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With: Minase Yashiro, Asami, Ryosuke Kawamura, Nobuhiro Nishihara, Kentaro Shimazu, Honoka, Taro Suwa, Hiroko Yashiki
Written by: Noboru Iguchi
Directed by: Noboru Iguchi
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Running Time: 96
Date: 03/22/2008

The Machine Girl (2008)

3 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Inspired by Kill Bill and Grindhouse (especially Planet Terror), with its 1970s-style graphics, prosthetic weapons and spraying blood, the new The Machine Girl nevertheless has a welcome confidence of its own. It's smart enough to really cut loose and relaxed enough to be funny. Orphaned Ami Hyuga (Minase Yashiro) seeks revenge for the death of her beloved brother (Ryosuke Kawamura) at the hands of a young yakuza bully. Writer/director Noboru Iguchi ransacks every conceivable weapon for his violence, up to and including a flying guillotine, a drill bra and tempura batter. The selling point, of course, is the prosthetic machine gun that replaces Ami's severed arm (a terrific prologue -- which couldn't possibly happen anywhere in the actual storyline -- demonstrates it). The catch, and what makes it different and better than Planet Terror, is that each time anyone dies, the victim's family and friends join the quest for revenge. The result is a massive, complex battle with everyone feeling wronged and everyone screaming for blood; clearly Iguchi has something to say about the nature of vengeance. The Machine Girl debuts June 6 in San Francisco at the "Another Hole in the Head" Film Festival (from SF IndieFest).{subid}&url=hitlist.asp?searchfield=marvel
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