Machine Girl

Machine Girl (片腕マシンガール)
Made in: Japan
Language: Japanese
Director: Noboru Iguchi
Starring: Minase Yashiro, Asami, Kentaro Shimazu, Nobuhiro Nishihara, Honoka, Ryôsuke Kawamura, Yûya Ishikawa
Year: 2008

Synopsis: A high school girl named Ami (Minase Yahsiro) is on a mission of mindless revenge after her younger brother Yu (Ryôsuke Kawamura) is murdered by Sho Kimura (Nobuhiro Nishihara), the son of a yakuza boss. As Ami hacks, dismembers, and decapitates her way to the truth, she is captured by Sho's nutty family, headed by Ryûji Kimura (Kentaro Shimazu) and his wife, Violet (Honoka).

Ami has one of her arms hacked off, but is saved by Suguru (Yûya Ishikawa) and Miki (Asami), two auto-mechanics whose son was killed alongside Yu. Suguru builds Ami a large machine-gun prosthetic, which fits neatly on Ami's stump. From there, she and Miki continue their battle against the Kimura family.

Ridiculous amounts of ultra-violence and gore ensure, involving knives, nails, chainsaws, throwing stars, and a battery-operated metal drill-bra.

The Good: For fans of cult, B-movie slasher flicks, Machine Girl is unflinching, irreverent, and thoroughly disgusting (albeit entertaining). It's hilarious how every single character in this movie, both hero and villain, is off-the-chart insane.

I'm willing to bet that director Noboru Iguchi himself is probably crazy, because this film somehow does not come across as deliberately cheesy. Iguchi seems to have made a genuine effort to create a coherent action movie, and despite the stomach-turning gore and gallons of blood spraying everywhere, there's a solid (albeit simple) plot with sufficient backstory and, dare I say, genuine emotion.

Ami is a truly like-able heroine, while the villains are believably crazy (as opposed to being played by people who are simply acting crazy).

Parts of Machine Girl do seem low-budget and silly, but overall, the movie has some solid production values and a professional cinematographic "look."

The Bad: Some of the hand-to-hand fight choreography could have been better, and would have made the movie even more exciting. The spraying blood from severed limbs got tedious after a while, and some of the death scenes were drawn out way too long.

Who would like this movie: Machine Girl is for you if you're fasting or on a diet. Why? Because I can almost guarantee that food will be the farthest thing from your mind when you're done watching it.

(2 and 1/2 stars out of 4)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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