‘Machine Girl’ offers another dose of mechanical, splatter mayhem from the imaginations which spawned ‘Meatball Machine’ and ‘Tokyo Gore Police’.
In keeping with both the above titles this movie is quite frankly off it's tits. The plot is one of revenge; its content is one of madness. After a gang led by the sadistic child of a yakuza boss murders Ami’s brother she seeks to make those involved pay with their lives. Upon the trail she must battle those who stand in her way. Sadly not all goes well and upon first contact with the Yakuza family she looses her arm. With the reluctant help of a mechanic and his wife, a couple who also lost their child to the Yakuza gang bullies, Ami has her arm replaced with a minigun!
Spoken for what it is, the plot is as thin as single ply bog roll, however they’re not going for nominations, and it’s easy to forgive it whilst you are being distracted by the onscreen madness. Despite its non-conventional theme the plot is actually quite linear and the script has the usual mushy loyalty and love themes which are fairly generic within Japanese movies, even in horror. Whilst the characters are fairly vanilla, the actors do a good job of bringing them to life, especially considering the bizarre scenes in which they act.
Splatter is where this film excels. First off there is tonnes of blood. Cheap but satisfying watery blood sprays around the place as we see characters get dismembered by both bullets and blades. The gore effects are a mixture of both cosmetic and CGI which gives a nice mixture between the gruesome and the amusing. The cosmetic effects are pretty obviously fake but gruesome none the less, plenty of dismembered limbs and heads go flying around the place all propelled by the gallons of blood sprayed from hose pipe arteries. As I’ve said, the effects are really amusing and whilst I guess, they are sick in principle, the gore and murders in this film don’t really have brutal feel to them which, for once, is nice as it is in keeping with the rest of the movie.
The only real criticism I have of ‘Machine Girl’ is that of pace and run time. It is fairly common for Japanese horrors to be a little more elaborate in their character development than most of their western counterparts; however, in movies such as this it only hampers the progress of the movie. Whilst the action was on the screen, which it is most of the time, it’s explosive whereas in contrast the talking parts in between were boring, and with such a nonsensical plot, the development of the characters and relationships did seem a little pointless in the grand scheme. Still, each to their own and I wouldn’t let it put you off watching the movie.
Overall, it’s about time we had some decent splatter; watching the old school Troma releases and Peter Jackson’s early efforts was getting a little tiresome and it’s nice to see more out of Japan than just ghost movies! If a crazy plot, only surpassed crazy gore peaks your interest, and the idea of a Jap school girl running around with a mini-gun tickles your fancy then without a doubt ‘Machine Girl’ will satisfy.