Friday, June 13, 2008
Machine Girl Is Awesome!
Every now and then something comes along that is so perfect, so right that for a brief moment everything in the universe seems to make sense. In the world of genre films it's hitting on all the best points of what makes those films fun while eliminating all the filler that bogs down a good 90% of them.
Shaun of the Dead was one such film. Kill Bill was another mixing together genres with such precision that the only thing missing was a MechaBride fighting a giant rubber suited mutant Bill while Shaw Brothers vampire/zombies with 3 inch fangs hopped through Tokyo decimating the populace, but that would just be silly. Robert Rodriguez' Planet Terror taught me the only thing better than Rose McGowan with a machine gun leg , would be Rose McGowan with two machine gun legs, plus they killed Fergie.
This kind of cinematic synchronicity does not occur often. The fact that the past few years has seen some exceptions to the drought of good exploitation, I believe is wholly attributed to the fact that there are more people who grew up with similar interests now in the drivers seat.
This brings me to Machine Girl otherwise known as Kataude Mashin Garu written and Directed by 39 year old Noboru Iguchi.
My short review would be Machine Girl is awesome! Unfortunately short reviews are for punks so I gotta keep going.
Machine Girl stars Minase Yashiro as Ami, a pretty high schooler who's a bit of a tomboy. Ami cares for her younger brother Yu since their parents committed suicide after a supposed murder frame up leaving the kids to fend for themselves.
Amis brother and his best friend Takashi are killed by an extorting bully who is also the son of a Yakuza Ninja couple who are a few rice balls short of a bento box.
Of course the only way for a young girl to get justice is to seek revenge on the boys who killed her brother. Maybe that murder frame up in her families past wasn't such a frame up since Ami seems really quick to turn to homicidal tendencies. Even her brother had a list in his diary of people he wanted to kill, which leads Ami in her schoolgirl uniform to her first violent confrontation with a family of one of her brothers killers.
I don't think I'm giving anything away by revealing Ami eventually loses an arm in her quest for bloody vengeance. This leads to an alliance with Takashis mechanic parents. Miki, excellently played by Japanese AV star Asami, takes her under her wing and trains Ami to fight while Sugeru, the father, constructs a machine gun arm to replace Ami's missing limb.
There is one other star of this film. Arterial spray. This flick shoots as much of the red stuff as any Lone Wolf and Cub film. Doesn't matter if you lose a finger or get stabbed in the head. Blood will spurt in unbelievable amounts. Half the film seems to be filmed in a pink mist, and that's fine by me. I haven't seen exaggerated maiming like this since the classic Story Of Ricky-O. As outrageous as Ricky-O was, the violence seems even stronger when it centers around a beautiful girl with an amazing smile.
I gotta tell you. Guy or gal, if you don't fall in love with the screen combo of Ami and Miki then your tastes probably run to the ultra fetishist or non human since both women are gorgeous, tough and sexy.
There are so many high points to this film. The Red Junior High School Ninjas, the Super Mourners Gang comprised of parents of boys Ami has taken revenge on. A chainsaw leg and a drill bra, I'll wait for that one to sink in, A Drill BRA rounding out the mechanics of destruction. Finger sushi, face nailing, the list goes on and on!
Machine Girl is a near perfect modern revenge flick. It is thoroughly entertaining and never takes itself too seriously. Of course if you don't like gore for gores sake, you may want to skip this one. I recommend putting the kids to sleep, getting some friends over and creating a drinking game based on this film and the copious amount of bloodletting. You'll be drunk before the credits roll.
Machine Girl moves into my top list of films to join such classics as Shaun and Dawn of the Dead, Battle Royale and Kill Bill to name a few. It is available from Amazon for a measly 13 bucks or through Netflix.
Still not sure? Check out the trailer: