Chris Gore thought he was doing something cool. In 1991, the film critic and former talking head on G4TV’s much-missed Attack of the Show, met Charlie Sheen and handed the actor a copy of the highly praised international phenomenon, Guinea Pig: Flowers of Flesh and Blood (okay, it’s neither highly praised nor a phenomenon). Here’s a small taste of the horror that washed over the tiger blood-drinking winner’s eyes.
The film is a part of a series of Guinea Pig films that were created in the mid-80s, and they contain very little narrative and are more intended to shock and nauseate the viewer (the third film in the series features a man who finds a boil-laden mermaid in the sewers and uses the blood and pus from her wounds to paint her portrait… so there’s that). Sheen watched the Flowers of Flesh and Blood film, and immediately thought he watched the real dismemberment of a real woman by a real psychotic samurai. (When you’re “banging seven-gram rocks,” a lot can seem very real.)
Sheen contacted the authorities promptly, handing over the videotaped violence, hoping that the samurai monster wouldn’t murder him in his sleep. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the story and the resolution of this horrifying chapter in Sheen’s life.
The FBI confiscated Sheen’s tape and proceeded to investigate all involved, including Charles Balun, an early distributor of the film. Balun fiercely asserted that the film was a hoax and was merely a series of startling special effects. Propitiously, the Japanese took this time to release ”Guinea Pig Two: The Making of Guinea Pig One,” revealing the technical sleight of hand in all its bone-cracking glory. After viewing this film, the FBI backed off and dropped the investigation.
Charlie “Chas” Balun was a film critic and writer for Fangoria, who passed away in 2009 with his name cleared of any association with a fake murder perpetrated in a fictitious film, but that’s not where this story ends. In the 80s, a Japanese man by the name of Tsutomu Miyazaki committed a rash of murders in brutal fashion. When he was caught in 1989, police discovered a video library of over 5,000 tapes. One of the tapes? A film from the Guinea Pig series (specifically the sixth tape, Devil Woman Doctor). He was executed in 2008.
And now you can say you’ve played six degrees of a serial killer with Charlie Sheen.