AMERICAN GUINEA PIG: SACRIFICE REVIEWED
“American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice” broke my brain. That’s a good and bad thing. The bad came from being coupled with a tech issue that sidelined my work for most of the week. The good as in it made me take a look at how I’m covering things. Far too often it becomes easy to fall into a routine where you can match pace and speed to produce content at a relative quick clip. Formulas emerge and everything goes about the way it is supposed to perform. Then, you watch a guy mutilate his penis and the snark you feel towards Gotti disappears.
American Guinea Pig follows two characters that look rather American. The film was shot by Italians in Hungary because I’m sure there are certain parts of America where a film like this can put you behind bars. If you’re not familiar with a Guinea Pig film, let me explain. Having begun in the late 1980s in Japan, the VHS tapes of the six original Guinea Pig films made their way around the world. Eventually, former film critic Chris Gore showed one of the later films to Charlie Sheen. Sheen freaked out over the gore and turned the tape over to the FBI.
The FBI and Japanese police worked together in investigating the filmmakers and just found gory special effects and clever editing. Let me reiterate that last point. The precision editing in a Guinea Pig film is what gives these works their power. Unearthed Films in creating their American Guinea Pig series has employed four amazing directing talents to flex their muscle in a limited run time. While I didn’t quite pick up on Song of Solomon as an American Guinea Pig film, there is no mistaking it with Sacrifice.
Sacrifice is about a mentally disturbed man who is trying to find peace after his father’s death. He goes to a nondescript bathroom and lays out the tools that he will use to improve his being. Three white candles light the area, as our man hopes that his blood sacrifice will bring him to the attention of the goddess Ishtar. I just want to praise director Poison Rouge for her use of actress Flora Giannattasio as Ishtar. When dealing in films that balance the erotic and horror, so many creative talents overlook properly framing their leading ladies.
Even though she is covered in a ton of blood, the lovely Giannattasio is a sight to behold as the completely nude Ishtar. Mind you, this is the payoff after watching the lead character cut his penis open and tears holes into his body. While the film plays rather short, this is the point where I normally highlight the narrative. However, the narrative is the experience. A man wants to transform his body to meet Ishtar. He dies in a pool of his own bile and blood, while the lovely breasted Ishtar shows up to revel in the mayhem.
This film isn’t for the casual viewer or even more eclectic viewers. It will dare you to look at everything that you love about genre films and wonder if it makes you sick. Though, a healthy portion of the readership will just skip the dick chopping and go straight to the naked gorgeous lady at the end of the film. I know my people and it’s worth skipping to the final minutes. But, I do have a bit of kudos to give.
The staging of the final corpse and makeup FX are astonishing. After learning how the film was shot and the limited access, I am stunned by how incredible the makeup looks. But, I would expect that from a film with Sacrifice’s goals at hand. It’s a brutal experience that not many will ever undertake and those that do will hopefully get psychiatric care. Yet, this is why we watch movies. Not all fantasies are kind, but they are out of body experiences to experience reality not as we have it.
- 1 hour
- Not Rated
- Unearthed Films
RELEASE DATE: 9/11/18
The Plot Thus Far
Haunted by the death of his father and other psychological traumas, Daniel (Roberto Scorza) returns to the home where he was raised. Faced with intense emotional scars, as well as physical — which are realized by the years of self-harm depicted by the cuttings adorning his body — he enters the bathroom to begin a journey of self-exploration, self-mutilation and quite possibly, self-enlightenment. Prepared only with three white candles and some crude instruments, Daniel attempts to beckon the embrace of the Goddess Ishtar (Flora Giannattasio) to assist him on his self-illumination.