Moving right along in our coverage of the classic Guinea Pig series, this week we bring you Flowers of Flesh and Blood, a much more gorifically satisfying flick, particularly considering the lame duck intro from last week. Here is where these films begin to live up to their premise. With a single madman now bent on savoring his prey, we leave behind the casual, random violence of the first film in favor of a more sick and twisted mentality, one that takes the brief, bloody scenes of the previous movie and runs a fucking marathon with it.
Not even so much as a nip-slip. Sorry to say that this one’s a big, fat zero on the arousing scale.
Oh yes. This one may be tit-less, but it delivers beautifully on the blood and entrails.
Low. It’s straight up splatter; only creepy in its ideology.
After a brief chase scene in a park, we get right to the good stuff almost immediately. Our second guinea pig victim wakes from her chloroform nap to find herself similarly tied down to a bed, this time surrounded on all sides by blood-spattered walls. As she comes to, she becomes aware of a strange sound, but one you seasoned gorehounds should recognize immediately; the slow scraping of instruments being sharpened. Frightened, she cranes her neck to see and I shit you not the killer is dressed in a samurai kabuto (helmet).
Sort of like the Shredder, that time he tortured and chopped April O’Neil to bits after kidnapping her. Remember that one, guys? That was an episode, right?
Hold on to your helmets because it gets better. The killer? Played by Hideshi Hino, who is not only the producer of these films, but the artist/creator of the manga in which they’re based off of. Yeah … going to go ahead and guess that made a few family dinners awkward. And I thought explaining to my folks that I review these movies for a living was bad.
“So son, how’s that disembowelment fantasy of yours coming along?
After threatening the girl by choking his chicken (and I mean that in a purely literal sense) he taunts her, drugs her, and begins removing her clothing. Unfortunately, we are again spared the horror of seeing a nipple, for Hino apparently believes a tit shot is going too far in his gratuitously bloody dismemberment film.
Breasts, vivisection … hey. Different strokes for different folks, right?
Turning to the camera, the killer explains that the drugs have caused the victim to feel pleasure instead of pain (predating similar splatterfest, Naked Blood) which allows him to do as he pleases from here on out. And oh does he ever. The next twenty minutes are literally like watching a butcher at work.
EYE’ll just give you a hint as to what the “jewels” are.
Much like the first film, Flowers of Flesh and Blood forgoes common storytelling conventions and presents this as a “real” snuff film. I have to say, it’s rather convincing at times. However, the lack of substance does give these films a cheap and unsatisfyingly low-budget feel. The acting is fine, not especially noteworthy (though not nearly as flat as the first film) with one exception: creator Hideshi Hino as the killer cuts a curious figure in his bizarre, samurai murderer’s getup. It’s a refreshing change from the previous movie. The quality of the film itself is another issue, however. Taking into consideration that it’s nearly thirty years old, it’s still no excuse for the fact that the lighting in particular is obnoxiously dark at times. For as lusciously bloody as this film is, I wanted a clearer picture in some scenes. Unfortunately, where I normally can appreciate the grainy overlay to a good horror flick, it just hasn’t aged that well in this one.
Small complaints aside, the effects look fantastic. Dated though it may be, it’s mind-boggling how well the film stands up in this department. Some scenes look so very real, it’s no wonder that Charlie Sheen was so sickened by it that he felt it necessary to bring to the authorities. Those of you who have ever cut, quartered or deboned meat will certainly appreciate the attention to detail in each tendon-tearing and joint-popping moment.
Short, sweet, and filled to the brim with blood ‘n’ guts, this one is a must-see for gorehounds. Again capping off at a mere forty minutes, you won’t feel as though you’ve wasted your time with this one. Which is one thing this movie does right: with little time left over for filler, you will come away with a sense of having seen just those good, grisly bits. Like gorging on sweets without substance, it is satisfying but leaves our senses a bit overfed on too much of a good thing.
Then again, gluttony is a sin for a delicious, tempting reason.
Score: 7.5/10, mediocre as a movie; stellar as a splatter
IMDB for this bloodbath
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Categories: asian horror