Monday, July 7, 2008


Written and Directed by Noboru Iguchi
2007 "The Machine Girl"


If you've suddenly stumbled into Japanese Splatter films and, for some bizarre reason, you've decided to view it purely for the dialog, well, you're in it for far beyond the wrong reason. Conversely, if you've grabbed a Asian Gore flick specifically for the geysers of Franco-American spaghetti sauce-hued blood that rampantly encompass the genre, well my friend, you are in the right place.
As I sat down to view THE MACHINE GIRL, it was pretty obvious from the pictures I saw in Rue Morgue that I was going to see a girl with a machine strapped to her arm. More to the point: A MACHINE GUN! Now that's quality entertainment. So, from the get go we see Ami Hugo (Minase Yashiro) taking on a group of baddies and literally shredding each and every one to slaw with her amazing use of the aforementioned machine gun arm extension. And so the veritable blood pool that this film is begins: right from the very get go.
As we find out in a massive flashback, Ami's brother Yu and his friend Takashi get mixed up with some young members of the Japanese Yakuza (what else) and manage to find themselves free falling to their untimely demises from the roof of a rather tall building. Now, the real aside here that ends up becoming more and more of the story itself is the fact that the Yakuza/Ninja clan, led by smart-ass punk kid, Sho Kimura, are almost vampiric in their desire to prove their 'blood lines' and even manage to swig back a few swallows of daddy's blood. Outstanding. Anyway, with the belief that this will grant them great power, the Ninja/Yakuza continue to torment the innocent and Ami decides, no, must seek revenge.
Ami begins her quest by questioning a friendlier member of the Yakuza/Ninja clan who was once actually a playmate to her brother. However, since everyone thinks her and Yu' parents were murders (falsely accused begat suicide story.. sad really), they do little to help and end up Tempura-frying her arm (silly but quite painful to witness) which, inevitably, leads to their gruesome deaths. In fact, in a quite memorable scene, the boy's mother opens a miso soup pot only to find her son's head floating around and much to her surprise, she is gouged through the back of the neck through the mouth and watches her own vomit/bile/organs spill out into the pot. Dinner is served!
Well, as all good revenge movies offer up, Ami is captured by the Yakuza and tortured particularly brutally by (let's go ladies) the mother of the clan consequently losing her arm in the process. Once escaping, Ami manages to track down Takashi's family who, in exchange for her guarantee to systematically slaughter those who wronged them, help her back to health and construct her the very machine gun with which she ultimately exacts her vengeance. Once Miike (Takashi's mom) and Ami start whittling down the opposition, with a fair nod to Sam Raimi, the two use, in various ways, a chainsaw attachment meant for Ami's stump. In fact, just as a weapon in and of itself, it comes in quite handy not only bifurcating a Yakuza, but also halving the heads of Sho and his mother after a rather nasty slice-and-dice with a drill bra! No, I am not kidding.
All of this comes to a nice head with an ending that could, for all intents and purposes, bring on a sequel and, as we of fans of the genre know, the Japanese horror folks love them some sequels. So, sit back and enjoy plumes of pretty-colored body fluid and ichor, and laugh heartily at the exquisitely shitty dialog slightly lost (ha!) in its translation. find this flick, you'll be glad 'Yu' did. See what I did there?

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