Thursday, July 31, 2008

Review - Machine Girl

Ami and Yu's parents have killed themselves and Ami is left to raise her teenage brother Yu. Yu is often bullied at school by a teen who is a ninja-yakuza. Yu and is friend are bullied to the point of death and Ami sets out on a vicious death path to find her brothers killers. Throughout her vendetta, she loses her arm and has a machine gun built to replace it. Ami must infiltrate the yakuza hideout and avenge her brothers death even if it means losing her own life.

Machine Girl is much in the same vein of the grindhouse films of the 70's and more recently the RR & QT directed double-feature Grind House. It is completely outlandish, the violence is beyond gory, and the dialogue is very minimal. This movie does not spare any blood at all. Every kill has a long lasting spray regardless of where the injury occurs. Machine Girl is a movie that only appeals to fans of the genre but, for being a splatter film it is fun and zany, although overall very forgetable.

Machine Girl feels very much like a bad episode of Zena or Hercules. It is very campy, but it is also intended to be so. Most of the dialogue is very bad and laughable, but again your'e not watching this film for dialogue. Instead Machine Girl is a film for action and gore fans. The gore is very intense and the action is also equally compelling. Machine Girl's machine gun takes some serious chunks out of people and the film shows every second of it. Most of the kill scenes are done with a combination of both CG and original props. The blood that is shed, however is very much non-CG, and there is tons of it dripping everywhere. There are a few scenes in Machine Girl that I actually had to turn away it was so graphic (and that rarely happens to me).

The viloence unfortunately becomes too formulaic towards then end and becomes a tad bit boring. The trick with splatter or grindhouse films is while being extremely bad, being equally good! Machine Girl is bad, but the good part falls off in the 3rd act of the film. Machine Girl, unfortunately loses the viewers interest by the end of the second half ultimately having a hard time drawing you back in up through the anti-climatic climax.

Minase Yashiro plays Ami and Asami plays Miki, both are strong in their performances as the women out to avenge their family members death. Miki's son dies with Yu, and Miki helps Ami once her arm has been cut off building her machine gun arm. The two have some great scenes together as they slice and blow holes in yakuza ninjas. Kentaro Shimazu who plays Ryuji Kimura the father to Sho (who killed Yu) is aboslutely hilarious! His scenes are so twisted, he really makes the film worthwhile. At one point, he makes his personal chef cut off his finger and eat them because he spilled soup on his son. The scene like the whole film, is very over-the-top and really makes you laugh while also cringe!

Overall Machine Girl is a fun shock-gore film. For fans of the genre, it is definately worth watching. The film, while not being great, pleases the viewer and passes the time without dragging. The film moves along very quickly and doesn't have much down time at all. The dialogue throughout is bad, but passes with the overall story with a few highlights here and there. The action is strong, but does become far too similar by the end of the film. If you can get your hands on a copy of Machine Girl, check it'll enjoy it for what it is worth.