Plot: What’s it about?
Ikuo has just been released from prison, after serving a sentence for the rape of a young woman, but he has no plans to mend his ways. In fact, he wants to track down his victim, Mieko and gain some revenge for the events. His mind becomes so overtaken with getting his hands on her that every woman starts to look like Mieko, which is a recipe for certain disaster. Ikuo soon attacks and abuses a couple of women and leaves them broken & used, only to move on without a thought, aside from the ones about Mieko. After some time passes, Ikuo finally runs into Mieko, but things don’t pan out just as he expected. She is with an old friend Tomimori and he acts like her pimp of sorts, as she works in the soaplands. In this area, women provide bathing services for men and then toss in additional sexual favors, but since prostitution is illegal, the men are brought in just for the baths, then the rest is under the table. Now that Ikuo has found Mieko, he realizes that he cannot live without her and since she wants to leave Tomimori, he sees the chance to make his dreams become reality and be with her forever…
This is an odd picture to say the least, but fans of Japanese Pink cinema should be pleased, as The Dream of Garuda has all the needed elements. The plot is basic, but becomes hard to follow thanks to the approach used by director Takahisa Zeze (Coconut Clash, A Fart of Monk), who creates an off balance, often voyeuristic atmosphere. This should be no surprise to genre fans however, as confusion, surreal visuals, and unusual storyline movement are all elements found in most Japanese Pink films. So you might not always know exactly what is happening, but you will have a basic idea of where the movie is going and thanks to the nature of The Dream of Garuda, that’s all you will need to have. In this film, we’re shown a restrictive, very small world in which these characters live and that’s where this dream concept comes in, as you can see why they wish to escape somehow, if even through their imaginations. The sex is present and in plentiful supply, though as per usual for the genre, it is not so much erotic as the opposite, at least in the base sense, due to the circumstances. This won’t win the genre any new fans, but established followers of Japanese Pink should check this out, to be sure.
Video: How does it look?
TThe Dream of Garuda is presented in a 1.66:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. You simply can’t grade this transfer by the normal standards, as the film was shot on poor stock and on a very slim budget, so the material was sort of doomed from the start, I think. The image here is watchable, but the limitations of the material are obvious, as well as some flaws with the transfer itself. The film’s dark visuals come off as soft and often murkier than intended, though colors seem accurate, though not too vivid. The print looks like it was transferred from a VHS master at times, but this could be due to the material, I can’t be certain. Yes, this movie deserves a new restored, remastered visual presentation, but given the film’s narrow audience, I doubt that will ever happen.
Audio: How does it sound?
Not much to discuss on this end, as the audio is well presented, but the material has inherent flaws, which remain intact here. The dialogue is clean, but sometimes gets a little harsh, though nothing too serious. The original Japanese language is preserved and English subtitles have provided, though they’re burned into the print, which is a let down. The other elements seem in order also, a solid audio presentation that is a little rough around the edges at times, but more than covers the bases.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some still photos, information on the director, and some text based notes on Japanese Pink cinema.