The Machine Girl Review

Mutilated schoolgirl goes on a killing rampage in order to avenge the death of her younger brother…

I could go on, but Noboro Iguchi’s The Machine Girl doesn’t really need much of an introduction anymore. The surprise is that this was just a silly little low-budget gore-fest that happened to generate so much interest on account of enthusiastic internet blogs, subsequently affording it the kind of international success that very few V-Cinema titles ever seem to enjoy outside of Japan.

But it’s certainly no fluke effort. Iguchi has managed to strike a perfect balance between social commentary, extreme violence and deft comedy in this tightly paced little gem; whether or not he can replicate his success with Robo-Geisha in 2010 remains to be seen, but certainly here he proves to be at the top of his game. Sight gags aplenty as the director lovingly sends up a host of genre flicks, while his wayward stance on rivalling generations is wholly delightful.

And what of the action? Well, just about every sequence is permeated with carnality; arterial spewing graces the framework through which there is no shortage of ideas on display. Victims get limbs chopped off in various ways; fingers are turned into sushi; arms are battered in Tempura mix; holes are blown through faces; nails rammed into heads; steel drill bras shave off some excess flesh and there’s even a flying guillotine with one impressive set of chompers. What’s not to have fun with?

The Disc: Cine Asia, under an apparent “Extreme” label have done themselves proud with this R2 effort. It’s nigh-on identical to the Tokyo Shock R1 release, sporting an anamorphic and progressive 1.78:1 transfer. It’s a heavily manipulated image, featuring lots of post-production tinkering, but the authoring is stable and free from major compression artefacts. For sound we get Japanese DD2.0 and 5.1 and both are very good. The 5.1 mix doesn’t astound by any means, only offering brief rear-channel effects, but it does the job. Optional English subtitles are included, presenting a solid translation, but suffering only by having the subs placed a tad too high. Also included is a 10-minute Making Of piece and two trailers for the feature.

Category Capsule Review

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