ENTRAILS OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN
Also Known As
Bijo No Harawata
Guts Of A Beauty
Guts Of A Virgin 2
Directed by Kazuo “Gaira” Komizu
Japan/1986 – 68 Minutes/Widescreen
DVD Provided by Synapse Films
Review by Mark Engle
“Japan is like a little America. Everyone wants a freak show.” – director Kazuo Komizu
Before Takashi Miike, there was ENTRAILS OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN. Actually, that probably isn’t the best summation but it will do. During the mid to late 80s, Japan seemed to revel in goreporn, a bizarre way around censorship and breaking taboos. 1985 saw the release of the first GUINEA PIG film that would eventually turn into a very bizarre franchise. The following year director Kazuo Komizu (under the single moniker Gaira) had a huge success with ENTRAILS OF A VIRGIN and immediately followed it up with this sequel (in name only). I would never fuse some sort of direct correlation between Miike and these earlier titles. But the movie in question here, with its tale of insane Yakuza, drugs, human sex slavery and a revengeful hermaphrodite hybrid demon, seems like something out of Japan’s latest genre filmmakers’ wet dreams. Unfortunately, this isn’t AUDITION or ICHI THE KILLER. It isn’t even VISITOR Q.
Simply put, ENTRAILS is nothing more than an exercise in rape and revenge with a monster thrown in the mix. Let’s put the emphasis on rape. A local Yakuza clan is in the market of supplying Africa with sex slaves while pushing cocaine and a new special drug called Angel Rain. When a young girl named Yoshimi goes looking for her missing sister, she finds the boyfriend who turns out to be a Yakuza flunky that seduces young girls for the clan. Instead of brushing her off, he takes her in where the group of sleazy entrepreneurs takes turns raping her repeatedly, injecting her with Angel Rain and getting her ready for the African market. After being left alone with two of the flunkies, she manages to escape and finds help from a female psychiatrist, but the drug hasn’t worn off. In some sort of after-rape ecstasy, she jumps to her death from the top of the doc’s building (cut in shot of a watermelon smashing on the sidewalk below – art or some sort of symbolic metaphor, I have no idea).
Now that we got the initial shock of the first half hour’s worth of rape in, our shrink takes on Yoshimi’s moniker in the name of sisterhood or possibly self-gain (who knows and who cares?). She proceeds to seduce the suave “girl-quicker-picker-upper” and manages to control him through hand-job hypnosis (seriously, I kid you not). She also discovers that this poor guy has some sort of remorse because he had feelings for the last two girls, but that doesn’t stop her from ordering him to kill his Yakuza buddies with a knife the next time they call him “stupid.” He isn’t successful, however. The thugs torture him and discover the brains behind the assassination attempt. Then they proceed to trick and kidnap the new Yoshimi with the same plans of rape, drug addiction and enslavery. Unfortunately, after the rape process, which we must painfully endure, she overdoses on drugs and dies. After the criminals put her corpse next to the body parts of the former suave Yakuza, the spirits and sexual organs of the two deceased victims combine to become a vengeful demon. This entity seeks out each and every Yakuza, dishing out painful demises while satisfying its own lust for drugs and its sexual urges for both males and females. What follows is a gory exercise in excessive brain numbing filth, debauchery, and laugh-out-loud cheesy moments that you won’t, but may want to, forget.
Too bad that outside of the rape factor, it really isn’t that disturbing. Granted, I’m not going to play it on Christmas day for all the visiting relatives. In its short 68 minute time frame, there’s lots of “forced entry” in several orifices. Thankfully, it’s simulated due to Japan’s censorship or “fogging” restrictions. What’s left is a demon penis that runs about 2 feet long, with teeth and drool that turns itself inside out into a giant face-sitting vagina (during this scene, I was so unaffected I actually found myself humming several bars of Monty Python’s “Sit On My Face And Tell Me That You Love Me”). You also get bodies being torn or hacked apart and a demon suit that would look cool, if it didn’t look like it contained a 110-pound Asian actor in a latex outfit made for someone weighing 240 pounds. When the story focuses on anything that is suppose to be erotic, it’s boring, and when it comes to the rape scenes, for which there are plenty, it is in your face (warning lots of man-butt) and handled immaturely by the actors and director. What could have been a disturbing metaphor for our decaying humanity is just badly focused exploitation by the filmmakers. The revenge simply turns into gory lunacy that is somewhat entertaining, but like many rape films that have come before and after, it just isn’t enough to make sitting through the first half worthwhile.
For fans of Asian goreporn, Synapse has done a decent
job with the transfer and disc. The print itself is excellent and presented
in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer boasting rape-like clarity
Japanese with English subtitles. The Animated DVD menu showcases one of
the gore highlights, putting the viewer into the spirit of the movie.
As extras go, you get the original theatrical trailer and an 18-minute
interview, which is noted as the 2nd part of a full interview focusing
on the movie at hand. It’s an interesting interview at best, as
we listen to director Kazuo Komizu go on about two polar opposites and
the state of entropy. He also self-congratulates himself quite a bit (I’m
hoping sarcastically) for making such a groundbreaking classic film in
1986. Komizu also states that his demon penis design came long before
the 1979 baby creature in ALIEN that bursts out of John
Hurt’s chest. This is supposed to explain a scene where the penis,
looking like the baby alien, bursts out of someone’s chest during
the act of sex. I don’t know where his math comes from, but the
last time I checked, the 70s came before the 80s. I also found myself
laughing when he discusses the nature of human pain and how it doesn’t
matter and shouldn’t matter to anyone, but then talks about how
horrible it was when he burnt his hand cooking hot dogs. Sorry, but neither
Komizu nor his movies get such sympathy from me.