Sunday, September 25, 2011

My 200th Review!!! Flower of Flesh and Blood/ Devil Woman Doctor

Flower of Flesh and Blood (1986)
Dir: Hideshi Hino

Flower of Flesh and Blood is the second installment of the notorious Guinea Pig Series. A collection of short films produced in japan in the early 80's that garnered some major attention for being so over the top and brutal that they were banned for some time. Flower in Particular was one of , if not the most infamous and mostly to blame for the series gaining such a stigma against the series.I shall go into that in further depth a bit later. Now for the premise.

      Flower of Flesh and Blood opens with a piece of written text stating that this was in fact a tape sent to Director and famous manga writer Hideshi Hino by a fan and what we witness is in fact real. The video begins with shots of a woman apparently being followed by someone during her daily routine, until she is drugged and kidnapped by a man who we are lead to believe was the one following her. The woman awakes to find herself tied and bound to a table inside a dark dungeon where she is greeted by a man dressed as a Samurai that has rather large collection of interesting tools nearby. The man sharpens his blades and decapitates a chicken in front of her warning that this fate is what awaits her. The man then drugs he woman with a concoction that seems to turn the sensation of pain into indescribable pleasure. After the injection this is where the gruesomeness begins and it does not stop until the closing scene.

After the taunting and drugging , the man begins to dismember the woman limb by limb slowly and graphically in gruesome fashion. The effects in this film are intense even by today's standards and it becomes apparent immediately why this film would cause such a stir. The woman first has her hands and arms removed before the insane samurai decides to change his mood lighting and spouts off some poetic dialog about women and their evils. He then Moves to the feet and legs sawing her to pieces as she is still in her drugged state.

Following her limbs being removed, The man goes in for the kill while the victim lies there lifeless. He proceeds to gut her and play with her intestines before the grand finale where he decapitates her. Not being satisfied with this end the killer then proceeds to kiss the severed head and then he removes her eyes with a spoon in one of the most convincing effects I have ever seen. Truly the film is not for the weak of stomachs but this scene even made me cringe and i am pretty damn desensitized to this kind of gore at this point in my life.  After the slaughter is finished we see that this is not the killers first rodeo as he has plenty of home decorations made of the remains of previous victims. The film ends with footage of yet another woman being followed by a cameraman and text scrolls stating that it is believed two men were involved in the crimes and they have yet to be caught.

As I stated before this is considered one of if not the most controversial films in the series and it is understandable as to why, because this film with its excessive gore and realistic effects would even be considered extreme by today's standards but this film in particular was made infamous due to some unlikely ties to Hollywood. Apparently in the late 80's -early 90's Charlie "Winning" Sheen happened to have seen this film and was convinced it was a legitimate snuff film. He reported it to the MPAA rating board and the directors and all involved with the production were summoned to court in order to prove that this film was in fact fake and the people involved were still alive. This case grabbed some major headlines and solidified the Guinea Pig series' spot in cinematic history.
             I have to say that this is by far not my favorite film by any means but what it lacks in story and development it more than makes up for in amazing effects and it is sad that the fx artist did not have a bigger career after this film. If you enjoy "Torture Porn" then this is a must see because it is most definitely a forefather of the genre and honestly is done much better than the films in that particular genre. Definitely worth a watch if you like your films a little extreme.

Overall:5.5 out of 10  (Not much to this film other than the gore but the gore is top notch)

Devil Woman Doctor (1986)
Dir: Hajime Tabe

On the opposite side of the spectrum , The sixth installment of the Guinea Pig Series is a dark slapstick comedy that pokes fun at the mean and gory nature of  the rest of the films and Japanese horror culture in general. The film features Ike Hata a Transsexual actress who portrays the Devil Doctor Woman as she takes us through a documentary of the strange and insane patients she deals with. The entire movie is one long comedy sketch showing the different ailments she treats and deals with in her clients. The first is a group f folks who have a illness that causes their heads to explode when they are enraged, followed by a woman with a exploding heart condition that causes her heart to explode when frightened. We then are shown a few freaks of nature like a man that suffers from a Dr.Jekyll,Mr. Hyde type ailment that causes himself to harm himself and this is followed by a man who has a face growing from his stomach. The Doctor kindly helps them get jobs in street entertainment.

After that we follow the doctor as she shows an interesting new fad sweeping the nation of human meats being treated as delicacies.The Actress playing the doctor then switches characters and is portraying a cleaning lady that introduces us to the next few stories. One of which is a lovely young couple  in which the husband is terminally undead and lives his life as a zombie . His wife however sticks by his side as he decomposes. A weird story about intestines coming to life and being wild animals which is the films low point is next and a man that sweats blood. Most of this film  to this part was actually quite entertaining and funny but it starts to go downhill with those two sketches.

After the slump things start picking up again as a man desires to have a tattoo removed by the Doctor,problem is the Tat has a life of it's own and moves around the body freely,Leading to him being skinned alive. The final scene is a group of patients the doctor deems non curable as they discuss their strange issues from Skin stretching, to shitting living poo to rotting feet.The three compare ailments to see who has it worse. This scene has some funny moments. The film closes with a comic blooper style reel where the cast slams spiked nail pies in each others heads as kind of a pulled punch to the over the top gore of the rest of the series.

Devil Doctor Woman is not the only comedy in the Guinea Pig Series as "He Never Dies" which I have reviewed some time ago is also a lighter take on the genre,However that one had some truly graphic moments. Devil Doctor Woman is obviously poking fun at the extreme nature of the rest of the films and it succeeds greatly, coming off like a really screwed up sketch comedy show with The doctor as the host. I really enjoyed this one and the Transsexual actress in the lead role is quite charming in er own right. If you enjoy sketch comedy and like slapstick with a darker twist than this is definitely  worth checking out. What I like so much about this series of films is that you can truly see the influence these little films had on the future of Japanese horror in the future with movies like Tokyo Gore Police and Big Tit Zombie and the like. The Mix of Comedy and extreme gore had to be inspired by this series is all I can think while watching these films.

Overall:6 out of 10

SO that was my 200th review,I hope you enjoyed it. I will be doing the final Guinea Pig films in the series I have not got to yet, next as kind of a continuation to this review soon. Enjoy until then.
                                                                                                      Thank you

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