Review Date: July 19, 2000
Released by: Synapse Films
Release date: 5/2/2000
Region 1, NTSC
Full frame 1.33:1
Tokyo police detectives Numata and his partner Tosaka have a tip on the activities of human organ sellers. They're staking out behind a hospital where they see a body dumped. A man dressed in a doctor's jacket comes out and investigates the body. When he sees no one is looking he puts the body in his car and drives off. The police detectives follow and are led to an organ farm, where bodies are cut open and organs are removed. Numata knocks out his partner and throws him in the "doctor's" trunk, pretending to be one of the bad guys. He helps the "doctor" carry in the body and soon the "doctor" flees the scene out of fear for his life. Numata stays, saying that he is his successor. When the "doctor" opens his trunk he finds Tosaka free from his restraints. Tosaka ties him up and heads inside, but soon the two are discovered when Yoko, the lady in charge, finds the "doctor" in the trunk of his own car. A brawl breaks lose and Numata flees to the sounds of Tosaka screaming in agony, who Numata had no choice to leave behind as he was in a state of shock.
Numata is thrown off the force, but is determined to stop these people at all costs. He returns to the now-abandoned slaughterhouse where he meets Tosaka’s twin brother, Shinji. Shinji believes his brother is still alive and they split up, determined to find Numata. Tosaka is still alive, held captive by Jun, a biology teacher who was working at the slaughterhouse. Jun cutoff Tosaka's arms and legs and is now performing strange experiments on him, injecting him drugs and giving him the blood of schoolgirls. Numata and Shinji travel down quite an interesting path in their quest to save Tosaka. The question is: can Numata and Shinji save him from Jun's ghastly experiments before it's too late?
Organ is an extremely sick film that gore fiends are going to love. It's extremely graphic showing all sorts of blood and guts throughout the entire film. It's no wonder the film had to be cut for its Japanese theatrical release. But here, for the first time ever, Synapse is presenting the film in its uncut form. There isn't much of a story to Organ but the imagery, which often consists of flashbacks from Jun or his victims, is quite hypnotic in a sense. You really can't turn away, unless you're about to puke. And believe me, this is not the type of film you watch with your family or girlfriend. Wait until they're at work and then pop this in the player, because there is absolutely no chance they'll make it through the film.
Organ really isn't my cup of tea, but I know a lot of horror fans out there are going to enjoy it for the gore alone. If you're a fan of films like Cannibal Ferox or Cannibal Holocaust, this film is for you. Just remember that you're been warned!
Synapse presents Organ in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which is full frame of course, so no anamorphic enhancement is possible. This certainly isn't Synapse's best transfer to date, with the main problem being the large amount of grain that is apparent throughout the film. While some of the scenes appeared almost crystal clear, others had large amounts of grain that were quite noticeable. At times the grain was so heavy the image appeared hazy, which mostly occurred during the nighttime scenes. Very few specks appeared during the film and I didn't see any print blemishes at all. Colors were fairly solid and flesh tones were well balanced, though I think a bit more cleanup of the print would've given some stronger colors on the DVD. An acceptable transfer but it definitely could've been better.
Organ is presented in Dolby Stereo sound. Dialogue is in Japanese with English subtitles playing on the bottom of the screen. One thing to note is that the English subtitles default to on but you do have the ability to turn them off. English subtitles seemed to be dead on, which is always an important thing with a foreign film. Sound itself was definitely acceptable, with no distortion noted.
The only extra is a 22 minutes preview to Organ: Chapter 2. There's no dialogue in the film itself but there is a voiceover from director Kei Fujiwara. She explains the story to Organ: Chapter 2, including the individuals characters and their roles in the sequel, and explains that the sequel will be just as gory, if not gorier, than the original. She also mentions that Organ: Chapter 2 is the second film in a planned trilogy. It's certainly a nice extra (how many other DVDs have 22 minute previews to a sequel that has not yet been released?) and if you ended up enjoying Organ itself you should enjoy the preview of Organ: Chapter 2.
Mixed bag here. Certainly not Synapse's best release in terms of audio/video quality, but it's acceptable overall. Not heavy on extras but I certainly enjoyed the one extra you do get - a 22 minute preview to the sequel, Organ: Chapter 2 - over the standard theatrical trailer that most other studios provide on a standard DVD release. If you're not into seeing blood and guts you should steer clear of this one, but if you do (and I know most of you do) then definitely give Organ a rental to see if it suits your need for gore.
Movie - C
Image Quality - C+
Sound - A-
Supplements - B-
- Running time - 1 hour 5 minutes
- 1 Disc
- Chapter stops
- Japanese Dolby Stereo
- English subtitles
- An Exclusive look at scenes from Organ 2