First published back in September of 1977, Guy N Smith’s legendary escapade into war-sleaze entitled ‘Bamboo Guerillas’ was originally commission by Peter Haining of Mews following on from the successful release of Smiths ‘Truckers’ novels.  However, after producing the proof copy for this wildly over-the-top war novel, Guy was asked to tone down the explicit sexual violence that is one of the predominant thrusts within the tale.  Guy refused to tone down any of the novel, on the grounds that he had been given editorial direction to write such a monstrous feast of depravation.  After discussions, a decision was made to release the novel under New English Library (of which Mews is actually an off-shoot).  And so the horrendous glories of this despicable novel were unleashed into the pulp market for the eager consumption of this uber-violent sleaze...

Guy N Smith followed up the novel with a sequel that was written, but alas, never saw the light of day.  A surprising two-page snippet of the Bamboo Guerillas story (with all sexual violence and torture removed) appeared in an unpublished comic book that Guy N Smith piloted entitled Adventure Strip Weekly (1974).

DLS Synopsis:
Following the retreat of all the British troops in Malaya in the face of the advancing Japanese army, Colonel Hugh ‘Jungle’ Carter and Captain Cole make the decision to stay behind in the Malayan jungle to begin guerrilla warfare against the advancing Japanese.  Together with their fellow British sapper (a military engineer who lays, detects and disarms mines) named Sanders; the small band of soon to be guerrilla fighters make their way through the dense Malayan jungle to rendezvous with the ferociously feared and renowned Chinese bandit-cum-guerrilla - Li Chu.  Once at the Chinese guerrilla’s base camp, the British soldiers learn of a local hospital where twenty or so British and Australian female nurses were captured by a band of the Japanese army, before the hospital was subsequently burnt to the ground.  The Japanese, under the command of a depraved sadomasochist Colonel Sika, are reportedly holding the nurses (and ten other male prisoners) captive at a purposefully built prison-cum-torture camp, which is located a few miles away in the dense jungle.

Colonel Sika learns of Colonel Carter’s proposed scheme to rescue the nurses, when one of the Chinese scouts sent by Carter is captured by the Japanese and forced to divulge the British guerrilla’s plans.  The scout, Li Wong, is sent back to Li Chu’s base camp to inform the guerrillas that they must surrender or the nurses will be killed, one for each day that they prolong their surrender.

Instead of leading an all-out attack on the war prison, Colonel Carter instead formulates an audacious plan in which, together with Li Chu and a small troupe of Chinese fighters, they surrender themselves to Colonel Sika.  Whilst imprisoned in the camp, Carter plans to send a signal of some unknown making to the remaining guerrilla fighters, to attack the prison camp.  However, once the soldiers are in the hands of the infamous Colonel Sika, they soon learn of the horrific cruelty that goes on behind the prison fencing.  A terrifying fate that now threatens to await Carter and his band of guerrilla fighters, as well as the prisoners that they were trying to protect.  Death is suddenly just a whisper away...

DLS Review:
From the outset, Guy N Smith lays down a constant stream of anti-Japanese slander bordering on out and out racism.  With numerous references to
the yellow skinned enemy detailing their sadistic love for cruelty and inherent sexual deprivation, the novel’s entire perspective is a far-cry from the politically correct attitudes of our modern society.  The further descriptive mentions of ‘the half-caste fighters’ on the guerrilla’s side, just amplifies the tone for what is soon to turn out to be a steep fall into a dark pit of war-torn depravity.

When the cruel Colonel Sika is introduced into the storyline, the novel takes a considerable dive further down towards the outrageously sleazy depths that quickly become the very backbone of the novel.  A litany of torture, often of a highly sexual nature, quickly follows.  These strong and graphic scenes become a constant mainstay for the entire the length of the book.  Sika employs a whole range of inventive and sadistic methods in which to torture, humiliate and kill his prisoners; whilst simultaneously appealing to his perverted desires.  Rape is depicted as barely traumatic for the victims within the storyline.  Indeed, after undergoing countless nights of multiple gang-rape at the hands of the Japanese, the female nurses still desire raunchy late-night romps with the recently captured guerrillas.  The blatantly sleazy and mindless sexual aspects of the novel, take its pulpy nature to new lows.

Although Colonel Carter’s plan is utterly ridiculous and nonsensical, it does allow for human fodder for Colonel Sika’s torturous escapades and ultimately a truly impressive ‘break-out’ sequence.  Further scenes of graphic rape and torture ensue, until finally Smith wraps the story up with a somewhat abrupt conclusion.

For the sheer level of untamed violence and depictions of sexual deprivation mixed with rape and torture, ‘Bamboo Guerrillas’ is nothing short of a masterpiece of the obscene.  With page upon page of mindless cruelty and unabashed racism, this novel truly is the epitome of sleazy pulp.

The novel runs for a total of 141 pages and was released under two different covers.

© DLS Reviews

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