Guinea Pig I: Devil's Experiment

Director: Satoru Ogura (1985)
Find it: IMDB

Pride myself, as I do, on having seen the worst of the worst horror movies in existence, there was no way I wouldn't eventually get around to seeing the Guinea Pig series. While it is nice to have added another notch to my horror movie bedpost (like a regular bedpost, except grottier), in the case of Guinea Pig, I wish I hadn't bothered.

Created before 'torture porn' was even a thing, Devil's Experiment has perhaps the flimsiest plot I have ever seen in a movie. It is literally nothing more than a series of torture sequences. The version of the DVD I watched had no English subtitles or dubbing, but not once did I miss them. It opens with a woman being slapped repeatedly around the face (which goes on for about five minutes) before moving on to more mental and penetrative tortures. But as our poor victim is slapped soundly around the chops over and over again, we can actually see the actor slapping his own hand to create the sharp striking sound. I'm sure it worked better on fuzzy old VHS, but some of these infamous tortures look remarkably shonky on DVD. Particularly daft is a bit in which the kidnappers tie their victim to an office chair and spin her round and round in circles until she gets sick.

Other tortures, however, are actually revolting. Maggots, fingernails and eyeballs are amongst the few things I can't be doing with in a film, and Devil's Experiment has all three. It's surprising that it was this film's sequel that gained most notoriety, since Devil's Experiment is by far the most memorable Pig. Of course, memorable doesn't always mean good. Devil's Experiment does its job (plotless nasty) just fine, but nothing else whatsoever. There's less going on than an episode of Dirty Sanchez or Jackass. It makes Captivity look densely plotted by comparison.

Like a ridiculously fast rollercoaster, the point with the Guinea Pig films isn't in the journey but rather the ride itself - it's a test of endurance; not something you watch because you like plot, or acting, or purpose. Which is good, because it doesn't have any of those things.

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