Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 2nd, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: Japan, 1998
Director: Teruo Ishii
Cast: Tetsuro Tamba, Kazuhiko Kanayama, Yuko Fujimori, Miki Fujitani, Tadanobu Asano
DVD released: August 15th, 2006
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Panik House
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Tsube is a struggling cartoonist who has just been evicted for not being able to pay his rent. His girlfriend Kuniko is able to find work at a dormitory as cook and as part of the job she is given a place to stay. Tsube is not allowed to stay with her so he ends up staying with a friend. Tsube still struggling looks through Kuniko’s purse one day while she is visiting him and finds condoms. He immediately fears that his girlfriend has been cheating on him. After some prodding she admits to him that she has been cheating and that she is pregnant with another man’s baby. Distraught Tsube tries to kill himself by overdosing on a bottle of pills. His roommate finds him and ends up saving his life. Tsube decides to leave town after he is released from the hospital. He goes on a road trip to forget about Kuniko and along the way he gets more then he bargains for.
Teruo Ishii directed many great films throughout his career and 1998’s Screwed would be the great film he would as his next two films that would follow are mediocre at best. From the opening moments of the film Teruo Ishii’s visual style is in tact and in top form as we see naked contorted bodies bathed in red light. The film premise at first appears simple enough it is about a young man named Tsube who is an insecure individual that pushes everyone away he ever cares about. His insecurities lead to the breakup of his relationship with his girlfriend Kuniko. Tsube continues his self loathing as the film progresses as each time a new woman enters his life he pushes her away before they have a chance to hurt him.
The film is also filled with a lot of twisted humor like when Tsube is in a coma and the nurse is trying to pull his pants down he pulls them back up. Later in the same seen she walks him still in a coma to the bathroom and helps him pee by holding his penis. He sprays his piss everyone including on her and misses the toilet completely. There is also some darker subject matter that is addressed in the film like how three previous tenants tried to kill themselves in the same room that Tsube overdosed in and the rural girl who he meets while traveling is being sexual abused by her father. Teruo Ishii has never been a filmmaker who approaches material in a straight forward way. No matter what the subject is he always seems to be to create something that is unlike anything you have seen before. Disturbing, Proactive, Surreal – Screwed is all things and so much more.
Panik House presents Screwed in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. The source material is in great shape and there are no problems with compression or artifacts. Colors like vivid reds look nicely saturated and detail look strong throughout.
This release comes with only one audio option the films original Japanese language track which is presented here is a Dolby Digital stereo. Dialog is clear and there are no problems with distortion or any other sound defects. Removable English and Spanish subtitles have been included.
Extras for this release include trailers for Screwed, Blind Beast vs. The Killer Dwarf and Tokyo Psycho. Other extras include production notes and Poster & Stills gallery which is broken up into two separate categories. Also include with this release is bios for Teruo Ishii, Tetsuro Tamba and Yoshiharu Tsu’ge and a DVD-Rom extra virtual comic book that comes with text in English and Spanish. This release like all of Panik House previous releases comes with Bi-lingual menus where you can choose between English or Spanish and a collectable sticker of the DVD’s cover art.
Panik House gives Screwed one of Teruo Ishii last films a solid DVD release that comes with a few interesting extras.
For more information about Screwed visit Panik House here.