Guinea Pig 2 – Flowers of Flesh and Blood

0032Not the best Japanese gore porn film (who would want to be the best?) but one of the most famous. A man abducts a woman and dismembers her with a camera rolling. It doesn’t sound like much when I describe it, but it won’t seem like much when you watch it, either.

Apparently Charlie Sheen thought it was real (no doubt while tooting more than just his flute) and called the FBI. That seems to be the time-honored route of fame in the gore porn film industry – try to hint that it might be real. Eventually an actual snuff film will make it to market, and we’ll all call it a boring publicity stunt.

Supposed horror legend Hideshi Hino both directs and plays the killer. He’s more often associated with manga, which are a different beast entirely. His manga efforts (Hell Baby, and so forth) resemble a Japanese Goosebumps, complete with fill-in-the-blanks storylines and a cast of characters that you wonder even he doesn’t forget. The gore is offset by a cartoonish, exaggerated art style – you can imagine children reading Hino’s manga, but this, not so much.

Viewers will find two possible routes of enjoyment: first, the gore, and second, analysing the special effects. It’s a low budget film, and a lot of it isn’t very well done. The woman’s flesh has a rubbery quality. The blood seems like copiously squirted cherry juice. Much of the film is shot in extreme close-up, focused on a single body part that’s an obvious prosthetic. The production quality can be described as “muddy, dark, and distressed” – adding a gritty grindhouse quality at the expense of us actually being able tos ee see what’s going on. You’ve heard of Hollywood’s famous L-shaped bedsheets? Where the male lead has his chest exposed and the female lead has her chest covered? Here the woman’s body spends so much time covered up, she’s practically a goddamn Quaker. The movie takes a lot of care to hide bad special effects, but it’s all in vain.

The admin of the legendary shock site rotten.com was once asked how he knows the gruesome pictures on his site are real. He said something to effect of “I just do”, which is pat, but also probably accurate. He also mentioned that they received large volumes of fake pictures, and that they were usually quite easy to spot.

Little tells always gave the fake pictures away – tricky camera angles, harsh lighting, conveniently poor photo quality. It’s pretty obvious: if a murderer really did dismember someone and make a snuff film, he’d capture it in the best quality possible. Remember the Mitch Hedberg gag about Bigfoot being a blurry, pixelated monster roaming the landscape? It’s the same for gore porn. If the real stuff ever appears, we can assume it will be in 1080p. Fuck this dark, murky crap. It’s for wannabe auteurs and professional fakes.

I like extreme art, but for something like this you really need…more. Of what? Almost anything. Some individuality. Some personality. Something that would separate it from a film generated at random by a sophisticated computer. There’s exactly one interesting angle (Hino wears a samurai outfit), and a lot of fake WWE blood. Apparently, some of the other Guinea Pigs are more story focused. I’ll probably never know. The sad truth is that a perfect gore porn film will probably never be made: anyone ready to outlay the necessary money will want it to be marketable enough to sell. Flower of Flesh and Blood is an interesting historical curiosity, but those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

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