So, I was just updating the links page, removing some of the inevitable deadwood that results with the passage of time, and I realized a bit of a heinous omission: CSaGaG.com was not listed. That’s an acronym for Cheap Site about Girls and Guns, which is exactly what it says: a copious collection of pics, videos and other resources on the topic. Having rectified it’s non-appearance on the links page, by way of an apology and some promotion for them [in their alias site of gungirls.eu], here’s their promo reel. Though I must confess I now have an overwhelming urge to go and watch Die Hard… :-)
“If the Black Knight scene in Holy Grail was just too restrained in its use of arterial spray…”
If you enjoyed Planet Terror, you’ll likely get a kick out of this, which also combines elements of The Evil Dead, Kill Bill and Tetsuo the Iron Man into what has got to be the bloodiest movie of 2008. The life of Ami (Yashiro) is turned upside down when her brother and his friend are killed by school bullies under the control of a local gangster’s son (Nishihara). Ami sets out for revenge on all those responsible for the killings. But the Yakuza don’t take kindly to this and Ami finds herself with a count of functioning limbs that ends at three. Does that stop her? Of course not. Teaming up with the late friend’s mother Miki (Asami), whose husband happens to be an ace mechanic, Ami gets fitted with a machine-gun and the pair of vengeful vixens head off for a return match.
Right from the opening scene, this makes no bones about its point: to spray as much of the red stuff over everything in sight, be that characters, the walls or even the camera itself. I never realised high blood-pressure was such an epidemic in Japan, but almost the slightest nicks here result in fountains of gore that continue far beyond what a normal circulatory system should generally produce. There’s no doubt that it’s all complete nonsense, and is intended as such, with the heroines having to fend off attacks from the Super Mourner Gang and the Junior High Shuriken Gang. And that’s before they get to the Drill Bra. That said, you will either find all of this ridiculous and stupid, or gleefully embrace this as highly entertaining excess. No prizes for guessing into which camp we fall.
Yashiro’s background is in…well, what could politely be described as ‘bikini videos’, not action movies, but her performance here is respectable enough. Probably more impressive are Asami, and Honoka, who plays the wife of the Yakuza boss. They both, too, come from the adult industry, possessing an impressive feral intensity which reminded me of Brigitte Lahaie in Fascination, and is entirely in keeping with the grindhouse feel of the entire enterprise. You could argue that the trailer contains everything you need to see, in a more concentrated form, and I wouldn’t argue with that, or if you said this was no more than a porn variant, where nothing matters except the money shots of body fluids getting sprayed everywhere. Still, we had a blast, and the film fully lives up to the sleeve description, delivering the “One-Armed Ballistic Assault Heroine” it promises, in spades.
Dir: Noboru Iguchi
Star: Minase Yashiro, Asami, Nobuhiro Nishihara, Honoka
“Ah, this is why people hate Uwe Boll.”
Look, I speak as one of the few people on the planet who found the original Bloodrayne other than unwatchable dreck. So when I say that the sequel is a soporific, poorly-constructed, badly-executed waste of time and effort for all concerned, including the viewer – for God’s sake, listen to me. There is simply no rhyme or reason present here, right from the setting which goes from Middle Ages Europe to the Wild West without any credible explanation. Billy the Kids (Ward) is a vampire, kidnapping the local kids, in some kind of half-baked plot device that makes no sense, involving him waiting for the railroad to reach town, to spread his curse. I guess going to a town that already has trains would be too much work. Rayne has to round up a posse to take on Billy and his blood-sucking cronies. Y’know? For the kids….
Malthe is not an adequate replacement for Kristanna Loken. While there are some settings in which she would make an appropriate Rayne, this isn’t it. I can do no better than reproduce goatdog’s limerick on this issue:
She’s entirely too soft-spoken.
She pales next to Kristanna Loken.
She’s not half as pretty,
her accent is shitty,
and her ass-kicking skills appear broken.
Beyond that, even my usually forgiving nature kept stumbling into holes of logic. For instance, Rayne’s posse is mostly there because she blackmailed or threatened them, yet this apprarently creates immediate loyalty, to the point they are prepared to die on behalf of a cause they know basically nothing about. Similarly, there’s a newspaper reporter (Coppola): his third scene explains his presence, yet mostly makes you wonder exactly what he was doing in his first two scenes. The film doesn’t even have consistency of vampire lore: can they, or can they not, be killed with regular bullets? The film says no, but then…
It’s not just a bad vampire movie. Probably worse, it’s a bad Western. Overall, it’s just bad: I generally have more time for Boll than most people [National Treasure was much, much worse than House of the Dead], but even I cannot defend this on any level. The original had a lunatic sensibility, heaving everything at the screen it could find: it may not have made much sense, but you did remember it. The sooner I can forget this, the better-off I will be.
Dir: Uwe Boll
Star: Natassia Malthe, Zack Ward, Michael Pare, Chris Coppola