Two young women are abducted off the streets and taken to unknown location. There, they are given a drug that renders them unable to move yet remain full conscious as they are systematically tortured to death.
I’m fairly certain I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again; I’m not big into the faux-snuff movies. Not for any real specific reason other than I’m just not into them. The only ones that have ever been able to hold my attention were the “August Underground” films, but even then, I’ve never had a need to return after those initial one or two viewings. Having said that, I don’t think it should be a surprise that I’ve never liked the “Guinea Pig” films, especially “The Devil’s Experiment” and “Flowers of Flesh and Blood”. I appreciate what they are and I respect their place in the history of cult and shock cinema, but I couldn’t help but be bored with those movies. Even the more odd movies in the series, like “Mermaid in a Manhole” did nothing for me.
For that reason, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy’s Stephen Biro’s continuation of the series with “American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore” but I still pre-ordered the DVD through the film’s IndieGoGo campaign. Because why not? There were some good people working on the project (Marcus Koch and Oddtopsy FX, for example) and at worse, I simply wouldn’t like the movie and wouldn’t watch it again.
Yet, against all odds, I ended up enjoying (relatively, speaking) “American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore”. Not only did I enjoy it, but I found it to be very effective. I assumed “Bouquet of Guts and Gore” was going to be a lot like “Flowers of Flesh and Blood”; a parade of gore with nothing else and of no substance. Granted, “Bouquet of Guts and Gore” is an extravagant parade of gore, as well as depravity, but it had something that I felt was missing from other movies. Atmosphere.
The mixture of video and VHS-duped 8mm footage made the movie visually more interesting than its peers and it helped accent the blood and the effects in a particular way. The effects in “Bouquet of Guts and Gore” had a tendency to lose some of their magic with the cleaner video footage — the same can be said for a lot of horror movies too. Where as the 8mm footage helped blur the lines a bit more and hide those small imperfections you can occasionally spot. Not to mention it really gave the movie a rough quality; that feeling of I shouldn’t be watching this. The sound design also helped with that creepy, uneasy vibe.
The other part of the atmosphere comes from “Bouquet of Guts and Gore” having a genuine feeling of cruelty (it’s the samething that kept me hooked with the “August Underground” movies). It’s easy enough to try let the spectacle of dismemberment provide that sensation, which rarely works, but here, there was something effective. Something that worked with the way the movie was shot and handled enabled “Bouquet of Guts and Gore” to capture that feeling. Perhaps because the material wasn’t treated in an over-the-top manner; the characters weren’t crazy and the women weren’t being tortured to death for some ridiculous reason. It was a job (story wise) and the killers wanted to make a worthwhile product — giving them an evil, methodic drive rather than anger — and because of that, you get to watch as they relish in just how inhumane they can be.
There’s not much else to the movie, and that’s okay, because “American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore” does exactly what it needed to do, and I think most, if not all, fans will be extraordinary satisfied with it. It serves as a well executed complimentary piece to the original “Guinea Pig” series with a substantial (but believable) amount of blood and gore. For me, I think what makes Biro’s film worthwhile is the style, atmosphere, and how it successfully translates that necessary feeling of cruelty — without simply relying on the gore — across the scenes.