Sunday, 9 September 2012

Guinea Pig 5: Android Of Notre Dame (Ginī Piggu 5: Nōtorudamu no Andoroido)

Hi there! Sorry I've been away for about a month but now I'll get back on track. "Android Of Notre Dame" is the 5th film in the "Guinea Pig" series. It was made in 1989 and was directed by Kazuhito Kuramoto.

The series started out with no real purpose but to sicken with it's graphic violence and it was quite successful at doing so. Then the series went into gross out comedy territory and then fantastical fairy tale horror. This 5th installment goes into the realms of violent science fiction.

Like the last two films, this title also has a bizarre story. A midget scientist called Karazawa has a sister who is dying. He is experimenting on animals to see if it is possible to revive her when she inevitably dies The experimentation with animals is unsuccessful and he feels that to get the proper results, he must use a fresh cadaver.

Out of the blue, he receives a phone call from a man called Kato (Tomorowo Taguchi of "Tetsuo I & II" amongst other great films), who offers him the body of a 21 year old female for the bargain price of ten million yen.

Karazawa accepts the offer and before he knows it, he has the body in his laboratory. He is a bit unhappy at the freshness of the corpse (5 days old), but he proceeds with his experiments. They don't go to plan and he basically fries the cadaver with electricity! Frustrated he stabs away at the body. He comes to the conclusion that he needs something fresher.

Later on, Kato arrives unexpectedly at Karazawa's door. He says he has the final answer to successfully finish the experiments. Also he blackmails Karazawa by saying if he doesn't accept his offer, he will put a virus into his computer. Kato asks to see the secret laboratory, and when Karazawa leads him to it, he chops off Kato's legs with a random buzz saw blade he throws at him, then he kills him.

Kato is now the latest guinea pig for Karazawa's experiments, though he turns out looking like Pinhead's long lost cousin. He is basically a reanimated severed head with a robotic arm from this point on. Kato is then programmed to call his partner. She comes over to the laboratory and is then killed by Kato and his robot hand. Karazawa then takes the woman's heart and gives it to his dead sister, who then says, "Why did you bring me back to life? Finally I found peace." Then dies again. Bizarre.

As with the rest of the films in the series this film is quite short, running at just over 50mins. The film is played quite seriously, but the acting is terrible. The over the top violence which is the main trait of the series, is almost non existent in this film. Also whatever special effects are in the film are done quite badly compared to  the other films. This is definitely when the series went into decline (some would say the series was in decline from the beginning), and the wooden acting and sub par special effects ruin the film. Though the film has an interesting premise and some pretty cool imagery it is largely forgettable. The only reason it is probably remembered is because the "Guinea Pig" name has been tacked on. Definitely a curiosity though! I couldn't find the trailer, so I've posted the whole film below.

Also if you're wondering where Notre Dame comes into all of this, Karazawa mentions at some point in the film that Quasimodo was an android!?

Thanks for reading. The next post will be on the final film of the series, "Devil Woman Doctor".


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