Document type
20 March 2001
Format viewed
Japan Shock Video
The Netherlands

Android of Notre Dame

picture: Android of Notre Dame (1992)picture: Android of Notre Dame (1992)

Original title
Za Ginipiggu 2 - Notorudamu No Andoroido
Alternative title
Mutant of Notre Dame
  • Toshihiko HINO
  • Mio TAKAKI
  • Tomorowo TAGUCHI
Running time
52 mins.

picture: Android of Notre Dame (1992)

Tom Mes

One of the later entries in the notorious Guinea Pig series, Android of Notre Dame is much more tame than its reputation would have you believe. Basically a low budget, shot-on-video rehash of Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator (1985), it tells the story of a dwarf scientist who conducts experiments on dead bodies in hope of finding the cure to his sister's deadly (but unnamed) disease. Most of the film is taken up with the dwarf experimenting on the decapitated head of his corrupt corporate sponsor, which he keeps alive in a elaborate machine.

Android of Notre Dame is the fifth film in the Guinea Pig cycle. The fact that the Japanese title calls it Guinea Pig 2 has caused some confusion. In fact it was merely the second film made since the rights to the series (and the title) were acquired by straight-to-video distributors JHV. Three episodes had already been released by Orange Video House, a porn production company that had subsequently gone bust, the last of which was supposedly a 'making of' detailing the intricate make-up effects that went into making parts 1 and 2.

With Android of Notre Dame, the series consciously steered away from the ultraviolent gore of the previous episodes, only to replace it with an absurdist touch which, sad to say, borders on the ridiculous. Shoddy fx-work further serves to render the whole thing very much ineffective where horror (and indeed decent cinema) is concerned. The sole element of interest for gore fans might be the slow process of decomposition of the head of the dwarf's financier (played by the ubiquitous Tomorowo Taguchi, whose presence alone should be indication enough that this is a far cry from the hardcore underground splatter of the first two Guinea Pigs).

Those hell-bent on getting their hands on a Guinea Pig episode would do best to choose part 4, The Mermaid in the Manhole, directed by manga artist Hideshi Hino, who also directed episode two, the notorious Flower of Flesh and Blood.


Unearthed Films (USA)

picture: DVD cover of 'Android of Notre Dame'

Region 1. English subtitles.