Sunday Matinee: Wolf Guy

There is not a lot of absolutely bat shit crazy cinema but during the 1970s exploitation era there was some amazingly unique movies. Today’s Sunday Matinee for example is a 1975 action/horror exploitation flick Wolf Guy based on the Japanese manga of the same name.

Trying to describe this movie takes a bit of work. Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba runs into a yakuza who is fleeing something. The man manages to get out of a crowd and into a back alley where an unseen force tears the man to shreds. Chiba catches up to the man finding him dying and mentioning a woman named Miki and a tiger.

Chiba starts investigating which leads him the yakuza and a lounge singer with a tragic past. More members of the yakuza are killed by a mysterious psychic ghost tiger that’s the really the manifestation of the lounge singer’s rage – because she was raped by the yakuza on the orders of a powerful politician whose son she was dating. (The politician wanted his son to marry someone else so he hired the yakuza).

Oh did I mention the Chiba is a werewolf? Yeah he’s a werewolf – the last of his clan because his village was wiped out by a neighbouring village who was afraid of werewolves. Chiba doesn’t actually transform into a werewolf – he just gets suped up when the moon is full. Just when Chiba has things figured out the J-CIA shows up and grabs him and the lounge singer. It seems that the J-CIA wants to use the woman’s abilities to assassinate people and they want Chiba’s werewolf powers to create an army of soldiers.

The movie has one of the most funky 1970s soundtracks I’ve heard in a while and the movie is pure weird messed up exploitation. Kung Fu fights, phantom tiger attacks, random black leather clad women having sex with Chiba out of the blue, blood spraying all over the place and some actual surgery footage thrown in for good measure.

They don’t make movies like this anymore. People try but it’s pretty hard to capture the overall feel of a movie that takes itself pretty seriously while being one of the more bizarre action movies I’ve seen in a while. Arrow Films has just released the movie on Blu-ray in North America – making it the first time the film has been available on home video. It’s an over top strange hyper weird entertainingly fun movie.

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