Cyberpunk Review » Guinea Pig: Android of Notre Dame

February 20, 2006

Guinea Pig: Android of Notre Dame

Year: 1988

Directed by: Kazuhito Kuramoto

Written by: Kazuhito Kuramoto

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Medium

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Medium

Key Cast Members:

  • Dwarf Scientist: Toshihiko Hino
  • Scientist’s dying sister: Mio Takaki
  • Rating: 4 out of 10



    Overview: Japanese Cyberpunk films are always looking to extend the boundaries of humanity, but hopefully they do so within the constraints of a semi-coherent plot, with actions by the characters that make sense within the twisted view of the narrative. Android of Notre Dame does away with most of that, and instead goes for massive gross-out scenes with characters whose actions rarely make sense. Gooey substances of all colors and textures come spewing out of every crevice possible from this head in the above shot.




    This story, such as it is, has a Japanese dwarf scientist playing a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein (well, Dr. Frankenstein as the hunchback of Notre Dame, actually) in an attempt to find a way to prolong his dying sister’s life. Yet, instead of going to the morgue, he goes out and finds associates, kills them in gruesome ways and then performs experiments on their various body parts. His most successful one is shown in the picture at the top, where he takes a guy’s head and hooks him up to a variety of wires and implants that allow the “android” (or really, we would call this a cyborg) to have facial movements, control a robotic arm and also can record his visual perceptions into a television. He also has his cyborg head kill this other chick so he can remove her heart in an attempt to fix his dying sister’s heart.



    Image modified to obfuscate nudity. Go here if interested in seeing the unmodified image.


    The Bottom Line: The idea behind Android of Notre Dame is rich, and, had it been executed better, might have yielded a pretty good Japanese Cyberpunk Flick. The ending scene in particular, where we see the scientist’s final failed solution is especially intriguing. Unfortunately, it seems that the Kuramoto was more interested in capturing gross-out scenes than he was in pursuing a promising, if limited story line.

    ~See movies similar to this one~


    June 30, 2006

    Glam Creature said:

    most weakest of all Japanese cyberpunk movies as far I saw; cinematography and actors are really weak; and how Sfam mentions, director realy concentrates into blood-and-guts scenes; and the effect ( differently from, for example, “Rubber’s Lover”, which is realy shocking in strong and good way) is kind of cheap. The more bad movie to come out of Japan, related to cyberpunk themes, as far I saw, is maybe only Takashi Miike’s “Dead and Alive:Final”, which I still can’t finish to watch.

    July 1, 2006

    SFAM said:

    Hi Glam, I have Dead or Alive: Final sitting on my desk - I’m planning on giving it a watch sometime in the next few days. Hopefully I’ll like it more than this one, but I definitely agree with you on this Guinea Pig movie - it’s not a great flick. It has a few interesting scenes, but that’s about it.

    July 2, 2006

    Glam Creature said:

    oh, it was to silly to say that “Dead Or alive: Final” is more bad movie than “Android Of Notre Damme”. it’s obviously better much done. The point is, Miike’s Dead or Alive films (haven’t seen the second one) are so close to “real’” action flicks, that they seem boring to me, and I don’t get them, maybe I don’t understand their postmodern irony, or whatever it is. Maybe the problem is, that Takashi Miike is so narrative director, and those films are very literary, when I’m really more into visual movies, like works of Shinya Tsukamoto or Sogo Ishii.

    April 1, 2010

    The Freakboi said:

    Well, its a Guinea Pig movie… the only other GP movie I’ve seen is the infamous Guinea Pig 2 (which is a full 2 hours of some dying/dead chick being dissected) It seems all they know how to do is Gross Out cinema.

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