Shocked! Again! Even having just watched its predecessor (“Entrails of a Virgin”), ENTRAILS OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN walloped me again! Right up side the head. Despite the titles, the two films are not related to each other – story-wise, anyway. Turned out the same year as “Virgin” (1986), BEAUTIFUL WOMAN and the aforementioned do share some commonalities. Both exhibit director Gaira’s penchant – and panache – for blending sex and horror in such a way that material which would otherwise be trope-troubled trash transmogrifies instead into gonzo art. The previous film interlaced straight porn-ish stuff with slasher-in-the-woods shenanigans turned upside-down. ENTRAILS OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN takes a parallel but distinctive tack, pairing up rape scenarios in its plot with gory monster movie mayhem. I know I’m distinguishing the latter from the way horror was presented in “Virgin” even though my review of that movie used the term “monster man” in reference to the killer; but such was a convenient reference to that film’s fiend, a human(oid) being with something undefinable – and undisclosed by the film – wrong with him. Still, on the whole, the horror in “Virgin” owed much to the slasher genre. With ENTRAILS OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN, we’re in straight-up monster movie territory. Keep in mind, however, that though this is a Japanese movie, this is no Godzilla, Mothra, or any other city-stomping, metropolis-trampling rubber beast. This is a human mutated – thanks to a designer drug with ugly side effects – into something hideous, with metamorphic sexual traits; that’s all I’m saying since I wouldn’t dream of taking away your chance to be as drop-jawed as me when you watch this singular film. Another difference between this and Gaira’s previous cinematic exercise in freakotica sexualis is that the balance between sex and violence is heavily tilted toward the sex – terms of screen time. In terms of lasting effect upon the stunned viewer, the horror carries as much weight, if not more, than the sexuality. For that matter, the two are inextricably entwined. And when the brutal sexual lead-in to the cuckoo climax gives way to the horror, ENTRAILS OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN takes a Cronenbergian left turn on Henenlotter street. No joke. This is some crazy, satirical shit. The sex is harsh and rough, the violence over-the-top (that’s an understatement). Both major facets of the film, then, represent extremes. The outrageousness of each boil together into an unhinged and unleashed, absurdist, artistic assault on the senses. Before I close, I wanna loop back around to similarities between the two films. In both cases, Gaira had to contend with Japanese taboos about the onscreen showing of human genitalia. As with “Virgin,” ENTRAILS OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN gets around this with the proper positioning of actors during sex scenes, creative cinematography and shot composition, etc. Plus the infamous blurring, though it occurs more frequently in “Virgin.” On that, see the essay included with the DVD. Because I’m assuming, you see, that you’re going to want to get your hands on this ….
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