Based on the horrific VHS cover below (provided by Jayson Kennedy of the brilliant Basement of Ghoulish Decadence), you’d expect – or at least I’d expect – Guzoo: The Thing Forsaken by God – Part I (pretty sure there’s no Part II) to be a nasty, nihilistic bonanza of gore and depravity. It isn’t. Well… it’s gory… at times… but it lacks the misanthropy found in most V-Cinema scuzz. Guzoo is more along the lines of the previously reviewed Biotherapy (also 1986) from the same video distributor. Only it’s not nearly as good.
GUZOO: THE THING FORSAKEN BY GOD – PART I
original title: GUZOO 神に見捨てられしもの Part I
Japan, 1986, Kazuo ‘Gaira’ Komizu
Guzoo‘s plot is, predictably, irrelevant. A group of girls – who I struggled to tell apart due to lack of personality (one girl’s face is frozen in a permanent pout for the entire length of the film) – take a relaxing and perplexing vacation at a house where a scientific researcher, Tomoko Kujô (Hidemi Maruyama), is conducting experiments on Guzoo, a big, tentacled monster that, according to the opening text, can imitate humans and other sentient beings. Only Guzoo never utilises this skill, so I’m not sure why we’re given that information.
Why do the girls choose to holiday at such an absurd location? I’m not really sure, but one of them is the daughter of another scientist, if that helps? I’m not really sure what Tomoko’s research is all about either. Guzoo doesn’t seem to offer much to the scientific community, outside of teleporting through mirrors and consuming screaming teenage girls while making farting sounds.
Anyway, the girls swim around in a pool and Tomoko smashes all their mirrors. No lead character is established. Pouting bad-ass Katsuko (Kyôko Komiyama) at first gets the bulk of the screen time, but she is soon gorily dispatched and her protagonistic role is filled by the two least remarkable girls of the quartet. All four girls are attractive, in a bland sort of way, but director Komizu surprisingly doesn’t leer over their bodies as much as you’d expect.
Guzoo‘s only real draw card is its gore. And for a film that runs for a short forty minutes, it takes far too long for the red stuff to hit the screen. It doesn’t help that the titular monster isn’t particularly impressive. Thankfully, the film’s handful of bloody scenes are admittedly pretty good with explosive geysers of blood and wild effects work. Heads roll.
Gory as these moments are, the sadism is minimal and death scenes are more concerned with exaggerated blood and guts flying about rather than the torture of the lead actresses. That said, the monster’s first victim, Yuka (Naomi Kajitani), meets a nightmarish and pornographic end as tentacles engulf her and pummel down her throat.
Guzoo is competent enough and a easy viewing. It features a musical score that’s hammy enough to induce a few grins And its ending involving some poorly synced flute-playing (which inexplicably defeats Guzoo) and a turtle is quite special.
But these small wonders aren’t quite enough to warrant a particularly excitable recommendation. Fans of Japanese V-Trash should have a decent time with Guzoo, and at only forty minutes it’s not a slog to sit through. Just don’t make my mistake and expect it to be some kind of holy grail of Japanese sleaze and guts. I should have learned by now not to judge a Japanese video tape by its cover.
Guzoo has not seen a release on DVD and I can’t imagine it ever will. It can be found on VHS in Japan, but (obviously) there’s no English subtitles so you might want to brush up on your Japanese before you view it.