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"Have I got your attention, mister?" By the time you reach this line in Takashi Miike'sImprint, the answer will be a resounding, horrified "Yes!" This much-rumored-about episode of Showtime'sMasters of Horrorseries 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 calledMasters of Horrorand 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. --Robert Horton

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CastBilly Drago, Youki Kudoh, MichiƩ, Toshie Negishi, Shiho Harumi
DirectorTakashi Miike
Screen WriterMick Garris, Daisuke Tengan, Shimako Iwai
DVD Release Date:  September 26, 2006
Runtime:  63 minutes
Studio:  Starz / Anchor Bay
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review by . October 07, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
This film had me on the edge and that's a good thing. I personally think `Imprint' plays out like a dozen Takashi Miike movies rolled into one. On the visual side, this is possibly his most polished film to date, and is one of the better looking Masters of Horror episodes. More art than splatter, the style of Imprint has more in common with Miike's segment in Three... Extremes, with gorgeous cinematography, lighting and framing that most of the Masters of Horror episodes were sadly lacking.      …
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Masters of Horror - Imprint (2005)
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