Belladonna of Sadness is considered one of the great lost masterpieces of Japanese animation. Cinelicious Pics has newly restored the film in 4k for a first-ever U.S. home video release. Belladonna of Sadness follows the mad and sensual tale of Jeanne, an innocent young woman who makes a pact with the devil (voiced by Tatsuya Nakadai, from Akira Kurosawa’s RAN).
Filled with explicit Egon Schiele-inspired eroticism, the film is described as a swirling, psychedelic light-show of medieval tarot-card imagery, filled with horned demons, haunted forests and La Belle Dame Sans Merci. Extremely transgressive and not for the easily offended, Belladonna of Sadness is fueled by a mindblowing Japanese psych rock soundtrack by noted avant-garde jazz composer Masahiko Satoh.
Belladonna of Sadness is the last in the adult-themed Animerama Trilogy produced by the godfather of Japanese anime & manga, Osamu Tezuka, and is directed by his long time collaborator Eiichi Yamamoto (Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion). All but lost since the its original 1970s release, the film was restored by Cinelicious Pics using the original 35mm camera negative and sound elements – including over 8 minutes of surreal and explicit footage cut from the negative.
Belladonna of Sadness will be released on Blu-ray and VOD July 12th. Check out the groovy release trailer, below.