Saturday, April 25, 2009

片腕マシンガール: The Machine Girl

I got a huge kick out of this film poster when I first saw it back in November.
The title of the film, 片腕マシンガール literally translates to One Armed Machine Girl. The film is a titillating gorefest, as you could probably gather from the poster.

In the plot, the schoolgirl protagonist's brother is murdered by a gang of school bullies. She takes revenge by killing them off one by one. When her arm is severed by a samurai sword, the car mechanic mother of another bully victim crafts a Gatling Gun and attaches it to her stump.

The B-flick is quite obviously influenced by Robert Rodriguez's zombie movie, Planet Terror, the 2007 film where Rose McGowan obliterates zombies with an AK47 prosthetic leg. In the same vain, the violence is on cartoonish levels with blood and limbs flying everywhere.

What troubles me about this film is its fetishization of schoolgirls, something that greatly bothers me about Japanese culture. The film is loaded with obscene situations, sexual language, and inappropriate camerawork.

For example, look at the graphic on the lower right of the backside of the flyer.
Such imagery is perverse, but then again, is American culture, with teen sex comedies like American Pie and TV ads for Girls Gone Wild, any more pristine?

I could also potentially see this film as empowering to young girls. In a society with rampant and vicious school bullying, such a fantasy seems to reflect on the desire young people have to stick up for themselves. 

No comments: