I have to admit, when the five disc set of the Angel
Guts films came through my letterbox, I was a touch concerned.
Emblazoned on the front of the box were the word "Caution,
contains strong sexual violence". Now for an asian box set
to say that on the front cover? Well, let's just say that
alarm bells were ringing very loudly.
films themselves have very little in common with each other,
apart from the fact that each involves the rape of different
young woman called Nami. The name "Angel Guts" comes
from the courage that each character shows to get them through
the horrendous ordeals that they experience. Rape is a very
prominent part of these films, and whilst the act of rape
portrayed here are very brutal and uncompromising, thankfully
they do not go into over-explicit detail. Even so, the films
are not a very comfortable watch.
the title suggests the sort of tripe pornography you can
find in your local sex shop, this could not be further from
the truth. The film is concerned with a local biker gang
who rob, rape and pillage the town. The film begins with
a rather long winded rape scene with the gang's three members.
The problem with this scene is that it does make you feel
dirty and that somehow you are participating in this horrendous
act - not good.
the initial cornea roasting scene, we are then treated to
a story of a gang imploding due to arguments and emotional
conflicts with the lives that they lead. One fight that
stands out sees one of the gang members stopping two gang
members from raping a girl called Nami. But soon after he
wants to apologise to the two members and ask for their
forgiveness. The only way they will accept his apologise
is if he rapes Nami himself, and curiously enough he agrees.
is just one example of where this film heads and in the
explosive last scenes, we see the gang break up and one
member that we follow closely starts a fight with a Yakuza
in a nightclub. Then cue the end of the film.
short, this is a nasty piece of work which is as memorable
as it is brutal.
film has a more dark feel to it (Yes that is possible!)
and to a certain extent tries to explain (or at least dig
a little deeper) into the mixture of violence and sex.
beginning of this film sees the principal man, Muraki Testuo,
watching a seedy blue film of a schoolgirl being raped.
He himself is a pornographer and he becomes obsessed with
the girl in the film. So he decides to try to find the girl
(Who is now a woman in her own right).
he finally finds the girl (And guess what? her name is Nami)
he discovers that a large number of men have recognised
her from the film and she has in turn wanted them to forget
about her and leave her in peace. The way she has achieved
this is by giving herself to whatever obsessive desired
they held within. Fortunately Muraki Testuo's intentions
are honourable as he seems more curious about Nami than
attracted by her.
when they arrange to meet the next evening, he gets delayed
by the police and as Nami was starting to warm to him, she
just leaves the rendezvous point.
a further three years till they meet again. Nami has thrown
herself in with the most depraved men, offering herself
to all takers in dark back-lot sheds. The twist at the end
was certainly strange and some people may find it upsetting
and whilst the only act of rape in this film, was the film
Muraki Testuo watched at the beginning, the acts of consensual
sex in this film are in some ways more disturbing. This
film is a testament to the long-term psychological effects
that, violent exploitation of women, can produce.
Ok. This is one for all you investigative journalists out
is one such journalist and goes around searching for rape
victims in an attempt to gain an insight into the effects
of rape and the victims feelings. Aside form the obvious
thought that this type of journalism is, in its own way,
rape (she pursues the victims and keeps pressing them until
she can get their stories), this film is a mixed bag of
messages that are easy to see and uncomfortable on the stomach.
of the first things that we notice is that the stories seem
to awaken a dark sexual desire in Nami and some of the film
is the viewer witnessing her satisfying these desires.
is until Nami finds one rape victim who has been driven
mad and during Nami's questioning she is forced to re-evaluate
her own desires by the victim. She realises that her own
fantasies bear no resemblance to the brutal horror that
is a very large slap to the face for people who may fantasise
about rape in a disconnected way and may make them re-evaluate
why they are drawn to such material in the first place.
sees Nami (she gets around a bit) stand in for her friend
on a porno shoot that specialises in degrading bondage and
(near) rape style shots. Nami is naturally frightened but
comes out of the shoot feeling no harm has been done. This
is until she appears on the front cover of the magazine
Red Porno (geddit?). This makes her the focus of
attention for a series of perverts and stalkers who get
it into their head that because she is willing to be photographed,
she is also willing to play out their sick fantasies.
particular stalker manages to track her down and whilst
she is scared of him, they soon share a bonding. But it
all ends hopelessly. This film provides plenty of titillation
for those with an interest in violent sexuality but it also
conveys a deep moral warning, but you feel no better for
A very young nurse, Nami (shock!) is attacked and raped
by two patients at the hospital she works in, she then gets
home to find her fiancÚ in bed with another woman. Meanwhile
a drunk called Muraki is having very large problems with
his personal life.
he tries to leave town, he hits Nami in his car. Thinking
that he has killed her, he carries the 'corpse' to the car.
When he realises that she is still alive, he attempts to
remove her clothes whilst he is driving. After a small chase
scene and a half rape (he can't perform) they somehow develop
a relationship. This culminates in some very long and explicit
is a very curious film and makes you realise why the box
set is called Angel Guts. The strength that Nami
shows in this film illustrates that with strength and forgiveness
good things can happen. Also I think another message is
that sex is not enough for a relationship to work. This
piece really is a "make your own mind up" film.
in all, this is one of the most thought and emotionally provoking,
ten hours I have ever spent. The subject of rape is (very
naturally) a hot potato that I believe will be in existence
forever. These films are exploitative, but to counteract that,
the messages that they give are also very strong. But one
thing that I must say is that these films never make you feel
at ease with the subject and will give you food for thought
for a long time to come.
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