For as long as I’m on this earth, I will do my absolute best to keep the crazy, over the top, blood splattering, Japanese movies coming. My most recent addition to the insanity is a little known film in this “category”, Samurai Princess. With a story by Kengo Kaji, the man who wrote Tokyo Gore Police, and special make up and effects by the always fun Yoshihiro Nishimura, what could possibly go wrong?
In an alternate universe, feudal Japan is a strange place. The forests are littered with thieves and murderers whose bodies have been mechanically altered with weapons and other gadgets. These people are called “Mechas.” When a princess (Aino Kishi) and her friends are attacked and killed, a mad scientist rebuilds her body and places the souls of the eleven friends inside of her to use as weapons. With this new body, the Samurai Princess wanders the forest in hopes of finding the people who ruined her life, and took the lives of her friends. Another, more powerful enemy, lurks in the shadows, however.
Just by that brief summary, it should be known not to take this movie too seriously. To be fair though, I’ve never watched a movie with Nishimura’s name attached to it and decided to take it seriously. Samurai Princess is a silly, often stupid movie that makes little to no sense at all. I’d even go so far as to say that it is almost unwatchable. Luckily, there is plenty of gore and a good amount of humor to save this movie from being so bad, it’s not even good.
There is a lot to laugh at Samurai Princess other than the gore and the arterial sprays that squirt gallons of blood at a time. Some of the best parts of this movie are the ridiculous villains and side characters that pop up from time to time and offer goofy dialogue or just laughable weirdness. Of all these types of movies, this one might be the most surreal. The laboratories also have a “charming” design with body parts hooked up to all different sorts of machinery, and some of the gore effects look really great. One particular scene involves a fountain, made of human body parts, that is splashing blood all over the place. It’s dark, it’s weird, and it’s hysterical.
Don’t misunderstand me. This is not a good movie, even for the likes of this genre. The video that it’s shot on looks unbelievably cheap and the characters spend most of their time walking around forested areas that look like they could have been filmed down the street from my house. Movies like RoboGeisha, Machine Girl, and Meatball Machine look like thought was put into the locations. Samurai Princess looks completely random and has absolutely no continuity in its locations. Finally the story is told in such a way that it’s pretty much incoherent.
Samurai Princess is a mess of a movie even for this genre. The characters, the humor, and the gore is all great, which is to be expected. Still, the narrative, the location shots, and the shoddy video all drag the movie down so far that they movie isn’t even enjoyable. I checked the time a lot throughout the movie with hopes that the movie was almost over, but i sat through the entire thing and I honestly can’t recommend it to anyone besides hardcore fans of the genre.