Robo-Geisha


Title: Robo-Geisha
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Action, Exploitation, Horror, Comedy
Starring: Aya Kiguchi, Hitomi Hasebe, Takumi Saitô
Director: Noboru Iguchi
Language: Japanese

Sometimes you get a craving for something cheesy and filled with blood, and if you've never had this craving then you can probably dismiss this review already, assuming the cover work didn't already turn you off. There are two main schools of thought on the matter these days; the “Saw” and “Final Destination” method of finding new ingenious ways of killing you, and my personal preference, the far more comical “what the living hell” method of finding the most bizarre ways of letting their characters find divine retribution. In the past few years there are two names that have earned themselves a well deserved reputation for their depraved minds, the special effects designer Yoshihiro Nishimura known for thinking up the infamous 'crocodile killer' and 'human chair' for Tokyo Gore Police and Noboru Iguchi, best known as the man who conceived 'Machine Girl,' and it doesn't take him long to come up with another concept to sink his teeth into. This time? Robotic Geisha Assassins.

Much of the plot is standard fare with an evil steel manufacturer taking an interest in our protagonist, Yoshie's, incredible natural ability to beat the living shit out of people, and so naturally decide to abduct her and her older sister so they can put various bits of steel in every orifice and set them to work killing people, training them to use her feminine wiles to seduce men before impaling them with something sharp. Or shrimp. Whatever works. As she learns more of the people she is to kill and the reasons why her employers want her dispatched, she slowly comes to realise the horrific truth behind the organisation, but with her sister held captive she is coerced into submitting to their whim, or not. Thus with the assistance of the other abducted girls grandparents, she embarks to save her sister, destroy the evil corporation, and kill any assassins that stands in her way. In a nutshell, get kidnapped, learn they're evil, kill them. Simple. Sort of.

As I mentioned before the highlight of this partnership is that you have the winning combination of a director who made a name in porn before horror and has brought along most his pornstar buddies for the ride – before anyone asks, no, I have no idea if his porn is as weird as his horrors – and possibly the only man who could breathe B-Movie life to all the insanity their twisted minds can concoct, and from the rip-roaring introduction filled with all sorts of carnage too hilarious to spoil, it would seem that the worthy successor to Machine Girl has arrived just one short year later. The finalé, too, does little to disappoint throwing in new tricks with the old and taking the level of gore cheesiness to new extremes in the form of buildings that bleed and the show stealing presence of the Tengun assassins, scantily clad and disguised with their phallic shaped masks, licking their lips in anticipation of the carnage they're about to wreak.

The problems arise from this middle section of the film between the all-out action romp introducing the characters and the big finish, where the explaining of the plot takes hold and simply seems to drag on too long. In a film with so many ridiculous effects going on, creating an incredibly simplistic plot would be actually preferable to convoluting it with a hefty 'does she love me? Does she not?' backwards and forwards between the two sisters that very quickly gets tiring, and the emotional impact strived for in some of the more drawn out periods just seems out of place. Lets be honest, I'm watching a film full of young Japanese porn stars about Robot Geisha Assassins, trying to find a serious dramatic thread to run at its core seems like something of a lost cause. That said, there's plenty to keep your attention for most of its runtime and anyone whose seen films of this nature before know exactly what to expect, and whilst low on blood they make up for it being high on spontaneity. They simply fell into that trap of overcomplicating what should have been a simple plot.


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