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Get Pumped for Bloody Muscle Bodybuilder in Hell: Review and Giveaway

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In 1994 Director Shinichi Fukazawa set out to make an homage film to one of his favorite horror movies, The Evil Dead, and emulate his favorite actor Bruce Campbell by doing the exact thing Sam Rami did way back in the day. Filming on weekends and on his days off from work, the film took over 15 years to complete, and now for the first time ever you can watch on Blu-ray in all it’d bloody glory.

Released in 2012 in Japan under the title of Bloody Muscle Bodybuilder in Hell, American audiences that were lucky enough to score a bootlegged VHS or burned DVD quickly gave the film its alternate title of The Japanese Evil Dead, due to the fact most of the story and plot resembles the first two films of Sam Raimi’s epic trilogy.

Working on a shoestring budget and filming only when time allowed, Fukazawa changed many aspects of the original film’s plot to film what he was able to with such limited time and money. First time viewers of the film may get the feeling they are watching a remake of the original Evil Dead films made by a guy that has only seen them once and is trying to recreate the movies he saw from memory, but with a dose of The Grudge and Japanese ghost tales thrown in.

Instead of a cabin in the woods, our three main characters (Shinji, Mika, and an unnamed psychic) return to Shinji's father’s home where years ago his father killed a young woman (in self-defense) who was trying to murder him. Her restless spirit then takes over the body of the psychic and all hell breaks loose.

Since its release in 2014, the film struggled to find a distributor due to the confusing tone of the movie. Was it a parody of the Evil Dead films? Would audiences not understand all the pop culture nods and references sprinkled through ought the blood and guts? Or was the entire plot of the film just too outlandish and confusing to distributors to risk no more then 100 original units to be offered to the movie going general public? But here we are eight years later, and Wild Eye Releasing has just offered the film for the first time ever on Blu-ray under its Visual Vengeance banner.

Packed with physical bonuses and special features, this release will outshine many boutique titles already adorning your shelves.

  • Region Free Blu-ray
  • Archival 1995 SD master from original tapes
  • New Interview with Director Shinichi Fukazawa
  • Commentary track featuring directors Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen) and Joe Lynch (Shudder’s Creepshow, Mayhem)
  • Commentary track with Japanese film historian James Harper
  • Limited Edition O-Card/ Slipcase
  • Special Effects Video
  • Original Archival Trailers from Japanese release
  • Behind the Scenes Image Gallery
  • Archival Image Gallery
  • English subtitles or Japanese audio only options
  • Dolby Digital Audio
  • DTS-HD master audio
  • Outtakes
  • Folded mini poster
  • Four Page Liner notes by Matt Desiderio of Horror Boobs
  • ‘Stick your own’ video store sticker sheet
  • Vintage style Laminated Video Store Rental Card
  • Visual Vengeance Trailers
  • Reversible Sleeve featuring original Japanese home video art

Overall, this is a fun movie to watch on a Friday or Saturday night with a bunch of horror-fan friends, to laugh out loud at the cheaply done special effects and corny ripped off dialogue. By no means is this film an award winner or a masterpiece of modern cinema; but it’s a nod to what the director loves about horror films, and the passion contained that was had to make this film shows more heart than most of the dime-a-dozen horror titles you see on your local Walmart shelves on a weekly basis.

For that alone, and f9r the physical bonuses, I grade this release a 5/5.

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Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0