The Machine Girl is one of the earlier entries in the New Wave of Low Budget Japanese Splatter flicks that are gaining popularity of late. Along with such films as Tokyo Gore Police, The Nihombie trilogy (Zombie Self-Defense Force, The Girls Rebel Force of Competitive Swimmers and High School Girl Rika: Zombie Hunter), RoboGeisha and a couple of other upcoming titles, these gore-soaked, no-holds-barred masterpieces are, in my opinion, some of the best cinema coming out of the East at the moment.
The scenario here is your basic revenge plot: Ami and Yu are a brother & sister who were orphaned after their parents committed suicide in response to false murder allegations directed against them. With their parents gone, the oldest sibling Ami runs the household and looks out for her brother Yu.
Lately Yu and some of his friends have been violently bullied at school and stood over by a local gang of youths led by Sho Kimura, the son of a nefarious yakuza overlord. Eventually the bullying goes too far and ends in the deaths of Yu and his friend Takeshi.
Ami vows to avenge her brothers death and joins forces with Takeshi’s mother Miki (played by JAV idol Asami) to hunt down the murderers, namely the Kimura family. But the Kimura’s aren’t your typical yakuza family, they are descendents of the infamous Hattori Hanzo clan of ninjas and they plan to put up quite a fight.
Chock-full of inventive splattery demises, arterial sprays, black humour and of course the main attraction: a cute Japanese schoolgirl with a big-ass machine gun for an arm, The Machine Girl does exactly what it says on the tin. The special effects here are handled by Yoshihiro Nishimura director of Tokyo Gore Police and the upcoming Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. Minor use of crappy-looking CG aside – the effects are pretty decent considering the budget.
Machine Girl plainly wears its influences on its sleeve by taking films such as Braindead and Evil Dead (see Ami’s chainsaw arm-attachment) and seeing how far they can push the concept… honestly, we have some hilariously cheesy action scenes involving ninjas, graphic impalement, bodies chopped up and butchered in every manner imaginable, a drill-bra, flying guillotine and the amusing Super Mourners Squad.
The film also brings a stylistically Japanese bent by merging the black humoured gore with the OTT manga-esque atmosphere that tends to prevail in these type of films, thus rendering the eye-popping splatter FX that much more vibrant and in-your-face.
Lately it seems Media Blasters / Tokyo Shock’s production company, Fever Dreams are getting behind a few of these low budget J-splatter flicks – this one is done in collaboration with Nikkatsu – so I’m looking forward to see what they come out with next.
The Eastern Eye release is accompanied with a making of that runs for about ten minutes, trailer and stills gallery. It is a worthwhile purchase (mediocre extras aside) for fans of the recent J-sploit trend.
Available on R4 DVD from Madman Entertainment.