View Full Version : Asian Double-bill of the Month: Devil's Experiment and Android of Notre Dame

DVD Connoisseur
06-30-2002, 10:20 PM
Before slipping Unearthed Film's new release into my player, I must admit I had a few reservations. Having heard about the Guinea Pig movies many years ago, I had been warned that they were "strong stuff" and best viewed on fast-forward due to the over-the-top graphic violence (or pornographic gore, as I believe Chas Balun referred to it in one of his articles). As my finger paused on the "Play" button, I had to wonder, "Would the films be just too much to view or another case of over-hyped horror product?"

The first Guinea Pig production was Devil's Experiment (1985), otherwise known as Unabridged Agony. This 1986 straight-to-video release in Japan is a deliberately low budget production, resembling a snuff movie with just a touch of Japanese artistic content to make the viewing experience more bearable. Interestingly, the original Japanese video release had no credits and so bore more resemblence to an under the counter, real snuff flick! My own feelings are that this original version, presented on a VHS tape, would have really appeared seedier and more, ahem, authentic.

The "plot" as such is that a gang of men systematically abuse and torture a young woman, climaxing in her final demise. Their various methods of pain affliction involve the use of white noise, constant rotation, forced to drink alcohol, being burnt, cut, etc. One of the most bizarre moments of the ordeal is when the unconscious victim is being pelted with animal guts. Although it could be argued that there isn't really a storyline as such, the film does succeed in a slightly sordid, voyeuristic and uncomfortable manner in making the viewer an unwilling viewer of the unfolding events.

The film definitely isn't easy going but the episodic nature of the production allows you to draw breath before being plunged into the next atrocity. In terms of raw energy, this production does pack a punch.

Quality wise, you ain't going to find a better DVD release of Devil's Experiment. The release uses the original source material and is presented with its original Japanese soundtrack and removable yellow subtitles.

In comparison with Devil's Experiment, Android of Notre Dame (1988) is a different kettle of fish altogether. This sci-fi/horror production is the bizarre tale of a mad, vertically challenged scientist and his dying sister. This film reminded me of what might happen if a bunch of horror fans stumbled across a disused Doctor Who studio...the production was a combination of cheap sets, colourful lighting and gallons of very bright and otherworldly gore...just what the doctor ordered!

As the second feature, this certainly allows the viewer to unwind and is entertaining enough...an easy way to spend 42 minutes.

Going back to the disc itself, the menu screen allows the viewer to select movies or skip to various chapters (the puns used on the chapter selection will have most viewers wincing!). The use of the sinister soundtrack on the menu is effective and a pleasing touch.

One slight criticism of the DVD is that it did not come complete with a brochure or insert. Given the excellent information pages contained within Unearthed Film's site, it would have been great to see that included. Still, perhaps this could accompany one of the company's future releases.

As a purchase, this DVD is relatively good value for money. Although not as horrifying as I had imagined, it's definitely worth adding to any self-respecting gore hound's collection for its infamy alone...I never imagined I'd own this controversial title on DVD. Quality wise, Unearthed Films have delievered the goods and I look forward to seeing their future Guinea Pig releases, not forgetting Junk and Evil Dead Trap 2!

DVD Connoisseur
07-28-2002, 10:10 PM
Moving back to the top as I'm hoping for at least 1 comment before the end of the month....:p

Anybody purchased this DVD recently?

07-29-2002, 07:12 AM
another great review, thanks dude :D I really enjoy your reviews. I doubt I'll be getting this title tho, I'm not much into those kind of films, unless the over-the-top violence is made to be more entertaining than disturbing, like ricky-oh or dead alive. still, I've always been curious about this title, and its nice to get some reviews.

and I'm definately looking forawrd to picking up Junk, and the evil dead trap movies (If I can ever find them)

take care

07-29-2002, 06:53 PM
i got this dvd when it first came out

now i dont like 99% of Asian horror, so i hated The Android of Notre Dame. i think its complete garbge, and ive tried to get into it more then once, i think its just so lame.

also when i first saw this, i didnt like Devils Experiment much, but I did appreciate its sheer brutality.

anyways as time went on, i thought about Devils Experiment alot, and ive watched it a few times since ive had the disc and its really grown on me. i like it alot. and i will keep the disc because of it.

i dunno why they decided to pair these 2 together tho. wouldnt it have made more sense to go in order? Devils Experiment with Flowers of Flesh and Blood? (those are the 2 i really wanted in the first place, thats why i ask!)

DVD Connoisseur
07-30-2002, 12:54 AM
Cheers, aoiookami!:)

DefJeff, I think Unearthed Films probably packaged the Devil's Experiment separately from Flowers of Flesh and Blood for commercial reasons.

a) A double bill of Devil's Experiment and Flowers would probably be unbearably grim, and

b) Many people are after just these infamous titles so by packaging them on separate DVDs, they make 2 sales as opposed to 1. Crafty!:D

I don't know the timescale for Unearthed's future releases. Has anybody heard when the next installment is due?

07-30-2002, 07:02 AM
Originally posted by DVD Connoisseur
b) Many people are after just these infamous titles so by packaging them on separate DVDs, they make 2 sales as opposed to 1. Crafty!:D

yea thast what i was thinkin too :) too bad, cuz i really do only want these 2 titles

release dates are as follows (Release dates are tentative. Depending on sales the Guinea Pig Series has a great chance of coming out sooner then expected).

Guinea Pig Double Feature 2 (he never dies/mermaid in a manhole)- 8/23/02

Guinea Pig Double Feature 3 (flowers of flesh and blood/making of flowers of flesh and blood)- 10/23/02

Guinea Pig Double Feature 4 (devil woman doctor/making of devil woman doctor)- 12/23/02

i found this info on www.guineapigfilms.com