Are you ready for fucked up? Because I’m bringing you a fucked up movie this week. Did you ask for one? Probably not, but this is my website and depending on your tastes I’m here to give you obscure digestive content! I’ve wanted to review this movie for a long time and I’m glad that I have the opportunity to do so. Today I am going over Marcus Koch’s American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock (2015), written by Stephen Biro. Let’s get to the review.
The Guinea Pig movies were a series of six extreme Japanese horror movies created by Hideshi Hino in 1985. These films have become cult classics due to the graphic and realistic violence that some believed to be real. In 2014 Unearth Films released the first of four American tributes to the Japanese classics titled American Guinea Pig, with American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore (2014) kicking off the new productions. Each American Guinea Pig film is a story of its own, American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock is not a sequel, it is its own chilling tale.
In American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock a man (Dan Ellis) is held captive, beaten, bruised and tortured in a mysterious location by a deranged doctor (Andy Winton) to extract chemicals from his bloodstream. During his time held captive the man develops a relationship with the woman also held captive in the room next to him (Lillian McKinney). In this lair you can’t hear anyone scream, you can only hear the mutilation.
Bloodshock is shot in black and white for the majority of the film which in my opinion amplifies the grotesque gore because it forces you to use your imagination. If Bloodshock were in color I think some of the scenes would be too disturbing due to the special effects of Marcus Koch, and I would imagine that most people wouldn’t be able to get through it. The black and white also reflects the boredom of the characters sitting in isolation for days which was another excellent touch. There is torture, agonizing pain, mental decline, physical mutilation and human suffering. Lots of incisions in this movie; as well as surgical procedures. Pouring rubbing alcohol on an open wound? Go for it. I’m sure someone asked in the writing room, “Now how sick can we get with this movie?”
The close ups of the torment and the creepy B-roll shots of the setting in the medical procedure room along with the ominous music and lack of dialogue (everyone is delivering with their eyes and actions) all in black and white gave me flashbacks to David Lynch’s Eraserhead (1977), in a way what you’re watching is surreal. Could this happen in real life? Yes. But for the sake of this movie the atmosphere sort of feels like a surreal diary of two people, because for the majority of the movie there’s no explanation for why these two people are being held prisoner and tortured.
Bloodshock is my favorite of the American Guinea Pig series and I’ll tell you why. The techniques used to create fear and make you feel uncomfortable are amazing, I love the black and white cinematography, it’s more effective. There is a transition with a black screen displayed for roughly a minute to confine you and drive you mad as the characters. The special effects are magnificent as well. I was crazy about how sickening some of the close up shots were and because I’m a romantic, I just couldn’t resist a story where two people come together. Even though my mind was so shattered after the ending, I thought that it was amazing because it elevated the macabre solidifying American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock as true extreme horror.
The climax and the epilogue are what got me because the film boiled the pressure of this pot so high that when it exploded I could not believe what I was seeing. It was both gross and a carnal release, extremely bloody but also enjoyable in a romantic Nekromantik (Jörg Buttgereit, 1987) kind of way. The epilogue really seals the deal because the answers to everything leave you so shocked that you go back and question your own moral ethics.
So thank you for coming to my Ted Talk, and I leave you with this piece of wisdom: Everyone in American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock is sick, don’t trust anyone. But still, you know, watch the movie if you really think you’re ready for it!