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American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice - Unearthed Films Print E-mail
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Written by Chris Mayo   
Saturday, 06 May 2017
Severed Cinema review of American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice from Unearthed Films

AKA: Sacrifice

Directed by: Poison Rouge
Written by: Samuel Marolla
Produced by: Domiziano Cristopharo, Matteo Cassiano
Cinematography by: Domiziano Cristopharo
Editing by: Dimitar Stoev
Special Effects by: Athanasius Pernath
Music by: Alexander Cimini
Cast: Roberto Scorza, Flora Giannattasio
Year: 2017
Color: Color
Language: English
Country: Italy, Hungary
Runtime: 1h

Distributor: Unearthed Films

Last night at the 12th Annual Texas Frightmare Weekend there was a special secret midnight screening from Unearthed Films’ President Stephen Biro. Many believed the screening would be Biro’s sophomore directorial triumph, American Guinea Pig: The Song of Solomon, due to the recent trailer unearthing and subsequent IndieGoGo pre-order and perc campaign, however, that was not the case. The cat has been let out of the bag dear readers. The film showcased at the witching hour was not The Song of Solomon but an unveiling of the fourth entry into Biro’s American Guinea Pig series. That film is American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice.

Directed by newcomer Poison Rouge, a model, performer and actress in Domiziano Cristopharo’s House of Flesh Mannequins, Hyde's Secret Nightmare and most recently Phantasmagoria, she demonstrates flawlessly a bourgeoning new career as a director to watch for.

American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice was inspired by Hideshi Hino’s 1985 Guinea Pig entry Flower of Flesh and Blood and marks an exciting new bedfellow to the American Guinea Pig series. As a gore film at heart, Sacrifice does touch on varied topics such as mental illness, hypersexuality, masochism and even modern day narcissism.

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. Beginning with a blade, Daniel digs into the palm of his hand, as deep crimson flows into the bathtub. Lapping up the blood from his fresh gash he sexually caresses the wound with his tongue (ala cunnilingus), thus commencing his voyage.

The Goddess Ishtar -- the Mesopotamian goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, and political power -- has been featured in prior cinema. Most notably to horror fans and gorehounds abound would be the late Herschell Gordon Lewis’s 1963 Blood Feast, or more recently, Marcel Walz’s remake of the same name. Rest assured though that Rouge’s use of the Goddess Ishtar in the film lends more of a serious tone to the story, rather than the more schlocky portrayal in Blood Feast.

 


American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice uses anguish and deep emotional torment to explore the idea that our character Daniel, whom is suffering, believes he might reach spiritual enlightenment through various extreme sadistic acts of self-mutilation. The procedure of trepanning is one of the foremost acts Daniel inflicts on himself, which is an ancient surgical procedure where a hole is burred into the human skull, exposing the outer layer of the brain to treat health problems. In ancient times it was performed on a person behaving abnormally to release evil spirits. In Daniel’s cringe worthy trepanation, he begins with a box cutter and slits open his forehead. When not satisfied with this he grabs a stubby flathead screwdriver and digs into his forehead’s new fleshy opening to further expose his dura mater. Daniel doesn’t stop there. His next implement of choice is a power drill.

 

Slowly and methodically, Daniel inflicts self-harm all over his body. Blood flows. Skin opens. In one sequence we get up-close and personal with a grisly toenail chiselling, so gross and painful it makes Daniel grimace so hard he takes a chomp out of his own arm. With each subsequent mutilation, Daniel zip-ties and duct tapes the wounds so he can continue his journey.

 

No self-respecting gore film in this day and age would be complete without some cock torture. That is also herein, and there’s plenty of it. There are several scenes which would be sure to make even super-masochist Bob Flanagan squirm and cross his legs, had he still been alive to witness this. I can only imagine that at the Texas Frightmare Weekend premiere of the film there were more than a few grimaces during these particular scenes.

 

 

Watching American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice, one can’t help but feel like a voyeur watching someone in the intimacy of their own bathroom methodically mutilating themselves. In this modern age of social media where everyone’s actions are seen in real time, and everyone wanting their life in the limelight, even Daniel is no exception. In one climatically appropriate sequence he takes a selfie of his new inflicted would proclaiming to himself "I'll post it on Facebook so it'll drive everyone crazy." He continues, "What a story, such a sick story. I bet I'll get 18 million likes in one hour." Pessimistically, this perfectly exemplifies the social media age we are currently living in, where vanity prevails. Anyone can post such content from self-mutilation to even live streamed murders and torture with the push of a button. Even in Daniel’s throes of melancholy, vanity above all things reigns supreme!

 

As aforementioned, while American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice is topical, in essence it remains a gore film, and a mighty one at that. The gruesome FX work by Athanasius Pernath is up there with the best in the business, with the likes of Marcus Koch, Jerami Cruise and Brian Paulin. The exquisite cinematography by Domiziano Cristopharo just enhances the gruesome delights. The film is absolutely stunning. Crimson reds of blood splash the screen observed from inside the serene blue hues of a desolate bathroom -- Daniel’s torture chamber.

Not wanting to reveal all the film’s gory glory, just feel comfort knowing that Stephen Biro knows how to pick ‘em! This entry into the American Guinea Pig mythos is both wholly appropriate and saluted. First time director Poison Rouge is kicking ass and taking names and American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice should now be a model for future gore filmmakers of how things are done. American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice delivers the death and dismemberment.

Next up The Song of Solomon

 

 

 

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 May 2017 )
 
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