Tuesday, November 22, 2016

#2,256. Mutant Girls Squad (2010)

Directed By: Noboru Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Tak Sakaguchi

Starring: Asami, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Tak Sakaguchi

Line from the movie: "Nose bullets! Fire!"

Trivia: At the 2009 New York Asian Film Festival, directors Noboru Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura and Tak Sakaguchi met and agreed to make a film together. This was the result

So what happens when Yoshihiro Nishimura (director of Tokyo Gore Police) and Noboru Iguchi (The Machine Girl) team up with Tak Sakaguchi (who, along with acting in films like Azumi and Godzilla: Final Wars also directed Yakuza Weapon)? Why, you get Mutant Girls Squad of course, a blood soaked blend of comedy, action and horror that’s as imaginative as it is insanely violent.

It’s been quite a 16th birthday for young Rin (Yumi Sugimoto). Aside from being bullied by her classmates, she’s experiencing a strange sensation in her arm that won’t seem to go away. Later that night, during her birthday dinner, Rin’s father (Kanji Tsuda) makes a startling confession: he’s not entirely human! He is, in fact, a mutant, and what’s more, now that she’s 16, Rin’s dormant mutant genes will soon begin to surface (which explains the unusual feeling in her arm). While she's trying to process this sudden and unexpected revelation, a group of heavily-armed Samurais, a sort of Anti-Mutant league, attack Rin and her family. Rin’s mother (Maiko Ito) is killed instantly, and her father holds off the assailants just long enough for his frightened daughter to escape.

Following a violent confrontation in the shopping district (during which she mauls several people with her newly-found mutant powers), Rin meets up with Rei (Yuko Takayama), who introduces the young girl to Kisaragi (played by director Tak Sakaguchi), the leader of a band of mutants whose goal is to wipe out the human race. With Rei as her trainer, Rin learns to control her powers, and along with fellow mutant Yoshie (Suzuka Morita), is sent into the world to eliminate their “enemies”. But the question is: will the half-human Rin carry out her mission of death, or will her compassionate nature win out in the end?

Those familiar with Tokyo Gore Police and The Machine Girl will have some idea of what to expect from Mutant Girls Squad. But even then, viewers are likely to be blown away by what this movie had to offer. Soon after her parents are killed, Rin finds herself being hunted by the vendors of a local shopping mall, who, in an effort to lure in customers, want to kill her and put her remains on display. The red stuff flows freely throughout this scene, with Rin using her mutant arm (which develops into a gnarly-looking claw) to tear apart anyone foolish enough to attack her (one punch to the back of some guy’s head ends with her hand bursting through his face). Naturally, it’s a very violent sequence, but there’s also some humor to it as well (like when Rin faces off against a chef and his wife). Filled with flying body parts and gallons upon gallons of blood, this scene sets the tone for what’s to follow, most of which is equally as insane.

Even more impressive than the violence, though, is how the movie’s three segments, each with a different director, blend together so seamlessly (Tak Sakaguchi handled the opening 1/3 of the film, with Noboru Iguchi tackling chapter two, aka “Revolution”, and Yoshihiro Nishimura in charge of the gore-fueled finale, aptly titled “Rebellion”). Though each man undoubtedly brought their own style to the table (I especially noticed this in the last segment, a lot of which reminded me of the violence in Nishamura’s Tokyo Gore Police), all three sequences work in unison to tell what proves to be a hugely entertaining story of revenge and redemption.

Personally, I love movies like Tokyo Gore Police, The Machine Girl, and Mutant Girls Squad, which challenge your gag reflex more than they do your mind. And as long as you haven’t just finished dinner, there’s a good chance you’ll like Mutant Girls Squad as much as I do.

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