Friday, December 18, 2009

Front page is looking a little too classy lately

This ought to fix that!

I'm not going to say I don't watch a lot of bad movies, but as long as Yoshihiro Nishimura and his posse keep cranking out surreal Guignol shit, I am sure as shit going to keep watching them. Problem is, they're kind of hard to review, because the subject matter and style is so polarizing-- you can only really judge them relative to one another. The fundamental question is, do you think rubber intestines are funny? If not, avoid this movie at all costs. If so, let's talk.

Samurai Princess looks a lot lower-budget than Team Nishimura's last US release, Tokyo Gore Police (Nishimura directed that as well as handling the FX, but steps back to the latter here, while TGP writer Kengo Kaji moves up to director), or even Machine Girl... it was shot on video, and appears to have all of three sets, but they wisely spend pretty much all their money in the right places.

This movie isn't nearly as relentlessly, mind-shatteringly surreal as Gore Police... in fact, it's even zanier than usual, set in a lightly sketched, sort of retro-future feudal era where everyone dresses like art-punks and mohawked Frankenstein bandits roam the land, leaving curiously tidy stacks of severed limbs in their wake. The leads meet-cute when one accidentally takes a leak on the other, gratuitous training montages lead into inexplicable sex scenes, and the cast includes ditzy samurai bounty-hunter/cops, mad science personnel who will NOT stop mugging for the camera, and a guy who fights with the power of biotech cyborg rock. It's not impossible to follow the plot or anything, but I'm not going to lie and say I gave a damn about it-- it is, as always, basically an excuse to show rubber appendages get cut off and flop around, and it does so entertainingly.

Samurai Princess is technically the weakest Nishimura I've seen, but it's definitely worth watching if you liked either of the others. I continue to look forward to whatever slice of nonsense comes next. Still, I must note that the back-cover copy is misleading; there are no breast grenades in this movie per se. They seem to be more of a shot-put.

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