Wolf Guy

| May 23, 2017

Without a doubt, I can say that Wolf Guy from Arrow Video is the weirdest film that I’ll see in 2017. I say this with the utmost heartfelt attitude that while nothing at any point makes any sense of the film, it is an amazing experience and a film that Japanese exploitation film lovers should truly indulge in. I’m going to try to reiterate any semblance of the plot, but know that none of this matters when viewing the actual film. Sonny Chiba plays Akira, a man who maintains some form of feral instincts, comes across a man who’s screaming out a woman’s name, before he’s ripped apart by some mysterious force. The police find him a suspect and Akira is involved with some mysterious business figures, a lounge singer and the criminal underworld as a whole. What trails after this is a series of incredible action sequences, some raunchy sex scenes and footage of a tiger that is superimposed to signify some werewolf transformation.

Directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, of Wandering Ginza Butterfly fame, makes no bones about what’s going on in this feature. It’s easy to see that this was a B-Picture from Toei that didn’t really have any form of budget and that it was just cranked out to part of a double feature for something else. Even with this in regard, part of the film’s charm is that there’s zero cohesion for any element of the film. Characters come and go, scenes don’t transition well into other scenes and by the end of the movie, one can truly ask themselves what they’ve laid witness to. It’s rare when a film truly shows nothing but misguidance and misdirection, but this film embodies that in every way. A film like this may lack direction or cohesion but even with everything that happens, one can’t help but love the fact that a film like Wolf Guy exists.

The video on the Blu-Ray for Wolf Guy is presented in a 1080p, AVC encoded transfer, with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. While the film says that it was sourced from an HD transfer supplied from Toei to Arrow Video, but the truth is that the video presentation is severely lacking. While it doesn’t look abysmal, many times the film looks desaturated and washed out. Granted, the film was a low budget affair and this may be the result of what was actually shot, but the presentation definitely leaves something to be desired. The audio on the disc is a Mono, LPCM Japanese track. The track is much more stable than the video and presents everything in the mono track perfectly well. The jazzy/funky score adds as much fun as the rest of the film’s antics and sounds exceptionally well on the track.

In regards to special features, there are mostly interview segments that coincide with the release. There’s an interview with the director, Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, an interview with the producer Toru Yoshida and an interview with the iconic Sonny Chiba. The interviews with Yamaguchi and Yoshida are pretty insightful, in terms of the actual production of Wolf Guy. There’s even a point where Yamaguchi admits that he didn’t want to even direct the film and that it was more a work for hire situation for Toei. The Sonny Chiba segment, listed as A Life in Action, Vol.1, is more about his overall body of work, with portions talking about the making of Wolf Guy.

While many would not find this film to be a good time, Wolf Guy is something that any cult cinema enthusiast should treat themselves to. It’s got some really cool practical effects, some zany action segments and never takes itself too seriously enough to warrant seeing this film at least once. Recommended!    

About the Author:

is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Audio for Visual Media. He works as a freelance location sound mixer, boom operator, sound designer, and writer in his native Chicago. He's an avid collector of films, comics, and anime.

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