That’s a real mouthful of a title right? Let me start this off by saying that “Bouquet of Guts and Gore” is not a movie for everyone. Shit, it isn’t a movie for most people. The people it is for though, are really going to be excited about what they find here. The Guinea Pig movies have about as sordid a past as any underground horror movie could hope (or wish!) for and “Bouquet” is here to continue the family name. Gaining notoriety in the early ‘90s in North America for faux snuff titles such as “The Devils Experiment” and “Flower of Flesh and Blood”, the films obliterate all boundaries of good taste. These original films were so effective in fact that Charlie Sheen was positive that he had discovered a real life, no shit snuff tape. Like any patriot, instilled with the overwhelming urgency of crack, ol’ Charlie rang up the FBI and let them in on his find. Turns out, the filmmakers did a convincing enough job to fool someone who (potentially) wasn’t a crack-head that these tapes contained real murders and the Japanese authorities were already investigating them. Obviously, they weren’t real but this whole thing went a long way in cementing the notoriety of the Guinea Pig films, at least in the annals of horror. Flash forward a few decades to 2014 and along comes a happy little film by the name of “American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore”. Produced and directed by the man responsible for making the original series available in North America, Stephen Biro of Unearthed Films, “Bouquet” starts off what promises to be a morbidly entertaining series.
The movie is uncomfortable from the word go, as we watch shaky, raw camera footage that follows two women oblivious to the danger lurking just behind them. Obviously, (we know what we signed up for), these women are abducted and we jump right to what appears to be a warehouse they are being held for all sort of family friendly activities. From here we plunge into 70 minutes of “systematic torture” performed on the women at the hands of a group of masked men. One of the men, the largest of the three, is tasked with the actual hands on dirty work while the other 2 film it on a variety of VHS and Super 8 cameras. It’s hinted at times in the minimalist (it could almost be even more minimalist and come out an even bigger winner but I’ll get to that later) dialogue that he may in fact be a pawn and only co-operating because they have something on him, but this is never elaborated on. There isn’t much more to say when it comes to plot because, let’s face it, it’s a Guinea Pig film and that isn’t why we’re here. We came to see blood and guts and bile and all sorts of other nasty shit. And oh boy do we.
The effects work in the film is repulsive and guaranteed to get make your stomach turn at least once or twice. While I will call into question a few anatomical choices, overall I’m pretty sure if someone were to actually, say, I don’t know…de-glove both a woman’s arms, that this is pretty much what it would look like. The decision to film most of the movie in grainy, low resolution formats works to its benefit, affording it that grimy underground look the subject matter demands as well as allowing the effects to appear even more realistic.
About that dialogue: we didn’t need it; not really. The movie is powerful and would be just as powerful without it. I mean, I get it that it was supposed to raise more questions and keep us wondering about the further motives (if any) of the men, but it just wasn’t as effective as it could be. It’s totally possible that we will need to look at the movies again as a series when they are all released, because as it stands the dialogue would indicate even more sinister goings on than we see here.
So should you go and gather the family and sit down for a nice bonding experience? Most definitely, especially if you have Granny Ripper coming over for afternoon tea. It isn’t for everyone, but if you are a fan of gore films, you won’t find many modern films that drench the screen in more grue than this. Your mileage may vary with this movie; unsurprisingly gore fans that have been around the block a few times won’t be nearly as impressed or horrified as new comers to the genre will. Regardless of where you sit on the totem pole of gore, you won’t be disappointed.
-find Scotty inquiring into insane doses of LSD on Twitter