Guinea Pig 3: He Never Dies (Senritsu! Shinanai otoko) (1986)

Or "Shudder! The Man Who Doesn't Die".
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Guinea Pig 3: He Never Dies - Or "Shudder! The Man Who Doesn't Die"

Following the controversy of the first two Guinea Pig Movies, The Devils Experiment and Flowers of Flesh and Blood, Guinea Pig 3: He Never Dies (Za ginipiggu 3: Senritsu! Shinanai otoko... which translates to Shudder! The man who doesn't die) adopts a much more light hearted approach to displaying unnecessary gore and mutilation. Whereas the first two movies depict harrowing situations that could possibly occur somewhere in the reality made up by the FBI, this instalment is much more of a flight of fantasy which attempts (although very sparsely) to explain motivations and the magic that has made this impossible situation possible.

Rather than brutal and deranged mutilation of a kidnapped woman this, movie focuses on self mutilation and the fun that can be had when you cannot die from inflicting actual bodily harm on yourself. It also takes a glance at depression caused by the menial life of a computer programmer contributing to an ungrateful society and the relief that can be achieved in life when there are no consequences from cutting off your own limbs, slitting your own throat and jamming a set-square into the side of your forehead.

The cast has grown massively from the previous instalment and we actually get to see nearly seven or eight characters with speaking roles although only three of these can be called players in the plot, oh, and there is the American narrator, Rick Steinberger, who judging by the subtitles would struggle to say verbal dyspraxia without relaying the wrong message. Rick's purpose is rather superfluous and seems to be a futile attempt at adding an element of "Twilight Zone" to pad out the story but adds no value whatsoever except for providing the Japanese with an opportunity to laugh at Americans.

The majority of the movie revolves around one person, Hideshi, who has become disillusioned with his life, work and his inability to bang any women at work and locks himself in his apartment with the objective of ending his life. After attempting to end his life with a box-cutter through the carpus and discovering that he doesn't bleed much or feel much pain he now feels more of a failure than a Kamikaze on a thirteenth mission.

Dwelling on the fact that he feels inconsequential and immortal he attempts numerous methods of suicide and eventually ends up quite enjoying himself. Now feeling relieved from the dissociative benefits of lopping off a hand, the mischievous little red fella hovering over his left shoulder encourages him to get pranky. He calls up a work colleague and asks him to come over with some gardening equipment so he can play the classic "I'm a zombie with a set-square in my forehead" joke, sort out some relationship problems by throwing intestines at his backstabbing colleague and finally engage in some male bonding with the gardening tools.

There's not much more to this movie apart from a bizarre ending verging on comedy but not quite getting there. There seems to be some sort of hidden message about the state of society in the final "cleaning" scene but that one definitely flew over my cuckoo nest. Once again this is about forty minutes long with a number of those minutes taken up by credits, a reverse-gore montage and Rick Steinberger's ramblings, but based on such a basic premise the movie does well to sustain attention for that long. The first two Guinea Pig films attempted to shock, push the boundaries of decency and demonstrate some special gore effects ahead of their time. He Never Dies lacks the "right-fisted donkey-punch from Hellboy" effect that the first two provided and because of this it fails to arouse much emotion. The effects are good for a 1986 movie and the attempt to introduce some meaning to the gore is vaguely valiant but over all it just provides a little gory entertainment. Smattered with some inappropriately jolly music sounding like it was composed on a Commodore 64 and some hateful characters that don't die either, Guinea Pig 3 attempts to deliver but doesn't quite have the impact of its predecessors.
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Categories: Asian Horror Movies

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