Ginger Nuts of Horror
By Alex Davis
Dir. Kazuo 'Gaira' Komizu, Japan, 72 min
I was debating how best to describe this movie, and here's the best thing I could come up with – can you imagine if someone at Hanna-Barbera absolutely lost their mind and decided to put together a really extreme, almost hardcore episode of Scooby Doo? You know, with the mystery gang breaking down in the middle of nowhere and hiding out in an abandoned warehouse before all falling into horribly mysogynistic sex and our lead characters each being hunted down by a badly-costumed demon with a huge erection?
Well, you'll be glad to know you don't need to imagine it anymore, because director Kazuo Komizu, or Gaira, has gone out and made it for you with Entrails of a Virgin. Of course it's not exactly that, but it feels like a fitting metaphor because this movie is about as believable and frightening as an episode of Scooby Doo. The plot centres on five men and women – whose names I simply cannot recall at all – who are in the process of shorting a softcore porn film. They're travelling to their next location when their van breaks down and they are forced to spend the night in an empty warehouse in the middle of nowhere. What could possibly go wrong there?
Well, alongside bringing out the worst in our male characters – each one of whom is a shockingly unlikeable chauvinist pig who takes great delight in humiliating their actresses – it seem them all one by one hunted down by some sort of crazed sex-demon who kills the cast in various horrible ways, his erection never seeming to waver once. I mean, two of the female characters he literally screws to death. But there is a survivor – one of the poor women involved – who just so happens to be pregnant, possibly with a quickly-made sequel...
There are two primary problems with this movie – first up, if you took out the atrociously unarousing sex scenes then this film would probably run to about half an hour. And I don't think there's really an argument to say they build the characters up in any way, it's far more about vulgar titillation and simply trying to keep your viewer watching by any means. I could happily have switched off, uninteresting sex or no. It also makes both the men and the women of the movie come across as absolutely awful. Maybe that's deliberate, and you're supposed to be rooting for the demon killing them off one by one, but I'm not sure if I honestly believe this little piece of Japanese exploitation is that clever.
Secondly, I just can't decide if this is a movie that wants me to take it seriously or not. There's not enough laughs throughout to think this is supposed to be a flat out horror comedy or a gross-out black comedy, but there are places where things are so laughably bad you wonder if it's actually on the level or not. If the aim was to deliver a sort of schlocky b-movie that in the 'so bad it's good' bracket I can't help but think it even failed in that respect. The constant near-pornographic content doesn't do anything to dispel the illusion this wasn't meant to be funny, but oftentimes is unintentionally so.
Suffice to say, this goes down in my book as nonsense of the highest order. It doesn't have any shock value about it you can take seriously, the effects look dated, the humour – if that was even the aim – is badly placed and unfunny, the sex scenes fail to garner any interest and all to often play to ridiculous male fantasies ('Oh! It's too big! I hope it will fit inside me!'), the monster is unconvincing and it's impossible to muster up a jot of like or dislike for any of the bland characters. A total car crash of a movie for me, yet somehow it did inspire a second part, which I suppose I should take a look at really...
RATING: 1/10. Rare that I come down this hard on a movie, and honestly the mark is only there because it did make me laugh out loud a couple of times, whether it actually meant to do so or not. There were a spate of similar types of movies made in Japan around this time, many of which have some sort of charm or hook of interest – be they genuinely shocking, utterly bizarre or riotously tongue-in-cheek. Sadly Entrails of a Virgin is none of the above, and crashes in at a lowly 1/10. In fact, now I think of it, I doubt anyone in this movie was actually a virgin at all...