Horrors of Malformed Men (1969)

Horrors of Malformed Men was pretty disappointing, especially considering its lurid cover art.

Look at that cover. Pay special attention to the line at the top: "BANNED FOR DECADES!" Sure, there's a lot of nudity in this one (more than in Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion? I don't think so!). And there are a lot of guys hopping around in freak makeup. Okay, that's pretty impressive for 1969... I guess.. But keep in mind that Nobuo Nakagawa's Jigoku, which is far gorier, came out a good nine years before Horrors of Malformed Men.

It starts out pretty good. You've got an amnesiac guy in a mental hospital, surrounded by crazy half naked ladies in a cell. That's my kind of therapy! This guy, Hirosuke Hitomi, claims to be a doctor who was falsely declared insane and committed against his will. The rest of the movie is him piecing together his past. He finds out that there is a very recently dead man who in life looked exactly like him and before you know it he's taken his identity and is surrounded by babes!

All this good stuff can't last for long. Hirosuke continues to learn more and more about his past and this leads him to confront the dead man's father.

Okay, up until this point the movie is pretty good. It's slow but paced well and there are plenty of fine naked ladies to keep you interested. The mystery is pretty compelling and every layer that is pulled away reveals yet another! Just like an onion or a Russian doll!

The ending is kind of lame though. With about 10 minutes left in the movie you've got a ton of unanswered questions. I was thinking there was going to be some awesome and expertly handled revelation that would explain it all! Instead, some minor throwaway character from earlier in the movie shows up literally out of nowhere (seriously, he walks into a secret cave on a mysterious forbidden island) and goes "I'm a famous detective!" and explains everything to everyone. What a letdown.

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