Color, 1992, 42m.
Directed by Tamakichi Anaru

Color, 1998, 69m.
Directed by Tamakichi Anaru
Starring Kanako Ooba, Kikurin, Tamakichi Anaru
Massacre Video (DVD) (US R0 NTSC)

My Red GutsMy Red GutsIn the sleazy pit of Japanese direct-to-video roughies, there's a special place reserved for Tamakichi Anaru, an often-bootlegged purveyor of short and not-so-sweet stories of abuse and decadence with an eye for psychedelic '80s effects.

Plotless and harrowing, Women's Flesh: My Red Guts charts the descent into madness of a pigtailed housewife who, according to the synopsis, has just been abandoned by her husband. (A fair guess, though the film doesn't exactly go into deep psychological detail.) Desperate to feel something, she tends to sit on the edge of the bathtub and subject her more delicate bodily areas to a variety of a intruding objects (some shown with just enough pixilation to still give you the idea, and be kind of glad that this self-imposed censorship still existed in Japan at the time once you see fake blood spattering in a bathtub). When she isn't getting progressively masochistic, we get to see her munching on food (with an abrasive fluttering noise on the soundtrack) and licking kitchen utensils. Then the title starts to come into play, and your gag reflex will get a serious workout.

About as extreme as a single-actor film from Japan could probably go at the time, this isn't cheerful or comfortable viewing by any stretch; however, those fascinated by the deep end of the extreme cinema pool will find it fascinating how Anaru commits to his idea and runs it all the way to its logical conclusion, all accompanied by a creepy piano and synthesizer score that gives it all a weird, elegiac atmosphere. My Red Guts

Available in the U.S. for the first time in any format, My Red Guts comes to DVD from Massacre Video with a good transfer from the original video master, at least looking better than the usual fuzzy dupes we tend to see for these kinds of films. There's barely any dialogue, so the audio consisting of jarring sound effects and the score gets the job done just fine here with occasional subtitles giving you a little bit of context. Extras include the original video trailer, a queasy stills gallery, and bonus previews for Tumbling Doll of Flesh, Ostermontag, Nurse Jill, and The Undertaker.

Even nastier and more horrific is Anaru's Tumbling Doll of Flesh, better known on the collector's circuit as Psycho: The Snuff Reels. Here the director pops up in front of the camera as well for a Guinea Pig-worthy catalog of atrocities about the fate of one naive actress lured into a snuff film ring. The downward spiral is captured through a variety of cameras planted around as she's interviewed for My Red Gutsa "gonzo style" adult film with "multiple positions" moving from straight vanilla to S&M. (There's a "Psycho" label watermark in the corner for verisimilitude, too.) Of course, it isn't long before the horror begins and she's confined to a bed with bandages around most of her head, being injected and surgically altered at the whims of a sadistic production crew that rivals the one in Last House on Dead End Street.

Like its companion film, this one was never given a legitimate release in the U.S. until the DVD from Massacre Video; while the more notorious Guinea Pig series was getting tons of international ink around the same My Red Gutstime, these ones flew more under the radar and come off as quite a bit grittier and stranger since they don't function primarily as demo reels for the effects artists. The gore effects are certainly effective for what they are (lots of hands, feet, and tongue trauma here), but Anaru at least seems more concerned with pushing the viewer's comfort levels to the limits by analyzing what keeps people watching and what they hope to get out of it in the end. Whether that makes it worth the journey is up to the individual viewer, but those with strong stomachs and psyches can at least judge for themselves with a lot more ease now. Extra points for the lunatic punk and surf rock soundtrack, which isn't exactly what you'd expect to hear.

In terms of quality and extras this is about the same as the previous disc; this was shot on video and looks as good as the format will allow, with optional subtitles provided for the occasional Japanese dialogue. Extras include a gallery and trailers for My Red Guts, Suicide Dolls, Black Past, The Undertaker, and Nurse Jill, with grisly reversible cover art options as well.

Reviewed on March 15, 2017.