to kidnap his Aki to become his new muse and inspiration to create that perfect artwork. And from that point on, it's the relationship and dynamics between these three main characters within a constricted space that elevates this film with common sensibilities and rivalry that any layman can identify with.

As the proverbial "they" always say, trouble will brew when there are two women in the house. Aki's presence is typical of a daughter-in-law who has trouble with both the son and his mother. There's this constant tussle between the two women to vie for the guy's attention, whose blindness is almost like a metaphor that we are always put in no good a position where we sometimes fail apply good sense and judgement, and allow emotions to take control. Here, Michio's lust often gives Aki the advantage, who is constantly seeking some means of escaping her ordeal as a kidnapped victim of art. The actors here all put in top notch performances, especially Mako Midori in her role shifting from victim to perpetrator, from helplessness to the gaining of the upper hand, scheming in applying the divide and conquer strategy to wedge jealousy and suspicion between her captors.

The last act was a descent into the strange and weird when the Stockholm Syndrome kicked in and comes full of touchy-feely scenes, with Michio using sexual violence to finally overpower his muse, and of course had plenty to classify the film under gore and horror. In fact, when the last scenes were into their full swing, you can here the yelps of disbelief of the gory obvious that would unfold, especially when director Yasuzo Masumura, who drew upon this Rampo Edogawa story, never failed to remind you of the razor thin line between pleasure and pain. While at times comical with the words of expression used, there's enough here that would make you squirm, and this descent into madness is likely to stick in your mind long after the end credits roll.

Nonetheless this film had impressed me with its huge, surreal artistic objects, and won me over with the middle act, which became the make-or-break. The last act seemed to be undoubtedly classifying this as a cult film for its shock value, though it does put out a statement of the lengths that some would go in order to achieve that level of artistic self-actualization, which comes with pain and sacrifice.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
surreal horror
christopher-underwood18 January 2017
Bizarre is too general a term to describe this movie and surreal horror seems a bit ordinary by today's standards but, bizarre, surreal horror it certainly is. Talk of similarities with The Collector are unhelpful as this goes way beyond anything in the John Fowles novel or the subsequent film. Here the kidnap is carried out by a blind sculptor with the help of his mother so that he might have a model to work with (the suggestion here is that nobody would willingly work with a person with any disability). His studio is decorated with extremely strange and disconcerting sculpted body parts, legs, noses, mouths and of course breasts and almost all the action takes place among these artefacts. At first odd and then disquieting before becoming rather violent and eventually much more so, this is not a film for the casual viewer. There is much discussion of the sense of touch and the 'advantages' of blindness before this topples headlong into much darker territory. A cast of just three and Mako Midori plays the young girl to perfection. Never simply a captive she becomes the central character as this goes to where you really don't wish it to. Only in Japan, as they say and it certainly applies to this unique and very dark gem.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Very interesting film, with some beautiful production design
tomgillespie200214 August 2012
Part of the Japanese New Wave of the 1960's and early 1970's, - which, like the French Nouvelle Vague developed a new form of cinema, largely made up of film critics, and deconstructionists - Yasuzo Masumura's deeply psycho-sexual drama about power and sensuality, explored ideas such as the changing roles in society (particularly of women), surprisingly - unlike the French wave - through the studio system. Based upon Rampo Edogawa's novel, published in 1931, the film has been previously compared to John Fowles's excellent 1963 novel, 'The Collector' - and certainly some of the themes are similar.

Self-proclaimed "disliked model," Aki (Mako Midori), begins the film in a gallery, her modelling career not going to plan within the commercial world, she had taken a job posing for a famous photographer in "erotic" S&M style images. The exhibition is a success, but here, now, it is early, and she views a strange man fondling a sculpture effigy of her, that resides at the centre of the room. Having hired a masseur, the blind, Michio (Eiji Funakoshi), enters her flat and begins lasciviously to touch her body, proclaiming she has the most perfect body. Michio, along with his mother kidnap Aki, and take her to his warehouse studio - there he states his aim to create a new genre of art, made by and for the blind that is based upon the sensation of touch alone.

As Aki begins to bring deception and manipulation into the mother-son relationship, things begin to spiral out of control, their relationship develops into a strangely symbiotic form, that increasingly leads to a masochistic tryst. As their depravity progresses, the masochistic tendencies become more dangerous (which could easily be seen as absolute influence on Jennifer Lynch's famous failure, Boxing Helena (1993) - it would be surprising if she had not seen it).

Most of the film is set within the cavernous, yet claustrophobic warehouse, which lends an air of stage play. However, the production design is absolutely beautiful, with abstractions of lighting, and the walls covered with hundreds of clay body parts - over sized eyes, noses, legs etc, - of all the women he has previously touched. It is a very interesting film, that will endure for it's psychotic and debasing character studies, and the destruction of the traditional family unit.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Grade horror film
billcr1214 May 2012
A blind sculptor and his Norman Bates inspired mother; except for the fact that she is alive, abduct a young woman and force her to model for the lunatic artist.

She is kept in an old warehouse in this extremely sadistic sexual film. Whips, knives and meat cleavers are used to torture the victim, as she eventually loses her sight . He uses his hands to feel her body in order to create a giant statue of her.

After a while, the model accepts her fate and puts the mother and son against each other which only complicates matters. Mako Madori is beautiful and seductive as the artist's model but overall Blind Beast is a voyeuristic, grade b horror movie, pretty much a Vincent Price Hammer Studios project with some nudity added.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Underground Masterpiece
ebiros210 December 2011
Based on a novel by Edogawa Rampo who's name sake is Edgar Alan Poe, it's a mystery intrigue that's his specialty. But this one must be one of the most far left story he's ever written.

A blind masseuse kidnaps a model to enjoy her in his private atelier. She finds herself in his wonderland that is dedicated to women's body. If that sound's weird, you're right. This is one of the weirdest movie I've seen.

Mako Midori who plays the lead was known for her good figures. She was also known as actress that's bit out there, so she was the perfect choice for this role. Despite her sexuality, she's confessed that she was rather a late bloomer in regards to sexual matters. Her first boyfriend didn't help in this regards either. But as an actress, she was some what of a sex symbol, as you can see in this movie.

The movie is bit like the "Collector" in that she was collected by this masseuse, and became his sex slave, but I think this is a better made movie. It really is an artistic movie. The fact that it's written by Edogawa Rampo almost guarantees it, and recruiting Mako Midori was an inspired choice.

Not a mainstream movie by any means, but one of the most interesting that's out there.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
ALL FOR ART
kirbylee70-599-52617923 November 2021
Warning: Spoilers
One thing that can be said for movies made in Japan, they are never boring. Strange, unusual, but never boring. Having these films made available for home viewing and allowing overseas films to be viewed in some cases for the first time means being exposed to the differences in culture. BLIND BEAST is a perfect example.

Made in 1969, the story begins with Aki (Mako Midori), a beautiful young model who is the inspiration for a photographer and sculpture whose images are on display in a local art gallery. Stopping in one night she sees a blind patron there running his hands over the sculpture, "seeing" it with his hands.

Not long after having had a stressful week she calls her masseuse to come to her place for a massage. Unable to be there someone else takes his place. It turns out it's the same blind man she saw in the gallery, Michio (Eiji Funakoshi). At first the massage is normal but as things progress she feels uncomfortable. As she is about to send him away, he places a rag over her mouth filled with ether and she's knocked unconscious.

When Aki awakes she finds herself in a huge dark room. Michio has kidnapped her and explains to her from the darkness that her body is the perfect model for the sculpture he intends to create. Switching on one light at a time he allows her to see his work to date. Each wall is covered with different body parts beginning with eyes, moving to noses, breasts, legs and arms. These were the foundation of his art. She will be his masterpiece.

Aki has a different perspective. She wants nothing more than her freedom. Kept prisoner by Michio and his mother (Noriko Sengoku), a woman who has sacrificed her entire life for her son and his art, Aki plots various ways to escape. The straightforward way doesn't work so she makes Michio believe she wants to be his inspiration. Even then she tries to escape.

As the movie progresses she gradually changes her mind. She begins to understand the artists and the art he is attempting to create, an art that stems not just from sight but from all senses. She begins to actually fall in love with Michio and it isn't long before the sculpting falls behind while their sexual escapades increase. This experience of the senses plays into that and the two go on until exhausted only to wake and begin again. What will happen is anyone's guess.

Made on a modest budget and not relying on a ton of nudity, explicit sex of gore scenes, the movie is actually quite beautiful in its own way. Michio's warehouse filled with walls of various body parts is unusual and fascinating at the same time. Sequences of Michio and Aki running through the room among the various sculptures of body parts is disturbing and interesting at the same time.

While much is lost in translation when viewing a movie in a different language, the acting here is still solid enough that you can feel the emptions even when not relating to the words being said. Both Midori and Funakoshi make their characters believable even in this strange environment.

The film is one that will hold your interest until the very strange ending and in some ways is quite entertaining. Just know going in that this is not your typical movie.

Arrow Video is releasing the film in blu-ray format. The release also includes several nice extras including a brand new audio commentary by Asian cinema scholar Earl Jackson, a newly filmed introduction by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns, "Blind Beast: Masumura the Supersensualist" a brand new visual essay by Japanese literature and visual studies scholar Seth Jacobowitz, the original Trailer, an image gallery, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella and for the first pressing only an illustrated booklet featuring new writing by Virginie Sélavy.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Interesting And Haunting "Classic" Japanese Film...
EVOL66612 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Wasn't sure what to expect with BLIND BEAST as I hadn't heard anything about it when I watched it - but I liked it quite a bit. Strong and interesting storyline, good acting, and an off-the-wall ending made this one an enjoyable "classic" Japanese erotic/horror/drama...

A blind sculptor kidnaps a famous model with the help of his mother, to use as the model for his "perfect" sculpture. The model is uninterested in the sculptors artistic pursuit (as is typically common of kidnapping victims...) and tries to devise ways to escape from the warehouse that she's trapped in. The sculptor is actually a very kind person who was raised solely by his mother, and only wishes to create the perfect replica of the model in clay form as a "tribute" to her. Eventually the model falls for the blind-man, and things get strange. When the mother dies from an accident, the sculptor and sculptee spend all of their time boning. Eventually the model starts to also go blind as a result of the poor lighting, and their sexual escapades become more dark and depraved as they yearn for deeper fulfillment. The ending is somewhat shocking and beautiful in an understated way, which I won't give away here...

BLIND BEAST is a unique film, in that it portrays some "controversial" (for 1969...) material in a straight-faced and serious manner. There is some nudity, but it's "light", and there is almost no blood - yet the ending is pretty violent. An interesting and deep film, that will probably appeal to Japanese-pinky fans or others that dig 60's/70's era Japanese films...8.5/10
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Perverse, beautiful and haunting
fertilecelluloid8 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Yasuzo Masumura made many fascinating films, including my favorite entry in the "Hanzo The Razor" series, "The Snare", easily the most psycho-sexual of the trio. His "Blind Beast", based on a story by Edogawa Rampo, one of Japan's most famous horror writers, is an intense study of obsession, emotional manipulation and the perverse nature of art.

A sculptor, Machio (Eiji Funakoshi), blind since birth, becomes obsessed with a beautiful artists' model, Aki (Mako Midori), and kidnaps her with with the assistance of his devoted mother (Noriko Sengoku). Dedicated to producing a sculpture of the the imprisoned beauty, Machio's plans are initially thwarted by Machio's reluctance to be his model and mother's reluctance to let her boy experience physical love for the first time.

Funakoshi's performance as the blind sculptor is extraordinary and chilling. Scenes of him compulsively raking his hands over Aki's body possess a psychotic, orgasmic intensity. Mako Midori is sensational as the blatantly manipulative model, skilfully portraying both victim and victimizer as the psycho-sexual engines begin to reverse direction.

Machio's studio, a strange cavern of gigantic sculptures, is surreal and bizarre. At one point, Aki argues that the pieces, female body parts, are so large because they are sculpted from the perspective of a baby. The cinematography is elegant and evocative, and the compositions echo some of Antonioni's finest work. Hikaru Hayashi's signature theme music is painfully tender, beautiful and haunting, resonating well beyond the final frames.

William Wyler's film of John Fowles' "The Collector" was clearly a thematic and visual inspiration for this fascinating film.

The final act is powerful and transporting as it provides a perfect but perverse solution to the situation our unlikely lovers find themselves in. Many years later, Pedro Almodovar would expand on it in his wonderful tale of brittle passion, "Matador".
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
The Art of pain and pleasure
Lady_Targaryen13 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
''Môjuu'' is a strange Japanese movie that is not for everybody's taste. I don't find it too violent or strong with the exception of the final scenes, when Michio is really beating Aki with all he can!

Aki is a beautiful model and one day she decides to do a massage. What she doesn't know, is that Michio,a blind sculptor who is obsessed with her, will kidnap her pretending to be a massager and make his studio a prison to Aki not scape. At the studio, many strange and big sculptures of other women Michio made are there, and the scenario is bizarre, as well as the lack of light. In the beginning, all that Aki wants is to escape from Michio, even seducing him against his mother; but the time she stays there continues to run and she becomes blind as he,even wishing the same desire of exploring senses that he has.

aka "Cega Obsessão" - Brazil
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Why Sculptures Kick Ass.
ElijahCSkuggs2 March 2008
Heading into Blind Beast I knew nothing about it. Nada. An IMDb Horror Boarder told me there were huge breasts in the flick. So naturally, having Asian fever and a love for gazungas I jumped at the chance. Well, I found out there were gigantic breasts, but not the type I was looking for. Oh, and also, the movie turned out to be a nice trip into the weird world of sex.

Blind Beast is basically about a blind sculptor who kidnaps a very sexy model. The model constantly attempts to escape through various means, but with the help of the blind man's mother, she remains put. What follows is a trip into obsession and sexual behavior at the highest level.

Blind Beast sounds like a film that would be really graphic, with lots of steamy sex ala Realm of the Senses. But it's not. Though, there's a good amount of brief nudity, a nip here and there, and some nice panty shots. Personally I think the film would have benefited more if it was a little more graphic. But, even without lots of nudity, the film still gets the message across, easily.

Overall, the film is a really well made piece of work. From the fantastic acting, the gorgeous lead actress, the intriguing writing and story, the great directing and amazing set, it's one flick any fan of Asian cinema should definitely check out.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Ahead of its time, in its way
Andy-29620 November 2006
Blind sculptor Michio, helped by his mother, abducts beautiful Japanese model Aki, imprisoning her against her will in his studio. After a period of desperation, Aki then tries to escape by seducing and manipulating Michio against his mother. The relationship between Aki and Michio, which Masumura wants to be the heart of the movie, will over time develop in a weird and sick fashion. The movie is not explicitly violent or sexually graphic, but it is an oppressive and generally unpleasant movie to see anyway. You can say that this S&M tale was way ahead of its time (there were very few movies of this kind in 1969), the other question could be whether one can leave the cinema enriched in any way.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Foreign Films Not For The Faint Of Heart
FloatingOpera710 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Blind Beast" "Moju" (1969): Eiji Funakoshi, Mako Midori, Noriko Sengoku...Director Yasuzo Masumura, Screenplay/Story ...Rampo Edogawa, Yoshio Shirasaka.

The films of 1969 were in many ways a revolution, a bold step forward into the future of cinema. Like the decade of the 60's, liberal attitudes were embraced, as was rebelliousness against convention and shock appeal was big. Graphic adult content, that is to say R rated and X rated material by today's standards, was bombarding the big screen and a new wave of cinema hit America never before seen even by adult audiences in the 40's and 50's whose films were always under the eye of the censors and were at most only mildly shocking or violent. Foreign films paved the way for this new type of shocking film, and other films from this time - coming from South America, Mexico, Europe and Asia, were bold in their excessive shock appeal. "Blind Beast", released in 1969 by Japanese Director Yasuzo Masumura is possibly the most graphic, the most sadistic, twisted, horrifying piece of veiled romantic art-house material. The art-house signature is all over it. Its lead character is a blind sculptor who is sexually frustrated and in pursuit of a life-long, impossible romance, there are many fine moments of cinematography that makes use of interesting camera angles, artsy in themselves, actual sculptures and mood lighting, primarily light colors and clarity at the start of the film and total darkness by the end of it.

Though not everyone would call this a romance, the blind hero Michio (Funakoshi) is a blind man who has never known any real love from a woman and who is ostracized and isolated, living a lot like the Phantom of the Opera. Only his mother (Sengoku) cares for him. They quickly determine that he needs a woman, a bride and they kidnap a beautiful artist's model (Midori). At first, she is disgusted and horrified by her situation. Alone in a sunken warehouse, Michio repeatedly rapes her and they are both deprived of real food, clothes and contact with the outside world. This can easily be traced to similar stories like "Beauty and the Beast" and the fore-mentioned "Phantom". Michio quickly trains his kidnapped bride to respond to touch and to rely on her senses. She quickly becomes insane and goes blind. They are both now in a bizarre, sadomasochistic, symbiotic relationship in which he provides her with rough physical dominance which she craves. He tortures her, beats her, whips her, bites her, drinks her blood and eats some of her flesh. Before long, she equates physical pain with love. Surprisingly, Michio can still make sculptures. Before long, we realize that reality has set in. They are both insane and dying of lack of food, social contact and a real life. They descend into degradation and self-destruction. She demands that he chop off her limbs before she dies. This truly horrible story is good only because it is so out-of-this-world for 1969 and so bold and daring in its subject matter. Keep in mind that this is not for younger audiences. The scenes are graphic and intense. A film that is little-known, little appreciated and yet a sort of whispered-about cult classic, a story that may arouse some and disgust others. Nevertheless, being a Japanese foreign film, with much philosophical and Buddhist-like ruminations by the girl's voice-over, it is an art-house film nonetheless. The cinematography as mentioned is really interesting and as much a part of the story as the characters and their evil passion. Notice how seriously it takes itself for a film that could be reduced to mere pornography or "snuff" film. There is a strange sadness to this film, a tragic quality to it that makes it somehow more than just about the shock appeal. The shock element is still there and it's strong but it's a film with a powerful impact nonetheless. It's art-house. Just not to everyone's tastes.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A nightmarish and culturally subjective odyssey of polymorphous perversion.
EyeAskance19 May 2003
There are few films as psychosexually unnerving as MOJU, a visually arresting Japanese art-house classic which illustrates a blind sculptor's darkly sexual "idee fixe", and a young woman's metamorphosis of mind and body. This is erotica of a tenebrous nature rarely explored in films, and will surely rouse reproach in today's politically sensitive milieu for its limning of male-induced female disempowent. Initially a resistant captive, she yields gradually to her oppressor, eventuating with the willful(and eager) ultimate surrender of every aspect of her being.

A disquieting sadomasochistic fever-dream, MOJU is also underscored with violative elements of a strangely touching, almost fragile intimacy which develops between the two key characters...a dynamic of tenderness and firebrand which works well. Iconographically, it's a unique and forceful film, transpiring chiefly within the darkness of an expansive subterrane with black walls which exhibit floor-to-ceiling reliefs in depiction of various body parts. A massive, abstractly sculpted female nude is the central fixture, which serves as a bedstead of sorts. The high contrast of these ghostly-white effigies against the black walls creates a surreal illusion of free-floating entities in the crepuscule of space...it's an appropriately asomatous stage for the bizarre 'mise en scene' at hand, and contributes to the the film's abstruse semblance.

Individuals of offroad aesthetic tastes should enjoy this unexampled and very memorable conception...explore it, and you *will* be affected in a spectrum of ways.

8/10...Recommended.
15 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
A weird movie....
MovieGuy0116 October 2009
I thought that Blind Beast which was directed by Yazuzo Masumara. was a very weird sort of film. A blind sculptor kidnaps a young model and takes her back to his home. He and his mother live in a warehouse that he has turned into a tribute to the senses. It is filled with huge sculptures of body parts He is obsessed with exploring the senses to the fullest. At first, the model only wants to escape from this bizarre place, but eventually she succumbs to his strange vision and even surpasses his obsession. This was a very disturbing sort of film a that contains some weird seanses. But i found it to be quite an interesting film in the end.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Wickedly unsettling
ThrownMuse13 September 2007
A tortured blind sculptor kidnaps a beautiful female model and forces her to pose for the perfect sculpture. Even though this film only has a few characters in a couple settings, it has some very fascinating and unsettling set designs. The room where the sculptor works on his art is impressive, to say the least. As for the subject matter, I was surprised at how much ahead of its time it was. My only problem with the film is that the few characters in it aren't fleshed out enough. This makes some of the character transitions seem unbelievable or even goofy at times. So perhaps it could have been a bit longer with better characterization. Otherwise, this is a good, original, and shocking dramatic horror.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Of all the unforgettables this may be the most upsetting
Atavisten8 May 2005
And its not that you see so much grotesque stuff, you do but thats not the point, but the tension is so taut that it shook me up quite a bit. I have seen Argento and Bava movies with my girlfriend and she didn't get much queasy by that, when we saw this however she really had enough with it two thirds in. And I can sympathize with that quite easily. There is just something that can really torment one and haunt for a long time like very few others, 'Cannibal Holocaust', even if that was silly, and 'Irreversible' spring to mind. Whether its the claustrophobic lighting and location, the excellent actors, the contemplations of Aki or the conclusion of it all is uncertain. Anyway, its a masterpiece, if a disturbing one.
11 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed