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Guinea Pig IV: Mermaid in a Manhole
Universally recognized as the best of the series, "Mermaid in a Manhole" is in effect an interesting urban fable. Hallucinated, absurd, shocking and romantic. An incredible mix, very successful, of elements resting on a surreal storyline and a visual appearance that does not spare the details.
It’s a movie for hard stuff stomachs, we clarify, with a very strong impact made by the devastating beauty of special effects (remember that we are always in the eighties) coupled to the poetry of the story.
Hideshi Hino returns to direct a "Guinea Pig" after shocked and frightened half the world with the episode number 2 "Flower Of Flesh And Blood". Here in "Mermaid in a Manhole", Hino change everything starting from the fact that there is a plot. Finally.
Adapted from his own manga, Hino tells the story of Shigeru Saiki, painter, widower, and in the throes of major depression. The man usually go to a sewer that was once a beautiful river. There he finds a mermaid who had already met in his youth.
The mermaid is sick is and the man brings her to his home trying to treat and retracting but the disease continues to spread. Soon the siren has the body covered with sores, and worms that soon explode giving to Shigeru new colors for the paintings. It’s the mermaid who want to be to be portrayed in her rotting decline. When the disease become uncontrollable, as a last gesture of love, Shigeru kills her.
The symbolism of this story are many. What is dream, what is reality?. Is "real" mermaid or is the vision painter’s wife, who nevere resigned itself to losing her. The end also leaves many open questions.
The only sure thing is that this movie, certainly much deeper than we see. Skillful and perceptive teacher narrative.
A great movie perfect in everything, that reminds a bit 'Cronenberg, Kafka. If you want to enter into a territory so extreme certainly you will be not disappointed.