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Entrails of a Beautiful Woman   D

Synapse Films / Nikkatsu Corporation

Year Released: 1986 (USA: 2004)
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Gaira (Kazuo Komizu)
Writer: Gaira (Kazuo Komizu)
Cast: Megumi Ozawa, Ken Yoshizawa, Kazuhiro Sano.

Review by Jim Harper

Kazuo Komizu's notorious sex-splatter film Entrails of a Virgin is one of the early classics of modern Japanese horror and heavily influenced by Friday the 13th (1979) and American slasher movies. It is fitting then that a sequel, Entrails of a Beautiful Woman (Bijo no harawata), appeared soon afterwards. Rather than going over the same territory, Komizu took the rape-revenge movie as his template. The rape-revenge subgenre, embodied in the West by films like Wes Craven's Last House on the Left (1972) and the notorious I Spit on Your Grave (1978), is characterized by (predictably enough) prolonged rape scenes followed by equally protracted scenes of the heroine brutalizing and murdering her former tormentors. The majority of rape-revenge films are simple exhibitions of brutality and violence, although rare efforts like Takashi Ishii's Freeze Me (2000) manage to deal with the subject matter with intelligence and insight. Needless to say, Entrails of a Beautiful Woman is not one of those films.

A group of yakuza kidnap and rape a young woman. She eventually manages to escape, but not before they can pump her full of a drug called "Angel Rain," intended to increase her sexual appetite. After her escape she confides in a young doctor, Dr. Hiromi, but later commits suicide. Hiromi decides to seek revenge for the death of her patient, and devises a plan to turn the yakuza against each other. Unfortunately her efforts result in her being captured by the group, who inject her with "Angel Rain" and begin to brutalize her. It is here that Entrails of a Beautiful Woman takes a turn into deeply strange territory, as Hiromi's body begins to merge with the corpse of a murdered yakuza, apparently because of the drug. After a gruesome transformation, a new being is revealed: a grotesque hermaphrodite monster that can kill with either one of its enlarged sexual organs. Bloody chaos ensues.

For the most part, Entrails of a Beautiful Woman does not waver from the pattern set down by its predecessor. Despite a little more character development, the film is just one sex scene after another; sadly they're predominantly rape scenes, something that quashes any minor titillation value they may have had. The final reel explodes into showers of gore and bright-red blood, and like the earlier film, things become a lot more entertaining when it does. The production values here are a little better, with improved lighting and camerawork, but the acting is still porn-standard and the special effects cheap and amateurish. The most significant difference is the absence of humor; Komizu has removed the slapstick and the gross gags that appeared in Entrails of a Virgin, and replaced it with a repellant storyline, making this film even harder to watch, despite the technical improvements. For better or for worse, Komizu has pushed the boundaries of bad taste even further.

Review published 02.17.2006.

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