Sunday, August 22, 2010

REVIEW: Entrails of a Beautiful Woman

美女器官美女のはらわた (Bijo no Harawata)

Released: 1986

Kazuo "Gaira" Komizu

Starring:Megumi Ozawa
Ayako Ishii
Seira Kitagawa
Ken Yoshizawa
Shinji Sekikawa

Running time: 68 min.

Reviewed by Marc Saint-Cyr

Schlock director Kazuo “Gaira” Komizu’s “Entrails of a Beautiful Woman” was released in 1986, the same year in which his previous film, “Entrails of a Virgin,” was also completed. It’s hard to say whether the more recent film is an improvement or not on its predecessor. Both of them unabashedly wallow in depraved and explicit acts of sex and violence, amounting to little more than pure, filthy spectacle. At a slim hour and eight minutes, “Beautiful Woman” is even shorter than the already-compact “Virgin,” yet somehow manages to go even further in terms of spilled bodily fluids and over-the-top kills.

The storyline for “Beautiful Woman” is a radical departure from “Virgin”’s horny-victims-lost-in-the-woods premise, as it instead focuses on a small group of yakuza. It begins with the impotent, shades-wearing boss promptly finishing his lunch, then making his way to an empty building where his underlings are preparing to torture a girl named Yoshimi (Seira Kitagawa). She had set out to discover the fate of her sister, who ran afoul of the gang and was consequently sent to Africa . Shortly after being told this, Yoshimi is raped by the gang members, then injected with a drug called Angel Rain that makes her give in to and actually crave her captors’ advances. She manages to escape and make her way to a clinic where she shares her story with Hiromi (Megumi Ozawa), the doctor who works there, before committing suicide. From there, the narrative baton is passed along to Hiromi, who decides to infiltrate the gang and avenge Yoshimi.

This scenario, while somewhat more substantial than “Virgin”’s, is of course little more than a framework onto which Komizu tacks plenty of nudity, sex both forced and consensual and rivers of gore. To say that this film is not at all for the meek, squeamish or easily offended is a major understatement. The rape scenes alone are uncomfortable to watch, as they follow the familiar route of showing plenty of skin, but in sadistic and cruel situations that don’t exactly inspire much titillation. Yet there are certainly other sex scenes to choose from, such as the one in which Hiromi gets intimate with Higashi, one of the yakuza, in her examination room. There is also the silhouetted yet nonetheless quite explicit fellatio sequence between the boss and his easily aroused mistress.

As mentioned, the film additionally has no shortage of bloodshed. After Yoshimi escapes, two henchmen are beat up as punishment for their failure. Much more extreme is the fate of Higashi, who, after being hypnotized by Hiromi and ordered to turn against the other gang members, meets a particularly gruesome end. Yet the film goes completely overboard in its final portion, in which it is revealed that Angel Rain has an unexpected side effect. After Hiromi is herself captured by the gang, raped, injected with the drug and seemingly killed, she unexpectedly transforms into a bizarre, red, veiny monster endowed with a grotesque, fanged member that is clearly modeled on the chestburster creature from the “Alien” films. The rest of the film fulfills its revenge storyline, but in the most deranged, crazy way possible via the creature killing off the other gangs members. One poor sucker’s head is literally pulverized, treating viewers to his corpse flopping and flailing against a wall – a sight that doubles as the film’s morbidly hilarious DVD menu.

While it seems like I’m giving a lot away in the above review, curious readers need not worry, for this is one of those films that you really need to see to believe and receive its full effect – if, of course, you’d ever want to subject yourself to such stomach-churning content. The best way to classify “Entrails of a Beautiful Woman” is as a shock comedy, as there is such an outright display of bad taste and ridiculous moments that anyone seeking to take away a morally responsible, politically correct or artistically mature experience from the film is pretty much in for a major disappointment. Yet those looking for a shameless, incredibly strange swan dive into the lower depths of what trash cinema has to offer will have come to the right place.

Read more by Marc Saint-Cyr at his blog

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