Grotesque (Gurotesuku) (2009)

King of Japanese grotesque movie.
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Grotesque (Gurotesuku) - King of Japanese Grotesque Movie

With all the surrounding hype and it's UK banning by the BBFC, extreme horror fan's expectations have been set quite high for Kôji Shiraishi's Japanese exploitation flick Grotesque (Gurotesuku). It is a travesty that the movie was banned for trivial reasons such as being "an unrelenting and escalating scenario of humiliation, brutality and sadism" and suggestions that the dialog was insufficient to make it any more than a snuff movie. Grotesque is not an unnecessary exploitation flick, there is a story and there are reasons and passions (although somewhat twisted) behind the motivations for making a movie such as this. The movie will be compared to Guinea Pig 2: Flower of Flesh and Blood (which is definitely a pure and extreme exploitation slash snuff flick), but it should also be compared to Martyrs (although Grotesque is nowhere as good) as the terror instigator in this scenario is simply taking his own little journey into his understanding of the deepest emotions. Yes, there are graphic sexual goings on and yes, there are some quite tremendous and sickening gore scenes but without these the movie would be completely pointless, this is a horror movie which is designed to shock and perturb so why dumb it down so that the DVD would feel most at home in the erotic thriller shelf in blockbuster with all the other movies that never get rented.

The story itself is quite simple, an unloved son-of-a-whore with a genetic tendency to extrude bodily stench (and who has no sense of smell so doesn't realise he stinks) wants to understand love. Most androids facing similar situations would probably use an emotions chip and play the violin or something whereas this son-of-a-whore prefers to kidnap and terrorise young and in love couples and, being a bit of a medical whiz, he can provide quite an effective regime of torture.

The unfortunate couple in this episode of Dr. Stinky's life have only just met and one half has already fallen in love (stupid men). After a brief hammer to the head the couple find themselves in a dirty makeshift surgery, chewing a cat toy and chained to some rather funky revolving operating tables in an undisclosed location. After proving he means business by inflicting a few minor wounds, the non-contemporary doctor decides to deliver some loving to the couple. After giving Miss Young-Love the fingerbang of her life, the deranged doc has no qualms about sharing his love with the other male in this love triangle and gives a handjob worthy of a career as a happy-ending provider in a seedy massage parlour should his medical vocation fail.

Having not got his buzz from delivering hand shandy cocktails, our careerly-confused maniac decides to determine if butchery and haberdashery can be combined into a third vocation and gets busy with his chainsaw and scissors to fashion some jewellery out of fingers and nipples. After some castration practise and some nut-sack carpentry our friendly jewellery-butcher gets that love buzz he's been striving for and makes the couple comfortable as he nurses them back to health, promising to free them when they are recovered.

After a few days exploring work option four as a nurse, our psychotic job-hopper starts to feel the trouser twitches again and decides to break his promise of freedom and takes the lovers back into surgery for the ultimate gut wrenching demonstration of unconditional love. The male kidnapee doesn't have the guts to impress (as they are folded tidily on a hook behind him) but the surviving victim of the ordeal seems to reach enlightenment. In France this would be a success but in Japan this is a disappointment. The only theory left is to prove if a head can really survive for a few minutes when detached from a torso.

Grotesque does not deserve to be banned; it is a repulsive piece of horror but it also inspires an emotional attachment and provokes thought about the inner workings of a human mind subjected to a nature and nurture different from the norm. The tortures are quite disturbing due to the way that they are executed, the gore is also quite extreme in places but nothing more than that in "mainstream" horrors, and once again it is probably the execution of the gore rather than the graphic representation. Banning this movie will only drive it underground and probably make it the most downloaded horror of the year escalating it to cult status in no time at all.
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