...I can't believe I just complained about too much sex scenes on film? Once in awhile, you would encounter a film that you definitely will have the reaction not to like, but for some unexplainable reason, you see the film for what it's supposed to be and you end up being bewildered as to why a film would seem quite tolerable in a bizarre way. Such is the case with ENTRAILS OF A VIRGIN (1986, aka. Shojo no Harawata), I know it's the type of flick that most people would deem as garbage but then again, one man's garbage is another's treasure. For me, the film had a lot of guts; this film does have a lot of "intestinal fortitude" to pull this off.
Three alluring models; Kei (Megumi Kawashima), Rei (Saeko Kizuki) and Kazuyo (Naomi Hagio) have just completed a photo session with photographer, Asaoka (Daiki Kato). They are accompanied by the producer, Itomura (Osamu Tsuruoka) and Asaoka's assistant Tachikawa (Hideki Takahashi). They get lost in the woods during a very dense fog and decide to spend the night in a deserted cabin (or is it a house?). A killer mud monster decides to stalk the group and make the women his sex slaves.
I really cannot say if Kazuo "Gaira" Komizu's gory thriller was intended to explore the mythologies of "things that go bump in the night" or if he wanted to make a truly exploitive film. I have a hard time classifying this film as a piece of Japanese "pink" horror. I know that films such as this are meant to have a simple storyline, as an excuse for Japanese women to show their stuff. The film is definitely exploitive, there is a lot of graphic sex and nudity on display but it just didn't provide the necessary scares to really provide the viewer with pure mindless fun. As with most Japanese films during this time, the naked crotch areas have been fogged so the viewer cannot have a clear view, but the actors treat themselves to some very excessive spooning. This is a film made in the 80's so expect the 80's hairdos and outfits.
The film definitely follows all the formulas of people stuck in the woods, while the men take advantage of the women, they force themselves on them and despite the women's protestations, they get degraded anyway. Male superiority over women in show business is explored and director Gaira pulled all the stops to get his point across. There really is nothing original here, Gaira just seemed to revel in the fact that he is displaying a lot of sleazy and exploitive sex onscreen. Yes, the sex scenes are more graphic than the ones on late night cable and walks the thin line between softcore and hardcore porn.
The characters themselves are unlikable. The men are manipulative beasts and the women, well, I'm not really quite certain as to why they do let these things happen to them. I couldn't really feel any sympathy because the women are really underdeveloped. "Unpleasant folks have unpleasant experiences" may well be the film's major selling point. I do think that the male characters got what they deserved.
Now, the death scenes aren't quite as inventive as I would've wished them to be. Truth be told, if there was more blood and gore than the sex and nudity, then the film would have been a lot more fun. The "Mud Man" looked like a cross between a cannibal and a sex-crazed psychopath. Gaira exaggerates some scenes as with the antagonist's manly attributes and shadows are used to give the viewer an idea as to what is going on. The director obviously wanted to add some `artistic' visuals when it came to gore, and it is quite funny in its own way.
There are quite a number of scenes that are full of audacity, and some scenes may prove pointless. The gore and blood looked quite campy but there is a certain amount of brilliance hidden in the film somewhere. I am sure U.S. filmmakers have thought about it but only the Japanese have the guts to follow through their ideas. The scene where Kazuyo (Naomi Hagio, the sexiest of the three) goes down on the mud man while she touches herself with a severed hand exhibits brilliance (?) as well as balls to the wall sleazy exploitation.
Those who are expecting an ultra-blood-soaked affair may be a little disappointed. True, if it could have used MORE GORE than sex (I can't believe I said that) but this film further cements the idea that Japanese filmmakers may know more about exploitation than anyone else. If you look at it from a viewpoint that the director almost went to the limits of exploitation then you may be impressed. I am rather curious as to how he manages to top this film with "Entrails of a Beautiful Woman", I've read that the sequel even goes further. Me, personally, I thought the live action "La Blue Girl" exhibited more discipline. (Does anyone want me to review that?)
Overall, this will definitely make a mark in the annals of Asian Cult Cinema. The film is definitely geared towards the fans of slasher/gore/sex films. The idea of a mud man walking around raping and killing women seemed a little nihilistic but it will hold your interest, in a bizarre way. The film is sleazy, sexy and gory; gorehounds will have a reason to rejoice.
This is one movie I can't really say I'd recommend but it's worth a look for fans of Japanese cinema. Proceed with caution. [3- Out of 5 Stars]
I really don't know how to describe this movie. This was really intended to be a piece of exploitive cinema with horror elements, so I cannot complain about it being too cheaply made and having a non-sensical plot. But sometimes....sometimes 'shock cinema' is just about sleaze and things that push the envelope. Again, I cannot criticize something that wants to be outrageous since this was made when exploitation cinema was all the rage, but I cannot believe … more