Tag Archives: tokyo shock

The Machine Girl – Review

24 May

I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that a guilty pleasure of mine lies in the realm of Japanese B-movies, more exclusively those that fall into the “splatter film” category. I’ve reviewed RoboGeishaTokyo Gore PoliceMeatball Machine, and Helldriver. Now, adding to this list is The Machine Girl, an over the top blood bath directed by Noboru Iguchi, and gore effects by the master of B-grade splatter movies, Yoshihiro Nishimura.



Ami (Minase Yashiro) is an average school girl who is very protective of her little brother, Yu (Ryôsuke Kawamura), especially since their parents killed themselves over a criminal investigation involving a murder that they were framed for. One day, Yu and his friend are killed by Sho (Nobuhiro Nishihara), the son of a samurai/yakuza boss, Ryûji (Kentarô Shimazu). Ami vows to get revenge for her brother, but is caught by Ryûji and has her left arm cut off (in a shower of blood that made me chuckle). Ami teams up with the parents of Yu’s friend, Suguru (Yûya Ishikawa) and Miki (Asami). They construct for her a machine gun to attach to her arm, and after some training, wage a war on the yakuza boss and his son.

Just typing this summary out made me realize how absolutely goofy the whole premise of this is. It wasn’t very easy to get it all down and make it sound somewhat interesting at the same time. That’s because the appeal of The Machine Girl is the visual chaos that fills pretty much the entirety of the movie. If you see the trailer, the summary that I wrote down seems a bit more interesting because you have a sense of how silly it really is. Like I said before, this kind of movie is my guilty pleasure. I recognize the fact that they really aren’t good movies. But, and this is a big but, they make me laugh and there’s plenty of blood and gore that paints the screen red.



So, for the sake of being a proper critic, let’s objectively look at the movie. First of all, it looks really cheap, but that’s because it is really cheap. The movie is shot in HD which is common for movies of this kind and is pretty appropriate for the silly nature of the movie. If it was shot with beautiful cinematography, it would look and feel weirder than it already is. The acting in it is sub par and over the top. I can promise you that there is lots of fist clenching, teeth gritting, and yelling as characters run into battle. Finally, the writing is completely ridiculous. Honestly though, there really isn’t anything special about the dialogue. You could take all of it out and still know exactly what is going on.

A major plus for this movie is the insane camera work that is used during the more violent scenes. When Ami fires her machine gun arm near the camera, it seems to jitter a little bit like it is affected by the power of the gun. Iguchi used the same technique in RoboGeisha, which has a lot of similarities in its style. The gore effects by Yoshihiro Nishimura are also really cool. There is some CGI used for the blood and the gore, but a good deal of it is done with more physical means. Lots of arterial spray and limbs that go flying. The make up used for a character who has nails rammed into his face looks both disturbing, but very funny in its own dark way.



Above all, that is really my main reason for watching all of these. The blood, the gore, and the action are so silly and over the top that I can’t help but be intrigued. The writing and acting may be bad and the HD may look cheap, but I can’t say that this wasn’t a really fun movie to watch. There were times where I got a little bored or was ready for the movie to be over, but most of the time I was into what was happening and wondered just what could possibly happen next. A machine gun arm, a flying clamp that rips heads off, a drill bra, and more make this a one of a kind movie. Well, perhaps not. It has been compared to Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, which is without a doubt a much better film. Still, I can see how much joy the film makers had making this because the finished product is so kinetic and enjoyable. It’s hard to explain how a movie is when you can really tell the makers were trying to make a movie that they would love to see themselves. The Machine Girl is one of these movies.

So, yeah. This isn’t a good movie, but it is entertaining and silly as hell. I don’t always feel the need to put on some highly artistic movie that will make me reconsider everything I know about film making. Sometimes I just want to see some limbs fly and a girl with a machine gun arm kill some bad guys. This gave me exactly what I was expecting, and for that, I can’t fault the movie. This isn’t for everyone, and to the people who have seen it and hate it, I completely understand. The Machine Girl stupid fun, and I personally had a good time.


Tokyo Gore Police – Review

2 Aug

With a name like Tokyo Gore Police, it’s pretty easy to know what to expect. There’s never been an Oscar winner with a name like this, and they’re probably never will be. But, what we get instead is one of the most fun, silly, gory, offensive, and obnoxious films ever made. I loved every minute of it.


In the future, Tokyo’s police force is privatized and a special forces team is created to hunt down and kill shape shifting criminals called “Engineers.” Ruka (Eihi Shiina) is one of the best engineer hunters around, and is especially driven after seeing her father, another officer, shot in front of her when she was just a child. Now, she must face her most powerful and dangerous adversary yet; and engineer man scientist called the Key Man. Tokyo is thrown into chaos as the police and engineers engage in all out bloody war.

As far as shock value, violence, and ridiculousness, Tokyo Gore Police goes above and beyond the call of duty. Geysers and geysers of blood spray all over the scenery and even onto the camera lens. Heads roll and ligaments fly and grotesque mutations are played flor laughs. I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear the whole time.

The writing is silly and the acting is pretty unremarkable, but let’s be real. Are we really going to watch this movie for the superb acting and witty dialogue? Of course not. We’re going to watch it for the gallons of blood, the crazy action, and the laugh till it hurts dark comedy.

Something that did surprise me was the really cool cinematography. Colors and light are used very well to create an unreal atmosphere that looks like it came out of a comic book or a video game. This isn’t your average Tokyo. This is a Tokyo on LSD that has come straight from hell to deliver a bloody demonic trip. Greens and reds pop out of the screen and assault your vision with radical color design. If you saw my review of RoboGeisha, then you might recall how the camera work is as frenetic as the action. This is also the case with Tokyo Gore Police. Really cool stuff.

This is a pretty short review, because I have nothing very serious to say about this movie. It’s goofy, bloody, and obnoxious in its violence, dialogue, and sex. If you want to freak your friends or family out or if you just want to have a crazy time with a movie, I highly recommend Tokyo Gore Police. It’s a really great time.