This week we have another piece of cinema from that delightfully peculiar duo of director Noboru Iguchi (Mutant Girls Squad, Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead) and effects master Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl). A Cinderella story at its core, RoboGeisha replaces the singing animals and fairy godmothers with killer robots, blunt force trauma, and a fixation with ass-weaponry. While decidedly weird, I would like to say I enjoyed this one more than I did. For all of its quirkiness, RoboGeisha just doesn’t live up its potential.
It’s full of sexy gals in a barely-clothed sort of way, but sadly, there are clothes.
For a Nishimura film, the gore is pretty light. There are some choice scenes though, and what we get looks great, but there’s nothing too shocking in this respect.
Really high. If you’re familiar with this movie making pair, this one is par for the course (and you can thank Noboru Iguchi for all the ass play).
We open with a stereotypical Japanese businessman, enjoying a little geisha dance while his business posse hangs close by. No sooner does one of his men inform him of an assassination plot, does the sweet geisha reveal herself to be not so sweet after all. She splits in two (?) revealing her mechanical nature, and what’s more, two scantily clad ladies pop out (??) of her insides. These two tengu warriors start to do battle with the businessmen, who all carry swords concealed within their suits, which, if these films have taught me anything, it’s that apparently every single person in Japan is armed with a sword at all times.
To be fair, naked demon lady attacks are quite common there.
Enter the “good” geisha to save the day, played by the lovely Aya Kiguchi, whom I’ve learned (through my extensive research with google images) is not at all shy about showing off her physical assets.
Mmmyes. One for the puff-puff folder.
Flashback time! Good geisha, whose name is Yoshie, tells a tale of being the ugly duckling, made of the “discarded parts” not used on her more beautiful sister. The sister and the madam treat
Cinderella Yoshie poorly, forcing her to clean and occasionally beating the crap out of her. After Yoshie clumsily interrupts one of her sister’s performances, she inadvertently falls into the arms of our Prince Charming, Hikaru, whom you may recognize as actor Takumi Saito, the useless male lead from Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl.
Hikaru, the son of a steel mogul, soon reveals a secret: it turns out the tengu bitches from before are in his employ. Also, they have face-melting breast milk!
Takashi Miike, eat your heart out.
The two sisters end up visiting Hikaru’s headquarters soon after. There, Hikaru’s dad reveals their mad plot, which involves a desire to “change Japan” through the production of nuclear weaponry. To help this along, they’ve been training an army of sexy Geisha warriors, who zero in on their targets’ weak points, through “love affairs.” This two-fold technique of seduction and ass-kicking has obviously been the secret to taking over the country all along.
Ass-punching, on the other hand, is just part of the training.
The businessmen fit each of the sisters with a metal gauntlet, which is somehow connected to their minds (?) so that when they get angry, the gauntlet shoots forth a sword a la Edward Elric (??). Naturally, they’re forced to duel each other, so that Yoshie can unlock her true potential. She defeats her sister, and their roles reverse; Yoshie, after a healthy dose of Stockholm syndrome, becomes the star pupil, whereas the sister is now forced into servitude. Not to be outdone, the sister undergoes android surgery to get the upper hand, and it’s pretty obvious where this is going. From here it devolves into a pissing contest between them (and is there anything on Earth more competitive than sisters?) Yoshie gets her own “enhancements” and things just get sillier from there.
Though, who hasn’t thought about armpit swords at one time or another.
The girls, now assassins for Hikaru and Co., set out to do some samurai battle, because hey, samurai are awesome. In all honesty, if watching hot girls in schoolgirl outfits shoot bullets from their funbags at claw-wielding feudal-era samurai (employing excellent choreography) isn’t your cup of tea … then look, you’re just in the wrong place to begin with.
Full disclosure: this guy alone just bumped my score of this movie up a full point.
Yoshie eventually meets up with an organization bent on rescuing their lost family members, i.e. Yoshi’s brainwashed geisha sisters. It’s your standard Weak Girl Becomes Assassin, Murders the Shit Out of Everyone, Then Turns Over a New Leaf plotline.
Four hundred deathly ass-stabbings later, she realizes the error of her ways.
As you can probably guess, Yoshie ends up taking on the evil organization that gave her robo-powers. She fights to free the girls and her sister, whom she loved, then hated, and now loves again. Or something. They can’t seem to make up their minds in this movie. Women, am I right fellas?
Just when you think you got ‘em figured out, they go into battle with Pagoda Godzilla.
Humor-wise, this one is certainly in the same vein as several other Iguchi and Nishimura films, complete with ridiculous plotlines, over-the-top characters, and gratuitous visual effects. It’s not going win any Oscars, but these types of movies are tons of fun, and RoboGeisha fits in nicely, even if it is a bit dull in parts.
I admit, I am a sucker for martial arts films, and it’s the fighting that really appeals to me in this particular flick. The dialogue is nothing special and the movie drags with the whole sister rivalry and uninteresting world domination plot, but when it gets to the action, it’s fantastic. The end battle alone almost makes up for the slow parts. Unfortunately, at a running time of an hour forty, there is way more talking than fighting. They really could have cut at least a half hour out of this film. In addition, it has less gore than the typical Nishimura film and relies too heavily on sub-par CGI effects.
Not a bad film, though. Definitely weird, and absolutely bonkers in parts, this one is good for a few laughs but it pales in comparison with some of the others in this genre (in particular, it’s fairly weak for Nishimura). Best not to attempt viewing this one too sober, but still worth a watch when you’ve exhausted everything else.
Score: 7/10, absurd, great action, drags quite a bit
IMDB for this pygophiliac’s delight
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Categories: asian horror