Gun Woman

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“What is this? A Japanese manga? Or a Luc Besson film?”

nullgunwomanThe above line is spoken by one character to another during one of the more outrageous plot twists – in reality, this is neither, but it’s an accurate assessment of this exercise in excess. It starts with a woman being shot in the shower, the assassin (Miller) and his partner head for Vegas, and on the trip, he tells the strange story of Mayumi (Asami, previously seen in The Machine Girl and the Yakuza Hunter films). A meth-head at the time, she was bought by a doctor (Narita), seeking revenge on Hamazaki (Kamata), the depraved, but very rich, sicko who raped and killed the doctor’s wife, because he blamed the doctor for the death of Hamazaki’s father. The sicko is particularly fond of necrophilia, and makes regular trips to a remote establishment where he can indulge the fetish. The doctor’s plan involves training Mayumi as an assassin, getting her brought into the corpse pleasure park after inducing a catatonic state with drugs, then letting her rampage her way through the establishment to Hamazaki. Oh, and the only way she can get a weapon in, is if the pieces are surgically inserted into her body first. Well, except for the magazine. No surgery needed for that, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Yes, this is as totally mad as it sounds, and you have to wonder, might there have been an easier way to get vengeance? Mind you, the doctor is hardly any more sane than Hamazaki, with the Hippocratic Oath going right out the window. Anyhow, Asami literally doesn’t say a single word during the entire movie, and is completely naked for almost the entire second half, as she tries to complete the mission, taking out the guards at Club Necro in hand-to-hand combat. This is also rather less sexy than it sounds, because she’s also drenched in her own blood, after ripping the gun parts from her torso. [The doctor kindly informed Mayumi she would have 22 minutes to reach the first-aid waiting outside, before she bled to death from her self-inflicted wounds, so there’s a bit of a desperate time-crunch here.] But it’s still undeniably entertaining,  if you can handle the copious gore, with good performances from all the principals, and a script which comes full circle nicely – the opening killing turns out to be pivotal to the way things turn out as well.

This was definitely more than I expected, though admittedly, after the last few Zero Woman films, those expectations were not much above room temperature. Mitsutake has much the same budgetary limitations, but does a very good job of working within them, to create a movie that knows it has to find something different to stand out, and succeeds in doing just that. Say what you will – you won’t forget this one in a hurry! Asami continues to be among the most impressive of the J-gore actresses I’ve seen, and the news, after the end credits, that Gun Woman Will Return, can only be something to be anticipated by this site.

Dir: Kurando Mitsutake
Star: Asami, Kairi Narita, Matthew Miller, Noriaki R. Kamata

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