4.0 out of 5 stars Big mouth strikes again
The slit-mouthed woman, called in Japanese the “kuchisake onna”, is a favorite monster of modern Japan. Possibly dating back to the Heian period, the legend always revolves around a beautiful and vain woman who has her face cut, often by a jealous husband. Modern versions of the legend sometimes have her face ruined by inept plastic surgery. The now disfigured beauty takes out her wrath on men by covering her face and asking them if she is beautiful. There isn’t a right answer, and the man is usually killed.
The legend has played in many films over the years, most recently in the 2007 flick Carved. This version, “The Slit-mouthed Woman” (original title “Kanno byoto: nureta akai kuchibiru” or “Hospital of the Senses, Wet Red Lips”) is the first “pink” version that I have seen, and actually is a pretty decent flick, working both as a horror film and as a sex film.
The film tells the story of an abandoned hospital with a room rumored to be haunted by the kuchisake onna. Kids dare each other to enter the room and have sex there, with some deadly results. Investigating the story is intrepid reporter Hitomi, who finds the origin of the legend and in turn soon discovers that the legend has found her as well.
Being a pink film, it clocks in at a running time of only 63 minutes, but packs quite a bit in. All of the actresses, including cutie Aoyama Minami (Cat Girl Kiki) manage to get their kits off and do their thing, although the level of nudity is somewhat tame for a pink film. Strictly tops and no bottoms. Films in the erotic/grotesque genre tend to emphasize one over the other, and the director clearly went for the horror element here. The effects are good, and I even liked this version of the kuchisake onna better than in “Carved”.
The DVD for “The Slit-mouthed Woman” is something of a mystery. Normally, like in The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai , the bonus features are related to the pink genre and add a little more punch to the short running time. In this case, however, an entirely unrelated short British film called “Birds of Prey” is included, along with a photo gallery of shots from the photo book Blood & Dishonour: The Dark, Bloody and Perversely Erotic World of the Satanic Sluts…Satan’s True Sirens. Neither of these are bad, but their inclusion is a bit of a non sequitur. It seems like the DVD producer had some extra stuff lying around and just decided to pile it on this release as filler.