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The Machine Girl (2008)
"Kataude mashin gâru" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Horror | Thriller  -  23 May 2008 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 8,188 users  
Reviews: 83 user | 96 critic

Ami is a typical college girl. She's bright, friendly, popular and athletic, with nothing to set her apart from other girls her age other than the fact that she is an orphan, left to care ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Minase Yashiro ...
Ami Hyuga
...
Miki
Kentarô Shimazu ...
Ryûji Kimura / Kimura gang boss
Honoka ...
Violet Kimura
Nobuhiro Nishihara ...
Sho Kimura
Yûya Ishikawa ...
Suguru Sugihara
Ryôsuke Kawamura ...
Yu Hyuga
Demo Tanaka ...
Kaneko / Kimura gang member
Nahana ...
Masako Fujii
Tarô Suwa ...
Kimura gang member
...
Ami Hyuga (voice)
Dan Green ...
Yusume (voice)
Jason Griffith ...
Ryota / Additional voices (voice)
...
Masako (voice)
...
Sushi Chef (voice) (as Herb Lawerence)
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Storyline

Ami is a typical college girl. She's bright, friendly, popular and athletic, with nothing to set her apart from other girls her age other than the fact that she is an orphan, left to care for her younger brother after her father committed suicide after being falsely accused of murder. But while there is tragedy in their past, the siblings' future looks good, except for one thing. Ami's brother has racked up a considerable debt to another boy at school, and that boy just happens to be the heir to a clan of vicious ninja-yakuza. Ami's brother can't pay, violence breaks out and in the course of trying to avenge her brother, Ami is captured by the clan. They torture her and hack her arm right off. Ami escapes, barely alive, and is taken in by the owners of a machine shop who build her a customized, bullet-spewing arm. From that point, the quest for revenge is on in earnest. Written by Todd Brown for Fantasia Film Festival

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

girl | revenge | suicide | bullying | bully | See All (68) »

Taglines:

The Machine Girl - One Armed Ballistic Assault Heroine See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

23 May 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Machine Girl  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The family kami (god) of the killers is Hanzo Hattori. Hatori Hanzo was a famous ninja and is often referenced in various fiction and entertainment. See more »

Goofs

When the Machine Girl confronts a group of guys in the beginning, she lunges into the air with her arms spread wide, where you can clearly see that they are both intact. Shortly after landing on the ground she shows that her left arm is actually missing and what remains is a nub. See more »

Connections

Spin-off Shyness Machine Girl (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Machine Girl does exactly what it says on the tin.
31 May 2008 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

The trailer for Noboru Iguchi's The Machine Girl has been doing the rounds of the b-movie community for months now. Gorehounds, exploitation fans action nuts alike have been looking forward to it with the same restless feverish anticipation the nerd community would embrace a new Star Wars movie. But let's get this out of the way first: a lot people of doubted the movie would fulfill the gory promises made by the trailer; cast away your doubts ye unbelievers, for like a good can of castoroil, this one does exactly what it says on the tin.

Now what does the tin say? A cartoonish hybrid of splattery goofy horror and gonzo action with only a basic revenge plot serving as a skeleton. I won't go into plot details because I'll only be wasting your time. In a nutshell: girl finds brother killed by yakuzas; girl has her arm chopped; girl wants revenge. Simple and effective. The talky parts that move the story forward are contrived enough to make you look forward to the next bout of creative splatter. Nothing to write home about but it gets the job done.

From a visual standpoint, the movie was shot in HD and that lends a cold, realistic look to it. Faster shutter speeds were used in the action scenes which means more stuttery images, reminiscent of 28 Days Later for example. The added benefit can be observed in the glorious blood geysers.

The main attraction here though is the splatter. It's done with enough tongue-in-cheek attitude to keep it from treading horror territory and remains more geared towards over-the-top action. Machine guns tear holes through heads and stomachs, torsos are cut in half, heads and hands chopped off and fingers served as sushi. Arterial sprays and blood geysers are all over the place in true 70's samurai fashion. Kung-fu fans will get a kick out of a favorite cult weapon cameo, the flying guillotine (as seen in Flying Guillotine and Master of the Flying Guillotine) and a certain drill bra is worthy of the cock and ball gun in From Dusk Till Dawn. There are evil yakuzas doing blood rituals, ninjas complete with shurikens and silly costumes (a nod to Godfrey Ho maybe?) and the cheese-tastic Super Mourners Squad. The prevalent comic-book sensibility makes everything so wildly enjoyable. Good, clean, family entertainment overall.

There might be gore galore but the movie is not without its flaws either. The score for one verges on silly muzak. Some parts sound like an early 90's NAMCO video game while others are cheap filler electronica. I wasn't expecting Morricone of course so it's only a slight annoyance but 70's Japanese exploitation movies boasted wonderful string scores that would have added the extra oomph here.

The CGI however should have been avoided altogether. They draw unnecessary attention to themselves and even though one could argue they are in step with the anything goes attitude of the film, I can't help but think they cheapen the whole thing in a visually unappealing way. Just watch the flying shurikens and you'll see what I mean.

What's important though is that The Machine Girl fulfills every promise it made upon its announcement. Watch the trailer. If an over the top action splatter fest that winks to martial arts and refuses to take itself too seriously sounds like your kind of thing, the movie will not disappoint. Iguchi made it with the enthusiasm of a fan and it shows: he knows what works and what doesn't. He also knows how many times fans have been disappointed by misleading ballyhoos and trailers of promised graphic violence and he delivers exactly what he set out to do.


43 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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