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Gun Woman

March 13, 2014

Trashy action gem is loads of fun.

Gun Woman (2014)

Kurando Mitsutake’s previous genre film, Samurai Avenger: The Blind Wolf (2009) was a moderately fun film, but had some obvious issues with excessive use of flashbacks and genre film homage overkill. Now Mitsutake returns with a far superior b-action gem Gun Woman.

The ultra-violent action thriller has a structure roughly similar to many kung fu films. The storyline follows a drug addict hooker (Asami) who is sold on the human market. The new owner (Kairi Narita) forces her to go through a hellish physical and mental training to become an assassin. She must acquire the skills to take down a heavily guarded, monstrous Japanese gangster (Noriaki Kamata) who has a taste for necrophilia. Failure would mean death.

Though shot on a very modest budget and not looking all that hot, the film is actually quite a stylish affair. Like Samurai Avenger, Gun Woman is packed with cool camerawork. The soundtrack by Dean Harada (who also scored Samurai Avenger) is downright terrific. AV actress gone genre film star Asami gives her career best performance is a role that doesn’t feature a single line of dialogue. Her fearlessness in front of camera also comes much in need, as the role features her in full nude action scenes while covered in blood. She’s obviously gone through some fight training as well.

The film is incredibly brutal, borderline tasteless even by splatter film standards, all thanks to Noriaki Kamata’s ruthless villain. The mix of ultra-violence, action and sex somewhat resembles the excellent but flawed Troma film Father’s Day (2011). Gun Woman, however, lacks all the stupid post-modernism and cheap humour that hurt Father’s Day. Amazingly enough, screen legend Tatsuya Nakadai (The Human Condition, 1959 ; Harakiri, 1962) appears briefly as the villain’s father. The mere thought of Nakadai in a film like this is mind-boggling.

Though the film’s storyline doesn’t always make full sense, it is nevertheless remarkably badass, especially the final infiltration plan which goes directly to the b-cinema Hall of Fame. As a small flaw Harada’s otherwise excellent soundtrack gets a bit too melancholic during the action packed climax, which is good to know in advance to avoid slight disappointment.

Gun Woman is easily one of the best action films to come out of Japan in years together with Takanori Tsujimoto’s films (Bushido Man, Hard Revenge Milly: Bloody Battle).

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