Now out on DVD, it’s easy to see why Takashi Miike’s Masters of Horror episode Imprint was never aired – it’s about as brutally graphic as anything I’ve ever seen produced for television. The story of a forlorn American (creepy Bill Drago) who, in searching for the beloved prostitute he dreams of spiriting away to the U.S., finds himself on a malevolent island populated by whores and demons, Miike’s entry isn’t for the squeamish, piling on unrelentingly unpleasant extended scenes of torture and aborted fetuses. The subtextual purpose behind this ghost story seems to be an evisceration of turn-of-the-century Japanese attitudes toward women, as the hour-long film mainly focuses on the flashback-filtered tale of a disfigured whore named Komomo (Michie) that plays out like a horrific counterpoint to Memoirs of a Geisha. But sociological critiques aren’t what give Imprint its ghoulish impact; stark, unrelenting visions of misogynistic mayhem are, epitomized by a sequence in which one unfortunate soul suffers a stunningly painful fate via needles to the body’s most sensitive parts. Hauntingly shot by Toyomichi Kurita, Miike’s MOH episode slips up slightly when forced to rely upon sub-standard make-up effects that are as over-the-top as Drago’s performance. Its visceral and gruesome images of female-directed violence, however, linger long after the credits have rolled.