Halloween Endurance Test: Entrails of a Virgin (1986)

Amazing. Simply amazing. Entrails of a Virgin, much like Surf Nazis Must Die!, is a film that must be seen to be believed. Achieving perfect clarity of vision so that everything you think it’s about is right up there on the screen. That and nothing more. No wasted parts, no extraneous subplots. Just what you find in the title, and nothing else.

(It should be noted, however, that we’re talking about the title given by Kazuo “Gaira” Komizu, Entrails of a Virgin, and not the (slightly) more infamous one used by Cannibal Corpse, “Entrails Ripped from a Virgin’s Cunt.” When you read Cannibal Corpse’s take, you come in expecting a film that’s a bit more brutal than it actually is.)

You have to love this film for being just what it is, with a plot that’d easily be the most self-referential until Wes Craven’s New Nightmare hit the scene. A film intent on glorifying/airing filmdom’s own nepotistic practices; director Gaira then goes farther by throwing himself into the mix!

A soft-core porn director shooting a film about soft-core porn directors and their tendencies? “Outsider cinema” at its best as Gaira seems intent on pissing off all possible audiences. Entrails of a Virgin is way too tame for porno fans, and way too pornographic for gorehounds.

This is not to say there isn’t a lot of pure explicitness, as this film is still easily 83% soft-core porn. Very explicit soft-core porn, as you’re likely to be made to feel uneasy from all the gratuitous shots of dripping semen over any unseemly blood. That said, the film does, however, follows the typical Japanese “pink film” convention of covering any explicit action/genitalia with props and/or body parts.

As misleading is the title itself, as Rei (Saeko Kizuki), who serves as the titular “virgin,” isn’t technically a virgin. She sleeps with Asaoka (Daiki Kato), the photographer, prior to the demon finding her. And while it can be argued that she does nothing unusual to further her modeling career (I’m assuming all countries have their own version of the “casting couch”), I also don’t believe anyone would condone her behavior, or mistake it for “virginal.”

The film follows a group of models and photographers to a photo shoot out in the woods. Three girls: Rei, Kazuyo (Naomi Hagio), Kei (Megumi Kawashima), and two guys: Itomura (Osamu Tsuruoka), and Asaoka. (Okay, there’s also the photographer’s assistant, but he gets offed so quick we didn’t include him.)

Imagine a more amorous Evil Dead; one where Ash is more concerned with hooking up than proposing to his girlfriend. Obviously those numbers don’t pair up very well, so Kazuyo gets piledriven into unconsciousness shortly after the group makes camp.

To be fair, director Gaira makes it abundantly clear in the DVD extras that this film was always supposed to be a bloodier Emmanuelle, as opposed to a than a more gruesomely explicit Friday the 13th. In an interview given to Asian Cult Cinema, and graciously supplied by Synapse Films, Gaira admits that Entrails of a Virgin’s genesis stems from his own boredom with directing “real” soft-core porn.

Looking to spice up the formula, Gaira decided to add some supernatural/horror elements into the mix. Thus we get a mud-encrusted forest spirit/demon who rapes Kei; turning her into some sort of undead nymph. She makes short work of the party, before falling victim to the creature herself. No love even amongst the supernatural, Kei suffers the titular punishment of having her entrails ripped out of her; even though she’s not the virgin in the group.

Confused yet? You wouldn’t be alone. When Rei, the film’s actual “virgin,” does escape, it’s not for long, as she’s eventually captured and raped also. An act through which we finally learn the demon’s story. He’s an outcast from society due to his um… size. No girl will love him, and society abhors him. So he covers himself in mud and lives in the woods where he rapes whoever comes along.

Rei ultimately ending up as she started, still entirely subservient to men, and carrying the demon’s child. Stepping the stage for the obligatory sequel…


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