‘Niku Daruma’ directly translated as ‘Meat Doll’, marketed as ‘The Tumbling Doll of Flesh’ is the ultimate snuff video experience. Directed by Japanese director under the name Tamakichi Anaru, Anaru translates as ‘anal’ so if it his real name then he must have had a very complicated upbringing, but then maybe that’s why he makes movies like ‘Niku Daruma’. Anaru is not only an extreme movie director but also specialises in fetish AV (hence the name ‘anal’) such as ‘Mother and Daughter: Spit-Swapping Seduction’. So with a man with a camera that mixes both professions, what do you get? The answer is ‘Niku Daruma’, ‘The Tumbling Doll of Flesh’. With both these genres in mind what would be the correct term to use for such a beast of a film? Gore? Porn? Gorn? Or what the clueless mainstream masses like to call this kind of thing to as ‘Torture-Porn’, well if you like the term then this film is definitely that, without a doubt this is the king of ‘Torture-Porn’. Staring an actual AV star Kana and featuring real hardcore sex I’m struggle to think if this film is made for the blood hungry gore hounds or the perverted individuals hunting for the most cum inducing filth they can find. Also staring is Anaru playing the role of the director in the movie.
Released in 1998 on VHS by a company called ‘Psycho’ is the reason if you hunt this down you may find it under the bootleg title ‘Psycho: The Snuff Reels’. I am reviewing the VHS rip that you can find floating around on independent online shops, until a company picks up the rights to this and re-releases ‘Niku Daruma’ it will be kept under this title and in Japanese language only. No English subtitles have ever been made for this so unless you speak Japanese you are left in the dark with the dialogue.
The movie starts off as we see the director watching Mondo films; the TV shows a dead body on the floor with his brains across pavement. The director sits and watches while casually eating a pack of crisps, already we know what kind of person he is.
Soon after this we cut to a hand held camera as we ascend some outside stairs leading to the front of the house, cut into this footage are shots of the bloody aftermath of what’s to come. After Kana has been picked up by the film crew she is taken back to the set and interviewed by the director, meets her fellow cast members and reviews the script. At this point everything is fine, jokes are made and smiles are shared, they even take a brief trip to the shop to pick up some cookies. After this we are taking back to the house and we once again see the stairs that were laced in with shots later to come. Now we witness the first scene in the porn film they are shooting, as the viewer we are watching this from behind the camera so we can see all the production crew as well as the couple in bed. I wont describe what happens as I’m sure you can guess what is involved here, but like all Japanese porn this is optically censored so all the genitals are blurred out. After the man makes his triumphant finish (on her chest) it’s time for lunch. Animal lovers beware; at this point we see a crawfish meet its demise at knifepoint before being thoroughly enjoyed by the cast and crew. After lunch the crew are setting up for the next scene except this time a different approach is used. Kana is being tied up in with rope for a bondage shoot, which suits her just fine. After this we find out why the director is called ‘Anal’ and she doesn’t like it one bit! Right about when he’s about to pump her butt full of water with a giant syringe to perform an enema is when Kana thinks it’s time to leave. Unfortunately for her the director has other plans in mind, as she is putting her shoes on, she receives a painful blow to the head directly from the baseball bat the director is holding. Knocked unconscious she is dragged back to the shooting area and tied to the bed, but not before they so kindly place her bra on top of her head, just to show they do have a sense of humour. The final half an hour consists of various body parts being hacked off by a machete and the male porn star doing what he does best, they are making a porno after all! I wont tell you all the gruesome things that take place but I will tell you they are extremely realistic, very hard going and a disembowelled stomach is no place to put your penis, Porn star or not!
In your average horror or gore flick it’s only normal for the odd breast to come on screen from time to time and it sells, everyone loves the naked chick before she dies, but ‘Niku Daruma’ takes it too far! Yes there is a big difference between the ‘shower scene’ and the hardcore sex that’s shown here and what should be sexy is plain exploitive and dirty. While you might be thinking “Sex and gore, what’s not to love?”. While Kana is an actual porn star she is surely not sexy, don’t get me wrong I’m all for Japanese girls but Kana not only has a smile that could break a mirror but she is shown in the most disgusting way. Maybe the reason for casting Kana was because no other person would allow themselves to be degraded this much on screen? Or maybe Anaru wanted to keep ‘Niku Daruma’ ugly and for that, Kana definitely suits the part. My main problem with this film was the flashbacks at the beginning, not only did it act somewhat as a spoiler to the film but if this were to be shown by an unsuspecting viewer then for a while they would think “OK, we’re watching a porno”, as the film progresses not only would it catch the viewer completely off guard but would also seem a lot more real. Unfortunately, even before the sucking and fucking, we already know what the outcome is.
For a VHS rip the picture quality is surprisingly good, but if this were an official DVD release then I’d expect better quality. Hopefully a company will pick this up and release it with a cleaner picture, although it’s not necessary to enjoy it (if ‘enjoy’ is the right word). Considering the first half of this film is two people having real sex and the second half Kana is drugged unconscious so ‘acting’ is hard to judge for this. If I were to judge on how realistic and convincing then I’m convinced! But if you’re looking for acting quality then you’re not going to find it here. There were just some slight imperfections with some of the gore and prosthetics but only slightly, it doesn’t take away any of the realism and it's still without a doubt the most realistic snuff video experience ever put on film. Forget ‘Guinea Pig’ or ‘Mu Zan-E’, they fail when compared to ‘Niku Daruma’.
Stay around after the credits to see a trailer for Tamakichi Anaru’s ‘Women’s Flesh: My Red Guts’.