The Guinea Pig films make up one of the most infamous horror series ever. Made on a minimal budget, the seven films feature an innovative array of torture, gore, and death.
The films are relatively short, each taking one repellant concept and stringing it out for as long as possible. Flower of Flesh and Blood depicts a man dressed as a samurai, torturing and mutilating a young girl he is holding prisoner, who eventually dies. Mermaid In A Manhole is about an artist who finds a mermaid, then creates a gruesome masterpiece out of her decaying body. He Never Dies has a suicidal office worker, who – you guessed it – finds he cannot die, and uses this to take revenge on those he blames for his unhappiness.
The first two films (Devil’s Experiment and Flower of Flesh and Blood) had no credits, and were promoted by an underground advertising campaign that presented them as genuine snuff films.
The films have purportedly inspired a number of copycat murders, most famously by child killer Tsutomu Miyakaki. Inspired by a massive collection of violent manga and films, Miyazaki renacted his favorite scenes on a number of unfortunate victims, including a gruesome scene from the Flower of Flesh and Blood.
In inquiry following Miyazaki’s 1989 capture, it was clear that he had been thoroughly psychotic without the aid of the films, but their association with him earned them a lot of bad press.
Confused with real snuff films
In 1991, actor Charlie Sheen came across one of the tapes (Flower of Flesh and Blood). Believing it to be a real snuff film, he reported it to the FBI, who didn’t take long to work out the film was a fake.
Change of direction
In the wake of this controversy, the films were taken over by a new production company, Japan Home Video, who realised the commercial potential of their new found infamy. They added credits and a score to make it clear the films were fiction, while retaining the gore and sick humour.
To date, the official Guinea Pig films are:
- Devil’s Experiment (“Akumano Jikken”, 1985)
- Flower of Flesh and Blood (“Chiniku No Hana”, 1985)
- He Never Dies (“Senritsu! Shinanai Otoko”, 1986)
- Making of Guinea Pig (“Mekingu Obu Za Ginipiggu”, 1986)
- Mermaid In A Manhole (“Manhoru No Naka No Ningyo”, 1988)
- Androids Of The Notre Dame (“Notorudamo no Andoroido”, 1988)
- Devil Woman Doctor (“Peter No Akuma No Joi-San”, 1990)
- Making of Devil Woman Doctor (“Bangaihen: Akumano Joi-san Meikingu”, 1990)
- Slaughter Special (“Zansatsu Supeshiyaru”, 1991)
- Guinea Pig (Wikipedia)
“The first five films of the series were found showcased in the 5,763 videotape collection of Japanese serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki”
- The Guinea Pig Series
Overview of the Guinea Pig Series
- Unearthed Films presents The Guinea Pig Films
- Guinea Pig (Mondo Digital)
“Repellent and tasteless though they may be, the Guinea Pig videos almost seem inevitable in the evolution of horror”