Monday, December 6, 2010

The Offspring of Bruce Campbell and Kill Bill, or, A Weekend of Bad Japanese Movies

So...I'm incredibly glad that head colds and sore throats cannot be spread over the Internet. (As Felicia Day sings in the song "Avatar" from her hit webseries The Guild, "Here in cyberspace there's no disease!") Read as: You're all safe reading this, and you won't get my weird hybrid cold/ear infection thing. But between reading some books and some napping, I turned on my Wii, navigated to the Netflix channel, and streamed a few movies--two Japanese flicks that came up under the "Foreign" category. My cat, Miss Kaylee, and I settled down for an evening of film watching.

In today's session of "Meowsterpiece Theatre," Miss Kaylee and I happily present two terribly cheesy Japanese films highly deserving of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment: constant interruption with snide remarks.

First of all, there's Man, Woman, and the Wall. The general premise is that this scruffy sleaze-bag of a guy moves into an apartment next to a strikingly beautiful woman. He listens through the wall to the different aspects of her life and eventually discovers that her boyfriend has been bugging her apartment and leading a double life: caring boyfriend but creepy stalker. Then scruffy guy who listens through the wall decides he needs to upset the boyfriend's reign of terror. This movie should perhaps be retitled "Why Mark Zuckerberg invented Stalkerbook." Because, believe it or not, Stalkerbook is far less creepy than this particularly Japanese flick (the cinematography of which appears to have been done on a rickety camera track).

Overall PitM rating: 1.5/5.

But wait--there's more! I also watched The Machine Girl, a paragon of cinematic cheesiness. Think of The Machine Girl as Kill Bill meets "The Complete Works of Bruce Campbell." Particularly Army of Darkness Bruce Campbell. There are tons of slow-mo battle sequences, replete with severed limbs that cartoonishly spray gore the consistency of cranberry juice. High school girl Ami Hyuga (that's actually Hyuga Ami, if you're putting surname and given name in the Japanese order) seeks to avenge her brother's death at the hands of a yakuza's heir. In her first attempt at storming the yakuza's headquarters, Ami loses an arm in a series of prolonged tortures; she manages to escape and stumbles into a few friendly mechanics, who build her a machine gun arm. Insert more ridiculous and gory battle sequences. Oh, and the villain kid's mother? She has a drill bra. A steel bar with giant drills for cups. Yes, it is that terrible.

Overall PitM rating: 2/5.

Save yourselves the time: Avoid these films unless you have somebody to help you make fun of them.


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