From the team that gave us The Machine Girl and Tokyo Gore Police comes an endearing tale about the unconditional love between two sisters. Did I mention the fact that they’re robots? Robo-Geisha is Iguchi Noboru’s latest anarchic assault on the senses, so if you thought geisha's were quiet and demure; it’s time to think again.
Special effects wizard Nishimura Yoshihiro provides the sublime visual trickery as Robo Geisha unleashes all-out geisha war on modern-day Japan. If you’ve seen the likes of Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl you all ready know what to expect, but this time they’ve added a pinch of sci-fi to the mix as well. Sexploitation, splatter, action, disposable body parts and pure insanity are the order of the day here, as an army of geisha assassins, samurai robots, giant killer robots, and what can best be described as a transformer geisha do battle for your attention.
You all ready know if this is your thing, so I don’t need to mention the mouth chainsaw, hip katakana, bust machine gun, poisonous squirting breast milk, shrimp tempura and butt blades. Kiguchi Aya leads a hot young cast that includes Hasebe Hitomi, Ikuta Etsuko and Asami, with Saitoh Takumi, Matsuo Suzuki and Takenaka Naoto doing their best to keep up.
Regular reviewing criteria doesn't apply when it comes to Sushi Typhoon productions, because fans of Japanese splatter movies don’t really care for character development, storyline and structure. Anything in the vicinity is close enough, just so long as it doesn’t get in the way of the action. And when I say action I mean gore. And when I say gore I mean lots of it.
Iguchi Noboru keeps his narrative fresh by incorporating elements of sci-fi, but it’s business as usual for the most part. Which is another way of saying there’s plenty of CGI blood spraying across your TV screen. The first battle sets the tone for the rest of the movie, and brings with it some well-choreographed action - perhaps it’s not just about the bloodshed after all. Oh wait, she just shot razor blades from her ass… maybe I should take that back.
To help them achieve their goal of world domination, a megalomaniac Japanese businessman and his son recruit a vicious gang of Geisha assassins. These include two feisty sisters with an amazing range of surgically implanted weapons, but then, isn’t that always the case? When one of these Robo-Geishas refuses to kill an innocent group of ex-employees, its butt-blades versus wig napalm and machine breasts against killer-cleaver socks. I think you get the picture…
The pace is less frantic than previous entries in the Machine Girl universe, but that’s not to say there isn’t room for lots of memorable moments. My own particular favourite would have to be the two-on-one butt blade fight. In fact, I’m going out on a limb here by saying it is probably the best two-on-one butt blade fight I’ve ever seen. The humour is hit and miss as always - can’t say I’m a fan of the insistence on characters pointing out every single plot development as it happens - but you get used to it after a while.
Special effects range from good to so-bad-they’re-great. Take, for example, the transformer geisha, it really shouldn’t work at all but by the time it roars into view you’ll be having too much fun to care anyway. Action choreography is impressive for the most part, and performances are deliriously loony. All in all, Robo-Geisha entertains in a way that defies explanation.
If I had to compare it to the other movies I would put it on a par with Tokyo Gore Police, both films are incredibly inventive and Robo-Geisha’s sci-fi twist keeps it feeling fresh throughout. There’s a little less blood perhaps, and the CGI downpour is too distracting at times, but fans of this peculiar breed will find plenty to enjoy I’m sure. It doesn’t quite reach the dizzy heights of The Machine Girl, or for that matter Vampire Girl, but Robo-Geisha is another reliable entry in the splatter-some series.
It’s hard to imagine a world without this particular team of filmmakers, so long may the madness continue. Robo-Geisha is a bloodthirsty buffet of giddy delight, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. AW