American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore (Review)

20141213034617-agp111111There are two reviews for American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore. One for those of you who have seen the original Guinea Pig series and another for those of you who SHOULD NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE. If you do not fall into the category of people who should not watch this movie, then that means you should probably watch the movie, but if you’ve seen the original Guinea Pig series and should watch the movie there’s a good chance you’re opinion will be polarized (love it because you think it keeps in the tradition of the original or hate it because it is an imitation of the original series). That’s why we are going to essentially write two reviews for the movie and somewhere in the Occam’s Razor of the damn thing you’ll figure out whether you should or should not watch the movie. That’s a disclaimer, warning, preview and endorsement all in one paragraph, and I haven’t  even really said a goddamn thing yet.

Note: this is a screener review and may not represent the final cut of the film. This can especially pertain to effects, color timing and editing choices.

For those of you watched the original Guinea Pig series:

Bouquet of Guts and Gore will feel a quite a bit like Flower of Flesh and Blood. Without reading about it or hearing this I would assume this is intentional given the set up of the film; two girls on gurnies being dismembered instead of one… do two girls count as a “bouquet” of the “flowers” from the original Guinea Pig series? Even if that was not the intention, I think it works, and will call it very clever in the naming department.

The effects are on par with the original series though there are moments in AGP that were pretty obviously fake, mostly those effects that involved fake heads. Good blood color, skin texture, guts. Nice and sticky. Gooey. Made me wish I had ribs for dinner.  I was kind of hoping for genital mutilation, the true test of an effects crew is to see what they do when a vagina is on the line. Good choice of dismemberment otherwise.

The music was perfectly disturbing both lulling me into a trance and unsettling me. Very well done and reminiscent of  other genre scores.

Too much dialogue for my taste or rather too much repetitive dialogue. The original series felt more real because it avoided this. It can almost come off as comic at times, so my personal preference would be to go without. Then again, this is American Guinea Pig and this is something that could be seen as separating it from the original series or distinguishing it as “American”.

I preferred the fast pace of the original series. Each movie taking up no time at all, playing like short films. While AGP is just over 70 mins in length, it still felt long.

AGP left me feeling a little queasy though not as queasy as my favorite Guinea Pig entry, Mermaid in a Manhole (nearly yacked for that one). It’s absolutely worth your time experienced viewer. It is a Guinea Pig movie even if you can’t mistake it for snuff. Pay attention to the long list of thank you’s at the end. These are people whose work you’ll want to explore in depth. If you dig Jim Van Bebber movies, this is probably excellent for you (he’s the DOP and has a role in the movie, Stephen Biro the Director was also the Executive Producer on Van Bebber’s Gator Green). If you like Fred Vogel’s August Underground films, this is perfect for you (and you are a sexy motherfucker). If you follow Unearthed Films and enjoy collecting their releases, you’ll want this one when it ultimately hits the shelf. There are about ten days left in the fundraising campaign for the release which has hit its goal, but will help to fund the sequel:

For those of you who should not watch the movie:

… are you mad that I made you read the recommendation to those who were familiar with the original series first? That was kind of the point.

You are the type of person who wants a movie to have a story line, plot, narrative, character development. You want a movie to have multiple locations and a soundtrack or at least a score that has some kind of variety. You want a movie with a finish. You want the movie to provide closure and maybe even say something about the world you live in. Person who should not watch this movie… you do not like gore for the sake of beautiful gore. When I just called it beautiful gore, you had to ask how gore could be “beautiful”. You don’t appreciate special effects as the central point of a movie unless Michael Bay had some computer animated fellas design them and you have no idea how to watch a movie that just exists to provide upset (even if it somehow hopping into a Delorean and raping your childhood).

Person who has not seen the original Guinea Pig series… You have not seen it because you couldn’t find it? You have not seen it because you didn’t know it existed? You have not seen it because you knew it existed but didn’t want to be grossed out? You have not seen it because it did not want you to see it?  (get back to me).

You should not watch this movie if you own a Guinea Pig… American or otherwise. You probably don’t need to watch this movie if you’re about to eat food or want to have sex afterward (or masturbate). Children should not watch AGP because it is not about a lovable animated or live action animal trying to find self discovery through a long winded adventure with its new friends. If you like to ban things… don’t watch this movie. If you think you might want to sit on advisory board for goodness and decency, this may not be the movie for you.

In closing, just because they put the word “American” in front of the “Guinea Pig”, do not believe that you will find it to be a purely Americanized, homogenized, tame version of the Japanese classic. This is the real deal. The a continuation and homage to the original Guinea Pig series even taking on the naming convention of one of the more popular entries in the original series (Flower of Flesh and Blood). Stephen Biro has taken up the bloody torch and cauterized the wounds of a fanbase desperate to feel nauseous again for prolonged periods of time while greatly admiring some damn good makeup. The entire special effects team deserves true honors, and the ending… well… I kept asking them to shut the damn camera off and go to credits. Over and over and over until they did and I wanted to send them a bouquet of flowers (not blood and guts) for doing so.

Still undecided? Here’s the trailer and some more details on AGP.

From AGP:

In the history of independent horror films, never has a series of unrepentant brutality brought about a surge of fans that needed to see, witness or own… such a unique brand of film atrocity.

A series of movies that is so far off from the mainstream, that audiences worldwide have heard about it in hushed tones.

Many have tried to copy them but few have approached it’s very grim core. Unearthed Films… is bringing the white hot tip of unrelenting gore, unparalleled atrocities and unmerciful slaughter… back into the minds eye of all the horror fans who dared to see what the originals where truly about.

The AMERICAN GUINEA PIG SERIES is about to begin…

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