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"Have I got your attention, mister?" By the time you reach this line in Takashi Miike's Imprint, the answer will be a resounding, horrified "Yes!" This much-rumored-about episode of Showtime's Masters of Horror series became notorious as the first installment to be denied an airing. Now that the hour-long episode is out on DVD, it's not difficult to see why the network balked (although on the other hand, if you have a series called Masters of Horror and you hire the outrageous Takashi Miike to helm a show, nobody should really be surprised). The story follows an American (Billy Drago) on a journey to a ghostly island bordello in Japan; he's searching for a girl he lost years before. The prostitute he meets has stories to tell--and they abound in incest, abortion, murder, and one of the grisliest torture scenes ever produced for a mainstream outlet. Anybody familiar with Miike's films (Audition, Visitor Q) knows a couple of things about him: (1) there is no affront against civilized behavior he won't put on film, and (2) he's a heckuva filmmaker. Imprint confirms this, on both counts. The only weak spot is the English dialogue reading by the Japanese cast--and by Billy Drago, for that matter, although he does look very cool. The story may or may not make sense, but what stays with you are the pregnant, eye-filling images (cinematography by Toyomichi Kurita) and the truly shocking violence. It is really what the Masters of Horror series seems designed to do: give a director complete freedom to merge style with story. Take this to heart, oh ye of low nausea thresholds: Imprint will seriously mess you up.

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Special Features Commentary by critic and American Cinmatheque film programmer Chris D. and writer Wyatt Doyle "I Am the Film Director of Love: An Interview with Takashi Miike" featurette "Imprinting: The Making of Imprint" featurette "Imperfect Beauty: The Make-up and Special Effects of Imprint" featurette Takashi Miike Bio Still Gallery Trailers DVD-ROM: Original Screenplay DVD-ROM: Screen Saver

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ANB14466 Imprint DVD (2006/Takashii Miike) $14.98