“WOLF GUY”— Going Undercover

“Wolf Guy” (“Urufu gai: Moero ôkami-otoko”)

Going Undercover

Amos Lassen

“Wolf Guy” has been one of the rarest and most sought-after cult films produced by Japan’s Toei Studio. Until now it has never been released outside of Japan but now everyone is able to see this unclassifiable trip into phantasmagoric funk. Directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi it is one-of-a-kind and filled with violence, action, nudity, real surgical footage, and a psychedelic musical score that come together to create an unforgettable trip to the heights of Japanese cinematic weirdness.

Sonny Chiba stars as Akira Inugami, the only survivor of a clan of ancient werewolves. He depends on his supernatural powers to solve mysterious crimes. After a series of bloody killings perpetrated by an unseen force, Inugami uncovers a conspiracy involving a murdered cabaret singer, corrupt politicians, and a plot by the Japanese CIA to harvest his blood in order to steal his lycanthropic powers. At the same time, Inugami also discovers the truth behind his family heritage, and that he may not be the last of his kind.

When reporter Inugami sees a crazed man running through the streets screaming something about a curse and a tiger, and is suddenly torn to shreds by invisible claws, he takes the dead man’s story about the curse totally seriously. The coroner ruled the death a case of “Death by Spectral Slashing” and Inugami sets out to investigate. He learns that Miki, the singer for the band The Mugs, was raped, given syphilis, addicted to heroin and has some sort of power that allows her to attack people with her mind and tear them apart with an invisible tiger. She was raped by a gang. The rape was performed by a gang who were paid to do it by the band’s management company because Miki began to show an attitude problem. As it turns out, this could be much more serious than thought and perhaps the government is involved.

It just so happens that Inugami a descendant of a village of lycanthropes who were massacred by an angry mob. When there is a full moon, Inugami cannot be killed and he superhuman strength. However, his appearance remains unchanged. A sinister group wants to use both Miki as a brainwashed assassin and Inugami to help them create more lycan killers via his blood and organs. We do not learn this straight-out but rather we get this piece by-piece and have to piece it together ourselves. From this point the movie begins to jump around and introduce new characters.

Many will see that the movie does not seem to make much sense yet it captivates the audience. This could be because it is fast moving and constantly introduces new characters and plotlines. For me what makes it worth watching is the mix of genres, the gore and violence.

Special features include:

– High Definition digital transfer

– Original uncompressed mono audio

– New optional English subtitle translation

– New video interview with actor Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba

– New video interview with director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi

– New video interview with producer Tatsu Yoshida

– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter

Those who are lucky enough to get one of the first pressing will also receive an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Patrick Macias and a history of Japanese monster movie mashups by Jasper Sharp.

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