Warning: Graphic imagery ahoy!
A group of guys capture a young girl with the intent of hurting her. They torture her in many ways, from beating her to putting a sharp piece of needle-like metal through her eye which pierces across her retina.
Spoiler alert or what!? Bloody IMDb, you’ve gone and ruined my big eyeball based reveal! Oh, it’s also on the front cover too, oh well, at least you can’t put the blame solely on me for spoiling this one then. So anyway, it’s “Guinea Pig” time and I’m reviewing the first one as it’s probably my favourite. There’s seven films in the series in total, but they had to stop making them when the sixth, and possibly weakest film, “Devil Woman Doctor”, was found in the collection of notorious Japanese serial killer, Tsutomu Miyazaki. “The Devil’s Experiment” is definitely not the goriest of all the films, but it’s just so seedy and brutal that it comes the closest to being a real snuff film. Well, they kind of give up on the whole snuff element after part two, and that one, “Flowers of Flesh and Blood”, is really kind of a snuff reenactment. Anyway, this has the eyeball scene which I’m excited about, I haven’t seen it for a few years, I hope it doesn’t look crap now after all this time. I doubt it, but we’ll see.
The film starts out with the camera pointing out of a car window as it drives down the road. Yeah, I’m probably going to have to go into this much detail for the majority of the review as the film’s only about fourty minutes and it’s mostly torture. A girl hangs from a tree in a white net in some woods. Yeah, the net’s white. It matches her white dress, or is it cream? I can’t really tell as it’s a bit grainy. It looks like she’s been captured by someone, I’m guessing snuff filmmakers. We cut to a black screen with white writing telling us that it’s 198X. Oh yeah, the film is split into segments with their own subtitles, let’s see what the first one is…
HIT: The victim is now tied to a chair and if you were wondering, her dress is definitely white. A group of guys all wearing black (see, it’s like good vs evil) surround her and one of them starts slapping her repeatedly across the face. If for any reason you thought you might have somehow stumbled across a real snuff film, the whole illusion is shattered at this point, three and a half minutes in, as you can clearly see the guy is slapping his own hand as he holds the victim’s chin up. There’s also this counter in the bottom right hand corner like in a gameshow or something recording each slap, it’s so authentic! After the guys take it in turns striking her (their own hands) and manage to get the count to fifty, one of them rubs salt on her cheek which seems to make her mildly uncomfortable. They eventually get to a hundred, using a bag of coins on the last few, and the scene ends with the girl spitting out blood.
KICK: So after a somewhat slow start, we basically get the same thing, but this time the victim’s lying on the ground blinfolded, and the thugs are kicking her in the tits. She keeps trying to stand up, but everytime she does, they just keep on pushing her down, but she keeps trying, and that’s what counts. This is a great metaphor for life, whenever they push you down, just keep on getting back up… or something. Sorry, I’m reviewing Japanese snuff, not Forrest Gump. Anyway, there’s no counter in this segment, I did try and keep count of the kicks for you, but lost it at around six as I didn’t know whether to count the ones that blatently missed or not. Yeah, this one makes the slapping segment look like a war documentary. These are the kind of kicks you’d give a puppy to wake it up. Eventually the guys have enough of playing tit football and we’re on to the next, and hopefully better segments.
CLAW: Well this looks more promising! Yeah, one of them’s got a wrench and now he’s… twisting the skin on her hand a bit with it. The girl just looks slightly bored by this to be honest. Now he’s doing the same to the flab on her arm. Why? And that’s it, the scene’s over. I’m glad to be honest, I really don’t think the lads were getting anywhere there and I was actually starting to feel embarrassed for them. Oh well, onto the next one. It’s called unconscious, and that’s what I’m going to be unless this film livens up a bit. So the victim’s back outside in the net again now which seems to have bits of blue on it that I never noticed before. Hey, maybe it’s a different net! Sorry, I’m becoming more boring than the film at this point. Don’t these guys have a dungeon, or at least a room they could keep her in rather than leaving her outside in broad daylight where any passer by could spot her? I don’t know…
UNCONSCIOUS: So what do you think this segment entails? Maybe hitting her over the head with something and knocking her out? Nah, what our group of evil, sadistic torturers do, and I’m not making this up, is place her in a chair and spin her around like every person who’s ever been to school has probably done at some point. The exciting counter has made a dramatic return to the corner of the screen, ooh fifty, I’m trying to remember what my record was back in the day. When they get past a hundred, one of the baddies gets a bottle of what looks like Jack Daniels and tries to pour it down the girl’s throat, but the majority of it ends up on her lovely white summer dress. This is like my 21st! They recommence the spinning until they pass the two hundred mark and she eventually throws up. This looks real, so bonus vomit points for that. It ends at this point, the guys just seem happy to have made her puke. One other thing, she never fell unconscious once!
SOUND: So one of the guys places headphones on the girl and ties them to her head with a massive rope. It sounds like there’s Japanese industrial noise music playing through them, possibly Merzbow. Was he around in 1985? Anyway, all you fans of the counter out there will be ecstatic to find out that it’s back… and it’s better than ever! This time it’s not counting hits or spins, no, this time it’s counting hours of ear abuse. The first time we see it it’s at five hours. Hardcore. The rope has been replaced by tape at this point which is going around her head and under her chin. Details! The girl is really screaming now, she’s making a great sound which really accompanies the fine music so I can’t tell whether she’s a fan or not. Nah, that’s unkind. She’s doing a decent job of sounding distressed here, and after twenty hours she’s just dribbling like a mental. I think this is my favourite part so far.
SKIN: Now it looks like we’re getting to the really gory parts. One of the guys is pulling the girl’s hair back while another pulls on one of her fingernails. I’ll actually have to tell you that it’s the middle one on her left hand for the sake of padding this paragraph out. I’ve been doing so well at dedicating a paragraph to each segment and I’d hate to have to mess it up now. Thanks for understanding. So eventually the fingernail gets pulled off, and it’s a great effect, but as soon as it happens we’re back outside watching the victim in the net again. Net update: I definitely don’t see any blue on it this time, so I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re using multiple nets… for some reason. It looks like it’s evening time now, must be a bit chilly. Oh, there’s her hand with the missing fingernail. Nice. Right, paragraph done.
BURN: Now we join our victim tied to a table unconscious (unlike in the unconscious segment) and one of the pesky villains is heating up some oil on a stove. I’ve got to be honest here, I nearly creamed myself when I saw that our little friend the counter was back on the scene, and this time, it’s recording temperatures! Squee! The first time it tells us that it’s seventy degrees… celsius I reckon. I’m sure I’ve had hotter baths than that, but oh yeah, I rarely bath in oil. He pours it onto the girl’s arm and she immediately wakes up screaming as the oil leaves a red mark similar to the one on Mikhail Gorbachev’s head. Ahh the eighties. Ooh now we’re at the business end, one hundred and fifty degrees. This time her skin instantly blisters and she makes a weird growl noise. I think the actress is really starting to grow with the film.
WORM: So the film’s really “hotting” up now (see what I did there?) so what can the next segment entitled worm have in store? Well I’ll tell you… maggots. Yeah that’s right snuff film, I’m nit-picking yo’ ass! So one of our sadistic murdering bastard type thugs gently shakes some maggots onto the victim’s burn wound using a sieve before placing them on her face and the rest of her body. I mean, she doesn’t even wake up at any point during this, she just kind of twitches a couple of times. Maybe if you don’t like maggots then this might be slightly an ordeal to watch, but when I used to go drunk fishing, we used to have maggot eating contests, and one time we had to let each other throw handfulls of the little bastards into each other’s faces with our mouths open. You may have guessed that we never caught many fish.
GUTS: Unfortunately, it’s probably not what you think. This is complete film filler where the antagonists throw animal guts onto the victim as she’s still tied to the table. I’m not sure if they’re meant to be human innards, like the killers have been collecting their victims’ intestines and stuff to chuck at the next one. Nah, there’s just too much of the stuff. I’m giving the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt here, even they wouldn’t try that one. The girl actually looks dead through most of this, but soon enough, she’s awake and screaming. Just to take us out of the whole snuff film feel, we see slow motion shots of the villains throwing the guts at her before a very realistic scene where one of them cuts her hand open with a scalpel and then proceeds to twat it with a sledgehammer.
NEEDLE: This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for, kids, the money shot. One of the bastards sharpens a needle as the others get the girl in a kind of dentist chair position with a chain. they then hold her eye open and shove the needle through the side of her head near the temple, before forcing it through her eyeball. It sounds simple, but it’s all done slowly and in close up and it looks very real. It’s one of the single best special effects I’ve seen and well, there’s a reason it’s on the front of every vhs and dvd cover of this film I’ve ever come across. If the rest of the film was slow and somewhat disappointing, I have to say that this truly makes up for it. Anyway, the last shot we see is of the victim back in the net (all white) hanging lifeless before it ends.
Would I recommend “Guinea Pig: The Devil’s Experiment”? why of course! Obviously only if you’re into this sort of stuff, but if you are, then I think all these pseudo snuff films are worth watching at least once. It’s not as if nothing happens in this, it’s just that some of the scenes go on for a while and become a bit tiresome, but it is only forty odd minutes, so I’d say watch the whole thing if you want the full impact of the final five minutes. You may have noticed that I don’t know any of the actors in this. I’m not sure if that’s because the filmmakers didn’t want to release the names for the sake of the film’s mystique, or if I’m just crap at researching stuff. Obviously, I choose to believe the latter. Anyway, J-snuff month will return shortly. Cheers!