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Case Number 10454: Small Claims Court

Buy Screwed (1998) at Amazon

Screwed (1998)

Panik House Entertainment // 1998 // 85 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // December 8th, 2006

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All Rise...

Judge Mitchell Hattaway encourages you to insert your own pun about the title here.

The Charge

The ultimate Japanese cult film!

The Case

When he begins to suspect his girlfriend is cheating on him, manga artist Tsube (Tadanobu Asano, Ichi the Killer) embarks on a fever dream odyssey across Japan. His journey leads him from his apartment in the city to a rundown sex palace, then to a train station in another dimension, and eventually to the home of a sex-starved doctor whose office window offers a view a battleship that is constantly shelling the nearby beach.

Screwed is quite possibly the damnedest thing I've ever seen. In what I assume is intended as a physical manifestation of the manga drawn by the main character, the opening and closing sequences feature topless woman cavorting on a beach with an adult version of the Eraserhead baby while a masked man sporting a gargantuan wooden phallus dances nearby. The main character awakes one morning to find a gaping has opened on his left bicep, the flow of blood from which can only be controlled by a spigot installed by a female gynecologist who accepts sexual favors as payment for her services. A toy train driven by a bipedal cat creature carries passengers back and forth between alternate realities. And the most suave character in the story is portrayed by an actor who appears to be Japan's answer to Eddie Deezen. Fans of the unabashedly weird are likely to enjoy the movie; there were moments when I found it to be fascinatingly bizarre, but it's also painfully boring at times. The good scenes (the ones with all of the freaky stuff) are separated (and outweighed) by long stretches during which absolutely nothing of interest, or even nothing at all occurs.

The horrendous transfer renders the movie practically unwatchable. Director Teruo Ishii (the man responsible for the equally nutty Blind Beast vs. Killer Dwarf) shot Screwed on analog videotape, and he apparently employed some old gels and filters Dario Argento discarded after the completion of Suspiria, as the color palette consists primarily of bright reds and oranges. This combination leads to copious bleeding, noise, and macroblocking. The image is also rather soft, with poor details and little depth. The stereo soundtrack (mislabeled as Dolby Surround on the packaging) is very shrill and harsh; dialogue sounds extremely tinny and unnatural. Extras include text bios of the director, star, and Yoshiharu Tsuge, the creator of Wind-Up Type, the oft-filmed manga on which the movie is based. There's also a virtual comic book that combines footage from the movie with pages from the manga, a gallery of production stills and poster concepts, and trailers for other Panik House releases.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 55

Perp Profile

Studio: Panik House Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 1998
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Erotic
• Fantasy
• Foreign
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Trailers
• Poster and Still Galleries
• Production Notes
• Filmmaker and Star Bios
• Virtual Comic Book


• IMDb

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