So, if I told you that this movie had a scene with a woman sucking off a monster while simultaneously masturbating herself with a disembodied hand, would that make you pop the DVD into the player, or throw it across the room? Because that is the kind of question you have to ask yourself before buying "Entrails of a Virgin" ("Shojo no harawata").
Firmly in the Erotic/Grotesque genre of Japanese film, this is the directorial debut of Kazuo 'Gaira' Komizu (writer of Go, Go Second Time Virgin). Everything about this flick screams "the 80's", from the cheesy hairdos to the cheesier synthesizer music reminiscent of every sex/slasher film popular at the time. This film once had an infamous reputation amongst Japanese horror fans, both for it's rarity as well as for pushing the boundaries in gore and sex far beyond previous levels. However, since then the boundaries have been pushed so far that much of "Entrails of a Virgin" comes off as tame.
The story is the basic "cabin in the woods" motif. Three guys, three girls, it's a foggy and dangerous drive and they all decide to stop by a deserted house in the woods to pass the night. Everyone pairs off and the pants come off. Enter the monster.
For a Japanese pink film, "Entrails of a Virgin" does push some serious boundaries on sex and nudity. Far more than the occasional glimpse of T&A, all the gals here get very, very naked and look good doing so. Kizuki Saeko (Angel Guts), Hagio Naomi ("Wife Collector") and Kawashima Megumi (Onimusha 3 of all things...) all manage to lose everything they have, get raped by man and monster alike, and squeak as only Japanese actresses can in a pink film. There were a few shocking shots, stuff that I haven't seen in any other pink film, and the director clearly wanted to walk that fine line between soft and hardcore.
The gore scenes where a little more disappointing. The director obviously didn't have the budget or skills to make a genuinely sticky mess of things, but he gave it a good try. There are a lot of intercut shots of slabs of meat getting pounded that work effectively but are still somewhat of a cop-out. The giant mud-man monster elicits a giggle rather than a scare, but I think they did their best with what they had to work with.
Personally, cheese aside I enjoyed this flick a lot. It is about on the same level as Bloodsucking Freaks, an oddity with a few over-the-top scenes that deserves its cult status. Japanese films got gorier, starting with later flicks like Evil Dead Trap, but they rarely hit the sex boundaries like this again unless they went full hardcore. It would be easy to find a lot of flaws with this flick, but just as easy to have a good time.
The DVD is really well done, with fantastic audio and visual cleanness. There is an interview with the director, which is continued on the sequel Entrails of a Beautiful Woman. Also included is an essay on why Japanese films "fog" the genitals of actors, even when it is obviously a sex film. Very cool and informative for first timers into the pink film genre.