posted 00/00/2009

Directed by:
Noboru Tanaka

Eri Kanuma ... Nami Tsuchiya
Takeo Chii ... Tetsuro Muraki
Mimi Sawaki ... Namiko
Miyako Yamaguchi ... Ran

Country: Japan
Runtime: 98 min
Original title: Tenshi no harawata: Nami

Rape, rape, rape, rape, rape, rape, rape, rape. There are EIGHT rape scenes in this film and the main character masturbates twice in the shower, not to mention getting raped at the end of the film herself. I started this review like this to illustrate a point. Even rape scenes can get repetitious. Imagine a rape filled world without hope of psychological rehabilitation and you will begin to get the gist of this movie. Angel Guts is a collection of nine pink films. A pink film is a particular type of Japanese softcore porn film that ran theatrically and was famous between the 1960’s and the 80’s. A few of these films (like Angel Guts) also exhibited a strong degree of violence. The Angel Guts series ran from 1978-1994.

Nami is a reporter for "The Woman" magazine doing a piece on rape and its consequences. She has tracked down a couple of women who have related to her some tragic shit and sometimes reluctantly. On one occasion Nami and some photographers run after and hassle a poor woman on her way home. During her field research she meets Muraki, a reporter for a porn magazine. Do porn magazines really need articles? Muraki has a secret past and inadvertently gets caught up in Nami’s work and life.

I will now try to describe the smorgasbord of rape this film offers. It is kind of difficult because there are several flashbacks (I believe one or two of the girls that got raped in the past are also being raped today) in the movie and I have stupidly confused some of the characters. The first is a women raped inside a dirty house during a rainstorm. The attacker had chased her inside and they were both wet. (Possible pun) Victim Y was a 20 year old girl viciously raped and beaten on a landfill by two men. There’ s a scene at an adult theatre where Nami visits where there is a mock rape performance. A girl is tied up, hoisted, and then lowered onto a guy’s strap-on with a huge wooden penis. The guy waits below on his back as two other ropes spread her legs as she descends. These kinds of shows are creepy and wonderful at the same time. There’s also a schoolgirl raped by three classmates and possibly one was her teacher. These things always seem to happen to pretty girls late at night at empty schools in Japan. Then we have Yu. I think Yu is a prostitute. In one scene her pimp boyfriend bursts into her apartment, smacks her around a bit and rapes her as Nami watches secretly from another room. He never finds out she had company over. A good deal into the movie Nami finds out that Muraki’s wife was raped also. The big secret is twice as painful for him to reveal because she let the man into her home and rape her repeatedly over several nights while Muraki did overtime at work. She then took off with the dude and left a note for Muraki telling him that he was an impotent loser. The last victim Nami interview is a nurse. Oddly enough she calmly walks Nami through the ordeal that happened inside the same hospital where she has now returned to work. Her rapist was a lunatic doctor who drugged her, opened her up a bit to see her guts then had intercourse with her once she awoke inside a bath of formalin where dead bodies were soaked. Nami has no idea that this nurse had just been recently released from the psych-ward and is one twisted bitch. She doesn’t agree with Nami’s work motives and when they are down in the basement where they keep the dead bodies, shows it by choking Nami till she passes out. She then strips off the nosy reporters panties and rapes her with a red dildo. I think Nami has now gathered enough material for her article, don’t you think?

Muraki had met Nami during the sex theatre show and Nami had talked to him several times afterwards. Their relationship progressed in passionate sparks and some obstacles but in the end they seem to be friends. Muraki interrupts the nurse raping Nami and gathers up the emotionally devastated, suicidal woman. He takes her home, bathes her, feeds her, and (rapes her, just kidding) promises things will be okay. Then for some fucked up reason, when Nami hands in her article at work they all shun her, rip off her clothes and throw papers at her. Then for another mindfuck moment she pulls off her panties and (no joke) thrusts her genitals at her co-workers like a cheap striper. I have asked myself if this was a hallucination or her imagination but the movie doesn’t really explain. Then, when they are alone in an empty office, Nami sticks Muraki in the stomach with a sharp pencil as he hugs her and apparently dies.

I was bewildered by the rapes and baffled by the ending. What else can I say? The characters were very nicely developed though. The movie itself was good but didn’t seem to satisfy. It was somewhat predictable Nami would be raped at the end. I think they focused on too many rapes, not taking time to analyze any of them fully. If the movie would have tied things up a bit more nicely at the end it might have gotten another coffin.

- Jorge Antonio Lopez


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