The Machine Girl

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“If the Black Knight scene in Holy Grail was just too restrained in its use of arterial spray…”

nullIf 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

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