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Japanator Review: Machine Girl

10:42 AM on 06.19.2008 // Red Veron

During the Japanator coverage of A-kon trip in Dallas I managed to pick up an early copy of Tokyo Shock’s original new feature, Machine Girl. Our regular readers on Japanator may have seen an earlier post with a trailer about this movie.

A word of warning to those people who detest the following: a) death, b) blood, c) dismemberment,  and d)violence; Please leave now. If you were expecting some kind Japanese action movie with a cute Japanese girl in a school uniform here -- well -- this movie has action and a cute Japanese schoolgirl… and gallons of blood (and a couple of pints here and there). Hit the jump for the bloody goodness.

The Machine Girl  was written and directed by Noboru Iguchi, and stars gravure model Minase Yashiro as the title character in her debut role. This movie might remind you of another movie, Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror,  where the heroine replaces a missing limb with a firearm. Even all the effects here are similar to that style of Grindhouse Exploitation films. From the cheesy dialogue to the over the top violence, blood spraying everywhere, and even huge amounts of fake gore. And it’s even got an awesome 60’s/70’s style intro title sequence. This movie also made with a small budget like those Exploitation films and the style suits it very well.

We get a cliché story of Ami Hyuga, a young but strong teenage girl who takes care of her younger brother on her own. Ami is a strong girl who can fend for herself and believes that violence is not the way. This was taught to her by her father, who killed himself years before because of the shame brought on by murder accusations. One day, her brother is bullied by schoolmates, led by a yakuza’s son, and is eventually killed. With nothing to lose, she abandons her beliefs of non-violence and vows revenge for her brother. She soon discovers that her enemies are more than just plain yakuza, they’re Ninja-Yakuza! Oh, and along the way and she loses an arm but continues her path of revenge “armed” with a machine gun. That’s all you need to know because you didn’t come to watch this movie just for the story.

I also watched this for the promise of some pantsu---- and it delivers!

This movie does have tons of gore, dismemberment and blood, but isn’t graphically realistic like “torture porn” movies (see Hostel). The fight scenes in the movie  border on the ridiculous side to the point that those desensitized to violence would just laugh at the over-the-top effects.  The movie takes itself seriously enough that you may find yourself laughing from the sheer absurdity of the situations in it. Once you get to the tempura scene, you’ll understand just how ridiculous this movie will get later on. The movie’s pacing is almost never sluggish for something that is from Japan. The “talking” parts between the fights were short and interesting enough that it didn’t slow the movie down at all. It’s perfect for those with short attention spans as the movie instantly smacks you in the face with some blood and guts right from the start.

This movie often teeters between style and substance, but it doesn’t take away from the overall experience. There would be times when we get really well-choreographed fight scenes only to ruined by some ridiculous-looking digital special effect, and then later we get the opposite. Obviously, the movie isn’t for the faint of heart and those easily grossed out (even by fake stuff). If you’re wanting a violent, mindless action movie with a schoolgirl in it (and have the stomach for it), I suggest you to try this one out.

SCORE: 8.0
VERDICT: I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU Watch It! (It has Yakuza-Ninjas!!!)


There's also an awesome deal on Amazon for this DVD for $12.99!.

Red Veron, Contributor
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Red likes a lot of things from Japan and wants to share more about it with the world. He even likes the bad anime. Sometimes. As long as it doesn't have big boobs. Maybe. more   |   staff directory

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