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Sushi Typhoon – Part 4: Mutant Girls Squad

April 19, 2011

Sentô shôjo: Chi no tekkamen densetsu (Japan, 2010)

“Mutant Girls Squad is kind of like X-Men. Except that the X-Men didn’t rape men with mutant tentacles.” – Kalle Karinen / Night Visions catalogue.

Sushi Typhoon’s third announced but first released film places the company’s three major aces on the table: Tak Sakaguchi, Noboru Iguchi, and Yoshihiro Nishimura. The action / comedy / special effects trio was each assigned to do what they best know, even though, in my humble opinion, Iguchi doesn’t know anything that well.

While splitting directing duties in three, each of the madmen were also given special responsibilities. Iguchi was the one who created the story, Sakaguchi choreographed the action, and Nishimura – no surprise here – splattered everyone’s brains all over the place.

The outcome is a mixture of cartoonish superhero action, Japanese teen girls, and mental insanity.

The premise is simple enough. Rin (Yumi Sugimoto) is a bullied 16 year old schoolgirl, who discovers on her birthday that she’s actually a mutant. Pissed off and upset she grows a steel hand kills half of the town’s population. She’s then taken in by a transvestite mutant leader (Tak Sakaguchi doing triple shift here).

The opening third is all Sakaguchi’s courtesy, which should be obvious from excessively long street fight, shot without fast cuts or tricks, although not quite overwhelming with the action choreography. There’s more CG blood than the doctor recommends, but the comedic nature keeps it from becoming too distracting.

Sakaguchi is relatively inexperienced at directing, but he has improved since his 2008 debut Be a Man! Samurai School. The pacing problems of Be a Man! are gone, replaced by machine gun mix of comedy, action, strange-ass drama, and cuteness.

Enter the ass chainsaw. It’s Iguchi time. The more comedic middle third is a strange mutant girl boot camp with obscure references to Sukeban Deka 2: The Girl with the Iron Mask (1985). It’s just a shame the tekkamen (iron mask) is not used to a large extent and no real Sukeban Deka connection is created.

While a lesser episode in the film, it’s not worse than average Iguchi. The jokes are a bit old, and CG is still over-used, but Iguchi also introduces the most adorable tentacle rapist mutant (Suzuka Morita). She even got her own spin off short movie. Something for home audiences to track down!

One hour into the movie Nishimura takes over. A fan of handmade murder, Nishimura does not rely much on CG. Rather the opposite – he bought a pump to handle all three thousand litres of blood he used in the film. Being quite reminiscent of Nishimura’s short films (Reject of Death, 63 Minutes into the Movie, etc.) it’s essentially John Woo gone platter – an outrageous ballet of gore. A talented visual storyteller Nishimura is, he stages all the bloodletting to the epic score by Koh Nakagawa.

A potential mishmash turned surprisingly even and thoroughly entertaining film Mutant Girls Squad is an extreme between extremes. While not quite as dark as Tokyo Gore Police, it’s still more brutal than Nishimura / Tomomatsu’s charming love comedy splatter Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. In genre terms Mutant Girls Squad is essentially more of the same, that is, A-grade mental insanity that overcomes its production values with a vengeance.

And the familiar faces? They’re all here. Iguchi (ancient nobleman), Nishimura (exploding head soldier), Benny (romantic guard), Asami (eye patched assassin), Mizui (astro mutant), Izumi (breast katana), and Takashi Ishii’s favorite actor Naoto “what the heck happened to my career” Takenaka as a politician. Just to mention a few.

You know what you’re into.

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5 comments

  1. Thanks, sounds like something I’d watch. And probably love. More than that HK-Triple-Director affair TRIANGLE, anyway.


  2. I just noticed – this came out in Austria a little while ago, in a so called “Media-Book”: movie on a DVD, all the extras (shortfilm “Yoshie Zero” inclusive) on a Blu-Ray. Check out the specs here:

    http://www.ofdb.de/view.php?page=fassung&fid=194872&vid=316151

    I’d be satisfied with the movie alone, but the German stand-alone release is censored. Roughly 11 minutes are missing. Oh dear …


  3. Yeah, I heard about the German cuts…

    I watched the film on a fest last year, been waiting for the upcoming US Blu-Ray (in June or July). But I just hope it will include the spin off movie. If it doesn’t, then I will have to get two releases…

    … and I’ve already got two release of TGP and VG vs. FG…

    That Austrian release… film on DVD and Extras on Blu-Ray (with the same extras also on a second DVD, if I understood correctly)? What the???? Could it be a mistake? Maybe Movie & Extras on Blu-Ray, and the same contents also on two DVDs for those who can’t play Blu-Ray?

    Oh, and I’m sure you’d enjoy the film.


  4. Yeah, the Austrian Release is really strange but I doubt that it’s a mistake, those guys at the ofdb are usually pretty anal about stuff like that; well, it’s uncut so I’ll probably end up buying it, anyway.

    But the funniest thing about this whole Sushi Typhoon Affair is still, that about 2 years ago I was all crazy for the stuff, and you were like “TGP: 1,5” and now it’s almost the other way around …


  5. hey, it wasn’t quite that low, haha. But yeah, TGP was a bit of a slow burner for me.

    Iguchi however, is still a no burner. I’ll give The Machine Girl another chance this week (movie night) but I doubt it… and Robo-Geisha couldn’t convince me any more on the second viewing than it did(n’t) on the first viewing. Got the Finnish dvd for free, because my name appears on the cover.

    The spin off, Geisha Cop, however comes with a beyond priceless Asami-Yui Murata kiss. I don’t even like Asami, but in this one she’s awesome.



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