Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope (Japan 1975)

Rating: **
Review Date: 1/15/22
Cast: Sonny Chiba, Yayoi Watanabe

"You are both my mother and my wife. I am reborn."

Akira Inugami (Sonny Chiba) is a freelance reporter who happens to be the sole surviving member of a werewolf clan that was massacred thirty years ago. Once a month, he has the ability to become invincible, which comes in handy when he finds himself in trouble with both the Yakuza and the Japanese Central Intelligence Agency. Inugami is investigating a woman who has developed a supernatural ability to kill people through shear hatred and is taking her revenge on everyone who has wronged her. Inugami wants to help her, while the government wants to weaponize her. Naturally, Inugami comes out on top during the laughably excessive climax, while everyone else dies.

Even by Japanese grindhouse and pinky violence standards, this film is way out there and pushes the boundaries of bad taste. It's full of sex, drugs, violence, disease, blood, mayhem, gore, nudity, torture, humiliation, and supernatural weirdness. For whatever reasons, Inugami is irresistible to the ladies, and every woman he meets wants to have sex with him. These baffling trysts are hilariously bizarre. Even though he's a werewolf, he never transforms in the classical European sense - he just becomes invincible during the full moon. One of the craziest scenes leaves him eviscerated and dying on an operating table, and when the full moon rises, he manages to telepathically pull all of his guts back into his body and is good as new. The fight scenes are about what you'd expect from Sonny Chiba, and while they're hard hitting, the intensity is toned down a bit. He's also quite proficient at throwing money with lethal force. The violence is bloody and gruesome, and includes some impressive visual effects when the invisible tiger demon tears apart its victims. The squibs are extra juicy, and there are several satisfying blood geysers. The funky 70's soundtrack perfectly complements the era, but the pre-steadicam handheld camera work can be frustrating to watch. It's a fun movie for film scholars, curiosity seekers, and fans of the bizarre, and while it's not Chiba's best work, it's far from his worst.