Been checking out some not-so-great Japanese films of late. Normally I try to write positive reviews about films I like, but this time out, instead of the Moet & Chandon I normally dispense, well, you're getting lemonade.
First off is Onechanbara: Samurai Bikini Squad (2008). Except it ain't a squad, just one chick in a bikini. And half the time she's covered up in a Man With No Name poncho and cowboy hat combo. She's hot enough, and radiates a tough, Meiko Kaji vibe, but the film is based on a video game, and beyond the zombies and the swordplay, there's not much else on offer.
Speaking of Meiko Kaji, there’s Female Convict Scorpion (aka Sasori, 2008). Nope, she's not in it. Yep, it’s a remake of the Japanese exploitation classic. It’s a Japanese/Chinese (mostly Chinese) co-production, and a bit too torture-porny for my taste. The original was campy, sexy and outrageous. This one is just kind of a bummer. If you enjoy seeing women being cruelly mistreated, with nary a nod or wink, this is your flick.
Lastly, we have Karate Girl (2011), probably the best of the bunch, although when there isn’t karate happening the pace slows to a crawl (endless scenes of villains saying villainous things very slowly). It stars real-life karate champ Rina Takeda. She’s extremely cute and demure, and she can kick your ass eight ways to Sunday. You don’t see that much karate in movies anymore, so this was a nice change of pace.
Next up: A Korean horror anthology I received a screener for …
Far East Film Festival - The Day Before
I'm now in Udine, Italy for a film festival, one of several happening simultaneously. Most eyes will be on the events of Tribeca. But I am in Udine for one o...