'Snuff films' have always been something of a legend. There are no legitimate documented material that has found to be snuff films. Of course, there have been instances where the public has made extreme cases for the possibility of a snuff film. Cannibal Holocaust and Faces Of Death made reliable choices for some, but for others, including Charlie Sheen of all people, the Guinea Pig series has remained controversial. There are over 5 films in the series, but the first two installments (Devil's Experiment and Flowers of Flesh and Blood) are the most infamous.
Devil's Experiment starts out very eerily with a straw bag being strung in a tree. It's swinging back and forth, it's rainy outside, and there is a droning music playing in the background. It sets the tone perfectly for the movie (on a side note, I love atmosphere like this in films), which is unfortunate because from there, things go downhill. The plot of the film is simple: a group of Japanese men abduct a woman and subject her to various amounts of torture. They spin her around in a chair for hours on end, they make her listen to white noise for hours, they burn her, they beat her to the point of unconsciousness, and finally, put a needle through her head which pierces her retina.
I'll admit, for 1985 standards, Devil's Experiment is remarkable. At times I felt like everything was real and these were a bunch of sickos carrying out a dirty deed.
It's sequel, Flowers of Flesh and Blood is often noted as more controversial, disturbing, and infamous (Charlie Sheen obtained a copy and got in touch with the FBI who in fact where already researching the origins of the film). I wasn't expecting too much, but the film does fail on several parts. First of all, it's more stylized then Devil's Experiment. It looks more like an actual film. Also, there is a story. Flowers of Flesh and Blood lets the viewer know that this story is about a samurai (!) in modern day Japan who kidnaps a girl and tortures her mercilessly. There's also a very distracting soundtrack that is a tad bit ridiculous which I won't get into, but it totally ruins the ending.
In the end, neither film is really anything to write home about. Devil's Experiment is interesting and seemingly authentic (although not entertaining) and Flowers of Flesh and Blood is just another movie that has fantastic special effects (although not entertaining. The Guinea Pig series has a solid reputation, I just wish the films were much better.
Disturbing Elements: ***1/2
Film Overall: **1/2
Flowers of Flesh and Blood
Disturbing Elements: **
Film Overall: **