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An artist finds and rescues a mermaid in a sewer. He takes her home with him and she develops sores all over her body that begin to pustulate and bleed. He uses what oozes from her sores to paint her portrait. When he can no longer handle it anymore he breaks down and dismembers her body. Written by
Chris Mayo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Guinea Pig III: Mermaid in a Sewer (Hideshi Hino, 1988)
Mermaid in a Sewer, one of the four Guinea Pig films directed by Hino, is the only one that rivals The Flower of Flesh and Blood in notoriety and popularity. Unlike its more graphic and brutal cousin, Mermaid in a Sewer (often translated as Mermaid in a Manhole, Mermaid in the Bathtub, or any other number of similar titles) actually has a plot to it. An artist (Shigeru Saiki), obviously modeled on Hino himself (Hino's style is unmistakable), draws his inspiration from things he sees and finds in his local sewer system. One day, what he finds among the muck and stench is... a mermaid (Mari Somei). Yes, a mermaid. A very attractive one at that (and one is forced to wonder what, exactly, would motivate an actress to play a part like this...). We find out, after the two have conversed a bit and he's done a preliminary sketch, that she is wounded. He takes her home (how he gets her there without anyone noticing is beyond me) and installs her in his bathtub in order to take care of her.
You can see where this is going, I'm sure. Wound + sewer = bad, bad things.
I'd comment on the acting, dialogue, etc. if I actually understood Japanese. Sometimes watching films in foreign languages with no subtitles is good for the soul, I guess (though anyone who happens to have a script from either 2 or 3 in English who'd be willing to send a copy my way would be remembered in my will, and not with a debt). The couple who lives downstairs from the artist (Masami Hisamoto, Tsuyoshi Toshishige) pop up every now and then to give what would seem a comic turn to the film, which only adds to the disgust and horror. If you get nightmares easily, this is not a film you ever want to see. As Joaquin Phoenix said in what was one of only a handful of lines in _8mm_ that's actually worth remembering, "there are some things you can't un-see." I could never pop this tape into the cassette player again, and certain images would remain as fresh in my mind as they are right now. It's that bad. *** 1/2
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