Wednesday, August 21

More SOV Craziness from Japan: GUZOO: The Thing Forsaken by God (1986)

Upon visiting a secluded summer home, four high school girls are soon targeted by a horrific creature in the basement with a knowing housekeeper trying to keep the unspeakable heap secret and at bay using a flute. (aka: GUZOO: Servants of a Forsaken God)

Clocking in at a mere forty minutes, it's a little hard to say that much about this gore short from Japan, especially if you're like me and don't know the language. Directed by the Kazuo "Gaira" Komizu and coming off the heels of his sex n' gore riddled Entrails of a Virgin and Entrails of a Beautiful Woman, Guzoo is a comparatively sedate affair. Gone is the dizzying softcore and while there certainly is gore, the focus seems to be on the wizardry of the Rob Bottin-style effects that recall The Thing (1982) and less on the sadistic brutality toward the beast's victims (yes, despite what these images might suggest!).

This is likely due to the feature being produced by VZONE, a once popular horror magazine in Japan, who probably wished to avoid controversy while still pleasing its target gorehound audience. That doesn't mean Gaira doesn't manage to linger on the legs and bare feet of the girls at every chance or the couple attack sequences not being absolutely blood drenched. The creature itself, or the "Guzoo", appears to be a marine animal about the size of a large recliner and resembling a hermit crab without its shell made of guts and long tentacles. It also has the ability to use mirrors to ensnare and teleport its prey straight through the glass.

Unfortunately, it's still quite short in duration, so the story is minimal and fleet-of-foot even compared to the also brisk, direct-to-video effects oriented Biotherapy (1986), Cyclops (1987, review here), and Conton (1987, review here). Although it's still interesting as a weird curiosity with a fantastic cover and one to seek out if you're completing a collection of these very niche short features from Japan.

The VZONE/ROCO Ltd. VHS doesn't seem impossible to find, but is extremely scarce in its original uncut box that recalls the size MGM used for a time for VHS in North America. Box styles like that, well actually cardboard VHS cases at all, were very uncommon in Japan so most copies of Guzoo got scissored up by rental joints like the copy scanned above. I was just glad to get one in reasonable shape with little fading and a great condition cassette despite the cut up cover. Here's scans of two articles from VZONE about the film and its creation (thanks to 2S1T Club!).

1 comment:

DrunkethWizerd said...

That whole thing about the mirrors really makes me want to see this one. Oh, and the feet thing too.

-_- you dare tread upon the staircase?

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