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ORGAN ($30) is a motion picture experience akin to seeing life through the vantage point of inside of a meat grinder. This Japanese horror movie is shocking, grotesque, perverse and definitely not recommended for those with weak stomachs. That said, I do have to give credit to Don May Jr. of Synapse Films for releasing this film on DVD; it is something that will definitely appeal to every die-hard gore hound. The plot of ORGAN centers on a Yakuza run organ theft syndicate, as well as that of an unhinged biology teacher who serves as the ring’s chief doctor/butcher. ORGAN is a very strange and disturbing movie whose plot seems almost secondary to the way the film portrays its surgical atrocities in graphic detail. At times, the movie takes on a surreal quality, thanks to the use of flashbacks and bizarre dream sequences. To tell you the truth, ORGAN is not an easy movie to like, even for mainstream horror fans. This film really pushes things to the limit and will only appeal to those with cast iron stomachs; in other words, those who can withstand a continuous barrage of gushing and oozing wounds. For those who think that a film like ORGAN would appeal only to a male audience, please not that the film was written and directed by Kei Fujiwara- a woman. The cast of ORGAN includes Kei Fujiwara, Kimihiko Hasegawa, Kenji Nasa, Ryu Okubo and Tojima Shozo.

Synapse Films has done quite a good job with their DVD edition of ORGAN, releasing a complete uncut version of the film. Synapse delivers a very good transfer of ORGAN, although the transfer does bring out the flaws in the film element. There are blemishes present at times, throughout the presentation, but none are more disturbing than the movie itself. From the level of film grain in the image, ORGAN would appear to have been shot on 16mm. However, for a 16mm movie, ORGAN definitely delivers the goods. The 1.33:1 image is sharp and detailed, which allows the viewer to see every disgusting moment with shocking clarity. Of course, the image is suitably dark, which allows the film’s gross out special effects to appear very realistic. Colors are quite vivid, with reds and greens splattering across the screen throughout the presentation. There are no problems with color noise or smearing (although it would be difficult to tell in many instances). Blacks are accurately rendered and the image sports decent shadow detail. Digital compression artifacts do not adversely affect the image.

The Japanese Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack is relatively clean sounding, so it will take a fair amount of amplification. Removable English subtitles are available on the DVD. The basic interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection and subtitle features. As supplement, the DVD includes over twenty minutes of scenes from ORGAN 2 with some commentary from writer/director Kei Fujiwara.

Be warned- ORGAN is one of the most graphic film nightmares that I have ever witnessed. If this kind of movie is your cup of tea, then there is nothing on this Synapse Films’ DVD to disappoint.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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