Naked Blood (1996)

Rating: D+

Dir: Toshiyasu Sato
Star: Misa Aika, Yumika Hayashi, Mika Kirihara, Sadao Abe

Certain films are memorable, less for the whole, than one specific sequence. This is one of them, and I’ll save you the trouble of tracking it down by describing the relevant scene: in an entirely excruciating three minutes of loving close-ups, a woman slices a chunk from her own genitals, cuts off a nipple, and gouges her left eye out, then proceeds to eat them. A paragraph break for reflection, please.

Unfortunately, this is pretty much the highlight of the film. [No, really!] The rest is surprisingly pedestrian: 17-year old kid discovers the ultimate pain killer, administers it to three unwitting female subjects, and finds an unfortunate side-effect: pain is now the most exquisite pleasure for them. One takes body-piercing to mildly new levels, another engages in the above self-cannibalism, and the third… Well, let’s just say her best friend is a cactus, though the queasy potential inherent in this relationship is never realised.

That’s a pity. The movie could do with more savage jolts; despite a 76-minute running time, you find yourself pondering questions like, how does a teenager get brain secretions for his experiments? Beside the bad pacing, there’s also some woeful continuity: a deep-fried hand heals with remarkable speed, and a slit throat vanishes without a trace ten seconds later. If Troma start with a poster and work back to the film, this is a movie built round one grandstand sequence; despite an unusual finale, it seems as if that’s where most of the talent and imagination went.