One of the most shocking movies that I’ve seen and even to this date bothers me, is Urotsukidōji or Legend of the Overfiend. This classic Japanese anime is a fantastic horror classic about the rise of a demon creature that takes over the earth. The anime is violent, graphic, pornographic and downright disturbing. But built into it is an amazing story.
Starting as a manga this story pushed the limits for what was being printed in Japan in the late 80’s. Not only was it pornographic and violent, but there was a damn good story thrown in. When the manga was translated into anime, the limits of what could, should, be done were pushed.
I used to joke with an old friend that when I had the money I would make an amazing live action version of this movie, of course back in the mid-90’s the technology wasn’t there. It is now, it would be possible to make this incredibly dark tale into an epic story. Special effects, both through computers and through modern physical techniques have gotten to such a high degree of art that it is nearly impossible to distinguish what is what. Throw some film manipulations like filters on top and you have yourselves some damn fine ugliness on the screen. Much of the bloodshed in Overfiend could be easily brought to the big screen in this day and age.
The original anime I quite pornographic. I think tentacle porn is the key word. Tentacle porn refers to multi tentacled monsters, demons, aliens, whatever having their way with mainly females; these tend to be scenes of rape or other sadistic horrible sexual acts. Most of which are not necessary for the story. A live action film doesn’t need to be graphic or require it, in fact a good deal of this can be implied without ever having to graphic porn levels. But the scenes and often the gore go hand in hand, in order to capture the same discomfort, some level of representation needs to make it to the big screen.
Urotsukidōji was made for the widescreen. Everything about it demands huge wide shots and closeups of the characters faces as they react to what is happening, the folly of their actions needs to be captured in full. Watching the man-beast Jyaku Amano as he fumbles the entire process and protection of the rise of the Chojin, the god that is supposed to unite the demon, man-beast and human world in a unending nirvana on a wide screen with real actors would leave me speechless.
Throw in an incredible soundtrack. Movie sound has improved since the 80’s, Urotsukidōji is one of those films that I imagined to have a lot of white noise, loud trumpets and booming base. Done correctly this could be a masterpiece to orchestrate.
It’s also a good time for a live action version of the movie. The time is ripe. With the launch of the Evil Dead revival and torture porn and the need of the desensitized horror fan to be pushed to limit, a movie like Overfiend would thrive. Technology and film making can support it.