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Charlie Sheen Thought Guinea Pig 2 Was A Snuff Film | Screen Rant

Actor Charlie Sheen helped fuel an urban legend in 1991 when he reported Guinea Pig 2 to the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the mistaken belief that he was looking at a genuine "snuff" film. The notoriously violent film, the full title of which is Guinea Pig 2: Flower of Flesh and Blood, was released in 1985, written and directed by Hideshi Hino based on his own manga comics. It was the second title in the five film Guinea Pig series released in the mid to late eighties. Despite Sheen's concerns, the film is, of course, a work of fiction.

Released by Sai Enterprises, the same company behind the death-fetish documentary Faces Of Death and its sequels, the Guinea Pig series is known for its graphic violence that often features mutilation, torture, and murder. Shot in a cinema verite style, the short (roughly 45 minutes) films were promoted upon initial release as a genuine snuff film. Not particularly concerned with story, the movies instead focused on imagery and the methodology of torture.

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Guinea Pig 2 centers on a sadistic contemporary samurai who methodically tortures, kills, and dismembers a helpless young woman in his secret lair. Guinea Pig is notorious amongst fans of Japanese Horror: allegedly, serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki claimed after his arrest to have been inspired by the film, even going so far to allude that he had been attempting to recreate specific scenes.

Sheen was given a copy of the film by film critic and writer Chris Gore in 1991. When Sheen watched the movie he was convinced that he was seeing actual footage of a horrific murder. He was so disturbed by the graphic content that he reported it to the FBI. The feds confiscated Sheen's copy of the film and launched a full inquiry into the production and distribution. It was only after investigators had spoken with those involved and viewed a behind the scenes documentary revealing the bloody special effects and visual sleight of hand the that the investigation was dropped.

Movies that depict true murders and are intended for entertainment rather than straight documentary footage had been in existence for decades before Sheen saw Guinea Pig 2. In 1976, the gore-fest Argentinian horror movie Slaughter received a re-release in the USA under the title Snuff, in an attempt to make the most of snuff film rumors and generate hype, with the result being that it went on to become a smash as a midnight movie. A further related controversy occurred in reaction to the 1980 horror Cannibal Holocaust, which landed Italian filmmaker Ruggerio Deodato with obscenity and murder charges due to the realistic footage shown in the found-footage prototype movie. It followed a team of documentary makers who went missing in the Amazon Rainforest while searching for a rumored cannibal tribe, and showed the grisly ends of several characters. Only when the actors whose deaths were depicted in the film presented themselves alive to the Italian court during the trial were the charges against the director dropped.

The urban legend of snuff films became fodder for Hollywood in 1998 with the release of Joel Schumacher's 8mm. The film featured Nicolas Cage as a private detective who infiltrates the seedy world of underground pornography to investigate the veracity of a brutal film reel discovered by a billionaire's widow. Though incontrovertibly revealed to have been a fictional film with innovate, if grotesque, special effects, Guinea Pig 2 played a key role in helping to spread rumors of snuff films, aided and abetted by the misplaced good intentions of Charlie Sheen.

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