Vermilion Pleasure Night Vol. #1 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: D
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 19.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Vermilion Pleasure Night

Vermilion Pleasure Night Vol. #1

By Mike Dungan     September 10, 2007
Release Date: June 13, 2006


Vermilion Pleasure Night Vol. #1
© ADV Films


What They Say
What They Say: Space vixens and manic mannequins. Animation and claymation. J-pop music videos and violently desperate housewives. Sexy assassins and biker babes. You've never seen or experienced anything like this rainbow-acid-hued, mind-tripped, sonic and sensual assault. Tokyo pop (and Tokyo pop art) has made Vermilion Pleasure Night an international sensation. From the Tate Modern to MOMA, from college campuses to home computers, this sexy kaleidoscope has captured everyone's attention. And now you can get off n it.

The Review!
The student art film goes legit with Yoshimasa Ishibashi's mix of music, film, video, animation, sexy women and mannequins. Lots of mannequins.

Audio:
For the purpose of this review, I watched the show in both the original Japanese (and a bit of English) and in English (with a bit of Japanese.) The English dub never sounds like it's anything other than a dub, with the vocal mix sitting on top of everything, rather then mixed into the show. However, this is in keeping with the Japanese ADR sound mix. The scenes that were dubbed in Japanese, such as "The Fuccon Family" and "A Juvenile Delinquent, Takako" sound just as unattached to their surroundings. Also in the Japanese audio, some scenes that were recorded ambiently could have benefited from a bit of ADR work. The sound mix works best in the musical numbers, where full use of the stereo channels is made. Getting back to the subject of the English dub, directed by Steven Foster, only about a third of the show is dubbed. Most surprisingly, The Fuccon Family shorts weren't dubbed, despite ADV releasing "The Fuccons" fully dubbed in their own releases. The episodes on this release are different from "The Fuccons" release, so perhaps a clean music and effects track wasn't available.

Video:
This is a good clean crisp transfer with no problems I could discern on my setup. The colors are sharp, a definite bonus on such an outrageously psychedelic show.

Packaging:
The psychedelic theme begins with the packaging, a vibrant pink and silver pop-art starburst with two characters, Fastener and Zipper, posing over it. The back cover continues the hot pink theme with several scenes from the show in circles around the back. The disc is pink, with a black and white figure of the VPN character on it. The design is not subtle, but then again, neither is the show.

Menus:
The menus are as in-your-face as the packaging. Scrolling bands of text vie for attention while the VPN creature devours them, which are replaced immediately. The problem is that there's no cursor, no change in colors, nothing to tell you what selection you've made. Hit the "enter" button and take your chances. The secondary menus do have a form of cursor, so it appears it was simply left off the main menu.

Extras:
The only extras are previews for various ADV anime and Asian cinema releases.

Content: (Please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Each of these two episodes of VPN is a 45 minute collection of college art school project, music videos and sexy half-naked girls dancing to director Yoshimasa Ishihashi's self-composed techo dance music. The opening and other sketches feature music composed by Mama! Milk, a gypsy-style band utilizing accordion and violin. Going into a scene-by-scene description of the show is counter-productive. The show hits you hard and fast with a wide variety of comedy, music, dance and even social commentary. Some scenes fail, such as a conversation of an annoying man trying to chat up a young girl, animated and mixed to sound like bad rap music. Other scenes succeed spectacularly well, such as "Bar Federico" where the beautiful people mingle and laugh while trying to overcome their disaffection. "The Fuccons" is the story of an American family moving to Japan, told entirely with mannequins. It makes for some of the best humor in the series.

In another use of mannequins, "A Juvenile Delinquent, Takako" tells the story of a young girl who is angry at everyone and everything. Takako is the only real person in the skits. Everyone else is mannequins, which she is able to use to her advantage by knocking down anyone who angers her. There is plenty of sexual innuendo throughout the show as well. The most overt example is "One Point English", an English lesson give by a beautiful Japanese courtesan, who teaches such lessons as "You're so good" and "I give good head." The show features women in almost every scene. In fact, other than the male mannequins in "Fuccons" and "Takako", males are almost non-existent in VPN. One is an alien in "Starship Residence" who is constantly taken advantage of by women. It's set up as a sitcom with fake laughtrack and shot on videotape. Meanwhile, downstairs from this alien sadsack, beautiful alien woman live in a constant drug and alcohol induced high, dancing and occasionally fighting to a heavy techno beat. The other male who gets some significant screentime is a man who yells in an underground parking lot about the injustices of his life. His voice and likeness then become a head in a boxing ring as he dukes it out with another head in a surreal kinescoped scene of frustration.

In Summary:
Composer and filmmaker Yoshimasa Ishibashi is clearly someone with a lot of ideas, and Vermilion Pleasure Night allows him to throw them all at the viewer, regardless of whether they're good ideas or not. Fortunately, many are. This show isn't for everyone. I'm not even sure it's for me. It's like a Saturday Night Live (circa 1982) for the club scene. If that grabs ya, then give it a shot.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
NEC CT-2510A TV, Pioneer 440 codefree DVD player

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