The Machine Girl (2008)

DVD Cover (Tokyo Shock)
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Ranked #3,236
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Connections: The Machine Girl

Ami is a typical college girl. She's bright, friendly, popular and athletic, with nothing to set her apart from other girls her age other than the fact that she is an orphan, left to care for her younger brother after her father committed suicide after being falsely accused of murder. But while there is tragedy in their past, the siblings' future looks good, except for one thing. Ami's brother has racked up a considerable debt to another boy at school, and that boy just happens to be the heir to a clan of vicious ninja-yakuza. Ami's brother can't pay, violence breaks out and in the course of trying to avenge her brother, Ami is captured by the clan. They torture her and hack her arm right off. Ami escapes, barely alive, and is taken in by the owners of a machine shop who build her a customized, bullet-spewing arm. From that point, the quest for revenge is on in earnest. --IMDb
Minase Yashiro
Minase Yashiro
Nobuhiro Nishihara
Nobuhiro Nishihara
Kentar˘ Shimazu
Kentar˘ Shimazu
Ry˘suke Kawamura
Ry˘suke Kawamura
Review by Tristan
Added: May 29, 2008
Those of you who have seen the trailer - I think it's safe to say that's most of you - know exactly why I chose to review this movie. I'm not a big fan of Anime, but I've always been partial to the way they portray on-screen violence. The exaggerated and excessive blood is fantastic and while being extremely unrealistic, it shares similarities with the good campy fun of films like Evil Dead II and Braindead. So when I first saw the trailer for The Machine Girl last year, I knew that this was a movie I just had to see. As you can see, I achieved that little goal. And coming out a mere 4 days before my birthday, what a delightful little present this made.

High school student Ami Hyuga (Minase Yashiro) lives with her younger brother Yu (Ry˘suke Kawamura) after their parents killed themselves. Seems they were accused of murder accusations that weren't true, and rather than live with the shame they ended their lives. The remaining Hyuga family vowed to never resort to violence, for fear of losing more loved ones. Unfortunately Yu and his friend Takeshi become the targets of a local Yakuza's son and his gang. The incessant bullying ultimately leads to Yu and Takeshi's deaths, which are written off as a suicide. After finding Yu's diary however, Ami realizes that the Yakuza gang was responsible for bullying him. She sets out to speak with the kids' parents, only to be attacked. This is the last straw for Ami, who loses all respect for humanity and becomes a killing machine bent on revenge. This turns out to be harder than she thought however, as the Yakuza gang are members of the Hattori Hanzo ninjas. These encounters result in Ami losing her arm, and being nursed back to health by the parents of Takeshi. Conveniently, they also own a garage and fix Ami up with a brand new arm: an eight barreled chain gun. What does she have in store for the Yakuza gang and its Hattori Hanzo ninjas? I'm sure you can piece together that little mystery on your own.

First things first, I absolutely loved this film. As soon as the opening credits started, it had that exploitation/Grindhouse feel to it, and quite honestly reminded me of Planet Terror. It had that excessive and campy violence I so love, and director Iguchi wasted no time getting into the red stuff. They must have used more buckets of blood in this than Peter Jackson's Braindead. For the final hour of the film, there was blood on everything and everyone. This movie knew not to take itself too seriously, and because of it it was a great little comedy full of violence and carnage. This movie was nothing more than an excuse to come up with the most ridiculous and inventive ways of firing blood all over everyone involved. There were some truly tasteless moments in this, but due to the light tone of the film, they couldn't possibly be taken seriously. Even some of the more brutal scenes were so silly you couldn't help but laugh at it. I mean honestly people, a drill bra? Tell me that isn't something every kid thinks of, but never gets to see in a movie.

With a film like this, it's hard to comment on acting. You're not required to give an Oscar worthy performance, nor are you expected to work on character development. In a movie like this, it's all about exaggerated emotions and actions - hamming it, if you'd like. There certainly wasn't any problem here, as Minase Yashiro did a great job playing the vengeance seeking Ami. Not for a second did you doubt her determination to see her brother's murderers brought to justice. The same can be said for Honoka's actions, while cruel and inhumane were justified and downright funny when coupled with Minase's vicious antics.

So was this one of my most anticipated films of the year? You can bet your boots it was. I highly doubt if many films this year will be more fun to watch. Maybe Tokyo Gore Police, which looks as though it will have the same overall feel to it, but I doubt if that will see a DVD release this year. While this film wasn't exactly a masterpiece, it was exactly what it set out to be. An outrageous bloodfest of cartoonish proportions, and I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend ninety minutes. This really is one of the best experiences I've had watching a movie.

grain of sand #1: grain of sand - added 05/29/2008, 11:39 PM
Fuck, I'm so excited to see this and TGP. Certainly one of the years most anticipated for myself, I'll be buying it as soon as I can afford it.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 05/29/2008, 11:41 PM
It's out in a few days, Mr. Rockstar. I'm sure you can spare the bread.
grain of sand #3: grain of sand - added 05/30/2008, 07:31 PM
HA, I wish I made money playing music my friend.. I don't think that'll happen until I start playing clean pop tunes.. Did you torrent this? Message me with details, please
Cryptorchild #4: Cryptorchild - added 05/30/2008, 08:04 PM
I picked this up the other day, excited to see it and it DID NOT disappoint. I really loved it. So much blood! It was a real fun movie.
grain of sand #5: grain of sand - added 05/31/2008, 03:43 AM
This movie was so fun, so cool. Loved the end. 9/10, I got bored in some 3 minute intervals where it was a little whiny.
Crispy #6: Crispy - added 06/03/2008, 11:02 PM
Insanely great. The Japanese sure have the mindless violence down pat.
Chad #7: Chad - added 06/22/2008, 02:46 AM
According to the ratings on this site, this is the third best movie of the year thus far. I can see why.
Kezia Vadimas #8: Kezia Vadimas - added 07/13/2008, 08:54 AM
Great movie, fun to watch! Watched with squeamish friend, even better, lots of laughs.
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