BLU-RAY REVIEW: MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD
What can I say? A film from Sushi Typhoon will always interest me due to their creativity in pushing the level of gore and blood with each film they put out, as well as presenting it to viewers in an almost light-hearted and cheerful sort of way. I guess “cheerful” may not be the best way to describe it, but that is just how the film made me feel!
The last Sushi Typhoon film I reviewed was HELLDRIVER, which I enjoyed, but even more enjoyable was MUTANT GIRL SQUAD and it took my pleasure to a whole different level. Directors Noburu Iguchi (ROBOGEISHA, THE MACHINE GIRL), Yoshihiro Nishimura (TOKYO GORE POLICE, HELLDRIVER, VAMPIRE GIRL VS. FRANKENSTEIN GIRL), and Tak Sakaguchi (VERSUS, AZUMI, TOKYO GORE POLICE, YAKUZA WEAPON) all co-directed this film and each individual is has taken their turn at much more than just directing a film. Iguchi has directed more than forty films, as well as acted and written a handful of well-known Japanese splatter and gore films fusing acrobatic action and SHOGUN ASSASSIN-style arterial sprays of blood. Thrown into the equation is Nishimura, more notable for his creative blend of blood fused with an extreme focus on slicing and dicing the human (or in some cases alien) body in new and innovative ways. I really never know what to expect when watching a film that Nishimura is doing the effects on. If that is not enough names dropped into this project, MGS (MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD) has Sakaguchi starring in the film as well co-directing it.
I was apprehensive upon watching MGS because the film had three directors and I was worried having too many cooks in the kitchen would turn out to work against the film and create a chaotic mess filled with blood and gore (which is not always a terrible thing). Instead, MGS is one of the finest films that I have seen on the Sushi Typhoon label. The film has a very entertaining story that does not drag, develops a strong lead character in Rin (Yumi Sugimoto), a young girl that gets bullied at school and is on the verge of blossoming into womanhood and finds out from her family that she has special powers and is a mutant. This movie really did remind me of the X-MEN comics as Rin goes on to have her whole family murdered by an evil government-type agency hellbent on exterminating all of the mutants. They see them as a threat to mankind. Does this plot sort of sound familiar to mutants in the comicbook pages of X-MEN and all the other offshoots of it? Maybe just a little but who the hell cares because this film is nowhere near as tame as the Marvel Comics mutant films.
Rin is found by the secret mutant organization and taken under their wing and trained in using her powers to fight the bad guys (which happen to be anyone that is not a mutant!). She finds out that their leader, Kisaragi (Tak Sagaguchi as a tranny), doesn’t mind when innocent humans are killed. In fact, it seems he loves it when humans (good or bad) get massacred. Rin, whose power is very great, decides to get all the other girls to turn on their manipulative leader and truly fight for justice. Between Rin joining the squad and fighting Kisaragi there is a great deal of humor, blood, guts, creative powers explored, visual absurdness, and overall wacky and entertaining fight choreography to amuse and entertain the viewer.
Guards wearing helmets with gun turrets where their noses would be blast the MGS with machine gun-like intensity and never seem to run out of ammo. In fact, I have no fucking clue where the hell the bullets are coming from as it is just a helmet with a nose-like barrel attached. At any rate, it is something I have never seen in a movie (that I can recall) and was amusing to watch. Some of the various powers and mutations the girls have are really fun to watch and see in action. I particularly liked the girl whose breasts pop through her shirt and are really long swords or the girl who has a chainsaw pop out of her ass to saw people up. The films really remind me of insane Japanimation or Manga brought to the big screen with live-action and fun special effects. At times, the CGI and digital effects are less than spectacular, but they sometimes are just adding to the zaniness of the film. I was reminded of early-90’s Godzilla and Gamera films and made me feel like a kid again.
As most movies have in their plots, there is a jealous member of the group (dubbed the Hiruko Clan) in it (ironically she finds Rin) named Rei and she starts to butt heads with Rin when she (Rin) starts to develop her own powers and gains great strength. I enjoyed this film from Sushi Typhoon more than the others I have seen because the plot is much easier to follow, has stronger character development than the other films, and really had some super violent fatalities and gore. I always will smile when a decent head explosion occurs and Rin’s mother having her face blown up really delivered the gore. I had to rewind the scene a few times because it was so awesome! If Japan had Grindhouse films, these would most definitely be it!
I think that Sushi Typhoon has some of the most talented names in modern-day Japanese cinema (specifically in the horror arena) and myself a huge fan of Takashi Miike (who is also part of the group and dubbed the title “head chef”), Zeiram producer Yoshinora Chiba has created a production company (subsidiary of Nikkatsu) that is releasing some awesome low-budget horror, sci-fi, and fantasy films that lovers of anime, monster flicks, martial arts, and Kaiju films will have some serious fun with.