Oct 16, 2008

Guinea Pig: Devil's Experiment

Guinea Pig is the godmother of extreme Japanese cinema. For a film as influential as this, it hasn't aged well. What was once shocking the vulnerable masses, it hasn't aged well and time seems to be Devil's Experiment's worst enemy. The Guinea Pig series has many rough patches all around closing with only two solid films that are worthy of any recognition.

Devil's Experiment is sadly one of the disreputable entries. For being a film revolving around the beauty of violence and having a clever premise promising brutal poetry, deterioration of the sense actually boils down to cool shaded Japanese "dudes" stage slapping a woman for 10 minutes then moving on to some assorted ridiculous task including tying a woman up and spinning her "to death". This exciting "experiment" can be mimicked at home by taking a broom and dust pan outside attempting to sweep up all the dirt.

Devil's Experiment did pave the way for the rest of the series to extend upon a concept of symbolism, blood, and art. Five sequels were developed as well as two unofficial titles. When you single the less than established films, the odds are against them but as a collection Guinea Pig stands strong as a fierce competitor to any lexicon of violence. Guinea Pig wouldn't hit cinema puberty until the release of Flowers of Flesh & Blood which eventually led to the boom in popularity thanks to a Mr. Charlie Sheen.

To bring it around full-stop on my thoughts on Devil's Experiment, the film is definitely a far cry from modern conventions in the mid 80s. Devil's Experiment is indeed a rough experiment, though I can't vouch for its notoriety being worth its weight in this modern era. It's a film I am glad to have seen and it kick started a Japanese gore and roughie phase -- Without it, exploitation and faux snuff wouldn't be where it is now -- but this regrettably isn't anything to write home about, but it remains a must see for being historic.



Keith said...

I've never seen any of these before. Is it even readily available on DVD or would somebody have to hunt for it?

Soiled Sinema said...

Unearthed Films released a beautiful box set of them. Check it out!