Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 5th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2010
Director: Yohei Fukuda
Writer: Yohei Fukuda
Cast: Shôichi Matsuda, Wataru Kaoru, Ishino Atsushi, Tsukamoto Sanae, Namikawa Hajime, Ashihara Kensuke, Hoshina Yôhei, Motono Takuya, Shibuki Misa, Oomori Ryoichi, Yoshida Masaki.
DVD released: October 12th, 2010
Approximate running time: 116 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
DVD Release: Cinema Epoch
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Synopsis: Eight strangers become unwilling participants in a deadly online murder game called DeathTube.
This film was directed by Yohei Fukuda, who’s other notable films include Onechanbara – Zombie Bikini Squad and Tokyo Gore School. He was also the cinematographer for Grotesque.
Premise wise this film touches upon concepts that have been explored in countless other films and in most instances with much greater effect. This film could be summed up as Battle Royale meets Saw. Even though the plot keeps things simple (contestants compete until there is only one of them left).At just under two hours in length, the film does tend to drag as it tries to stretch out every for all their worth. Other areas where this film is lacking include its characters, who make it very difficult to care for them and the abruptness of each of their demises.
Some areas where this film does work include the absurd task that the contestants are given, the humorous comments from internet viewers watching everything unfold and the captors teddy bear outfits. To this films credit another area where it stands out is how it doesn’t devolve into a gruesome horror film only concerned with being sadistic and excessive. To this films credit it does try to inject some deeper meaning into each of the tasks that are given to the eight participants. When all is said and done, despite its flaws and inevitable outcome. It is this films satirical take on voyeurism that will drawn into its web of deceit.
Cinema Epoch presents DeathTube in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. It should be noted that some of the footage is purposefully degraded, Like the footage taken from DeathTube. The other footage is in great shape as the image look crisp, colors look nicely saturated and black levels look pretty good. There are no problems with compression, edge enhancement is minimal and the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Japanese and removable English subtitles have been included. The audio is clear and consistent throughout.
Extras for this release include a image gallery with music from the film playing in the background, trailer for the film (1 minute 28 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles) and trailers for Demeking (1 minute 33 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles), Slaughter Island (1 minute 33 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles), The Roommate (1 minute 45 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles), Killer Car (1 minute 26 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles) and Scream Girls (1 minute 29 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles). Also included with this release is a promo image gallery of titles that are available on DVD from Cinema Epoch. Overall DeathTube gets a good audio / video presentation from Cinema Epoch.