American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore (2014)
Review by Jude Felton
When it was first announced that there was to be an American Guinea Pig film, I’ll admit to not being especially excited. The original Japanese is one that is incredibly notorious, due mainly to the Flower of Flesh and Blood installment. It’s this one in particular that most people associate with the films, and is incredibly savage. There are a couple of other good ones, but there are also some that are particularly forgettable.
With this in mind I found it a little hard, at first, to get excited about American Guinea Pig. I couldn’t see how it would get anywhere close to the intensity of Flower of Flesh and Blood, as that is where I assumed the filmmakers would take the direction of the film. Then I saw the names attached.
The writer and director of Bouquet of Guts and Gore is first time director, Stephen Biro. Aside from being the owner of Unearthed Films, which is no stranger to releasing films that some other companies would be too afraid to touch, he is also no stranger to controversy, especially when it comes to his literary output; just Google “Dead Babies” and “Book”, and you’ll get the picture.
Alongside Biro, at the helm, he is also joined by a virtual who’s who of hardcore underground filmmakers. Marcus (100 Tears) Koch handles the special effects, Jim (The Manson Family) Van Bebber is on board as director of photography, Jimmy ScreamerClauz contributed music and Shelby McIntyre is also there as production manager. Very good pedigree indeed, and that’s only a few names.
Okay, so now my interest is piquing and I want to know more. Slowly, stills surfaced and I got the impression that we might actually be onto something good. Little did I know how damned good it would actually be? That’ll teach me to be a cynical old asshole.
Right, so onto the film itself, and I will tell you right now that I will reveal very little about the actual plot of the film, because you honestly need to see this as cold as possible. What I will tell you is that it is about two girls who are abducted by masked strangers, who then proceed to film what they get up to next.
American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore is an absolutely stunning foray into the world of ultra-violent cinema; I really cannot emphasize this enough. There are plenty of violent films out there, yet this one manages to really carve its own place. And then some!
The visuals are gritty and raw throughout, with the action being viewed through the cameras of the masked abductors, and it is shot in a manner that really harks back to Flower of Flesh and Blood. Everyone involved in this film seems to have really wanted to not only make an incredibly brutal film, but to make one that remained faithful to the original series, and not some watered down pale imitation.
Stephen Biro has honestly done himself, and everyone involved in the making of the film, through to the fans watching, proud with his unflinching style of direction, and in turn Bouquet of Guts and Gore hits the viewer like a shotgun blast to the face. The dialogue, of which there is a surprising amount, is a little clunky to begin with, but as the film progress it seems to flow a lot more naturally. This is a minor detraction from what otherwise is a superb slice of savage independent cinema.
This is a film for the hardcore, even though I guarantee it will leave the most hardened gore fans stunned, and will definitely garner itself a sizeable fan base. On the flipside, it is also going to court controversy and have just as many folk that loathe it. In fact, I can see the film being in the firing line purely for its content. Good. The more press this film gets, the better. However, it is also a film that bares paying attention too, as beneath the buckets (or bouquets) of blood, guts and gore, there is also a very definite plot; you will want to pay attention to some of the subtleties of what is going on. Ha! I managed to squeeze “subtleties” into a review about American Guinea Pig!
American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore is extreme cinema done right. It’ll shock, offend and upset folk. It’ll make the squeamish puke into their TV dinners and the delicate weep like children. This is a vision of hell on your television screen, so embrace its savage beauty. It is the perfect antidote to the watered down trash that gets passed as horror, in this day and age, and is an all too rare addition to quality ultra-violence.
So, my initial reservations have been successfully quashed, Biro has a fan of his film and I need to buy this when it finally hits Blu-ray or DVD. The only real downside to all this? Where the fuck do they take the series next?
American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore will be released by Unearthed Films in the near future. You can also keep up to date with the film on Facebook.