Tuesday, February 16

The Return of Japanese AV Distributor MAD VIDEO?

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Details are sketchy, my Japanese is awful, but it appears the rebirth of one of the most notorious home video labels is imminent. During the late '80s to mid '90s, V&R Planning's Mad Video released a gamut of brutal shockumentaries mostly comprised of newsreel culled from Asia and South America. Their most proficient series, Death File, ran for fourteen volumes with a final omnibus completing the set. Mad also released several Faces of Death installments and the Guinea Pig compilation Slaughter Special in 1988. V&R became so involved in these shock films that studio founder Kaoru Adachi, who narrated the Death File series, acted as co-director and executive producer of Faces of Death 4 (1990). Even going as far as to travel to Brazil to capture footage firsthand.

Almost understandably, none of these have been officially made available on anything but their original VHS editions in Japan. Although now V&R is resurrecting Mad Video beginning in June. Adachi has been filming a new shot-on-video feature under the working title, よみがえり遊び ひとりかくれんぼ (roughly: Resurrected: Hide and Seek), for debut on the revamped label. It's unclear whether Mad is looking to re-release their prior catalog, but this blog entry seems to indicate they're waiting for a ban to be lifted later this year.

As to what this ban entails? I'm unsure since I always believed their brand of especially insane shockumentary was never formally "banned" even after the copycat crimes of Tsutomu Miyazaki and infamous Charlie Sheen/FBI incident cast shade upon the Guinea Pig series. Along with their blog above, Mad Video has been ramping up their social media presence on Twitter, interesting to note their header is from American Guinea Pig, and a new YouTube channel with a brief interview with Adachi. Japanese cult clothing outfit Terror Factory, that ship internationally, have also released a Mad Video logo t-shirt and hoodie. Guess it's fair warning to get those barf bags ready for summer...

(Kaoru Adachi on the set of よみがえり遊び ひとりかくれんぼ)

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