08th Jan2015

‘Gun Woman’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Asami, Kairi Narita, Noriaki Kamata, Matthew Floyd Miller, Dean Simone, Marianne Bourg, Marco Ballare | Written and Directed by Kurando Mitsutake

gun-woman-asami

Pardon the language, but f**k me… Gun Woman is my kind of movie! Wild, crazy, sexy, bloody and bad-ass are just a small selection of over the top adjectives I’d use to describe this movie, which almost single-handely revives the classic exploitation Cat III “label” that many a movie fan in the 90s knew was a mark of a great Far East flick (when I say great I actually mean exploitative and packed with sex and violence – which is great! Right?).

The film has one hell of a crazy plot. You see there’s a doctor, who’s wife was raped and murdered by the son of a prominent businessman (know only in the movie as ‘Hamazaki’s Son’). Said son likes nothing more than beating the crap out of women – before, during and after sex, and pretty much abusing all those around him. Oh, did I mention he gets his rocks off shagging dead bodies? Well he does. And that plot point, my friends, is his down fall believe it or not. Back to the doctor… You see said doctor’s wife was kidnapped and subjected to a torrent of sexual abuse – some of which the good doctor witnessed for himself after being brought in, mid-rape, to watch Hamazaki’s son at “work”. Seeing his wife’s neck being snapped before his eyes, before being brutally beaten and left for a cripple, the doctor vows revenge. But how you may ask?

You remember how I said Hamazaki’s son liked to indulge in some necrophilia? Well the doc hatches a plan for revenge during Hamazaki Jr.’s trip to a top secret facility in the desert – a facility that caters for those looking to indulge in their particular corpsicle-loving passion(s). The only problem is that only invited guests and dead women are allowed in the facility and there are certainly no weapons taken inside. The solution? Well that would be the titular Gun Woman!

I did say this film was crazy – you probably agree by now right? Well it gets even more mental! In revenge-crazed madness the doctor (called a ‘Mastermind’ by the films “narrator”) goes out and buys himself a meth-addicted woman, rehabilitates her, then trains her to be an assassin before offering her freedom if she completes one mission: To be cut open, have gun parts stuffed inside her, then delivered the secret facility as a dead body. Her goal? To wake up, tear open her wounds, retrieve the gun, rebuild it and use the weapon to kill Hamazaki’s son and anyone else in the building BEFORE she bleeds out…

Wow. Just wow. Sometimes I wonder if there aren’t film makers out there who are tapping my wildest dreams for the plots to their movies. This would be one such case. Gun Woman is the type of movie that isn’t afraid to be bat-shit crazy, that isn’t afraid to push boundaries, that isn’t afraid to say “f**k it, let’s do what we want”; this is the type of movie that I adore. And the type of movie that you only get from Far East filmmakers who aren’t inhibited by the commercial or moral constraints of the West. And who typically aren’t even constrained by the plot!

Nowhere is this lack of inhibition more prevalent than in lead actress Asami – star of films such as Machine Girl, Erotibot, Dead Sushi, Karate-Robo Zaborgar and the Lust of the Dead franchise – who lays everything bare (literally) in a role that is as iconic as The Bride in Kill Bill, and as badass as the titular One-Eye in They Call Her One-Eye. Her progression from meth addict, to would-be assassin, to [SPOILERS] leather coat wearing, middle-finger flipping full-on killer is truly memorable and utterly believable – she manages to exude both strength and weakness simultaneously as she works her way through her intensive training and her, eventually successful, mission. Asami’s bold role is matched only by writer/director Kurando Mitsutake’s bold, assured direction. Not afraid to take chances and play with the format, Mitsutake uses all the tricks of his trade to create a thrilling, kinetic, non-stop ride – the types of which I often yearn Hollywood action movies would aspire to.

As someone who tried to get his hands on all the Cat III (the classification for “extreme” films in the East) titles he could in the early days of DVD, Gun Woman is the type of wild, truly out-there, movie that I imagined each and every one of those Cat III films would be – boy was I often disappointed! But Gun Woman does NOT disappoint. Oh no. I knew I was in for something special just by reading the synopsis but even that couldn’t prepare me for the sheer awesome madness that made up every second of this fantastic flick.

We’re only eight days into 2015 and I may have my contender for film of the year already! Gun Woman is out now on DVD from Monster Pictures.

***** 5/5

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