Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Yakuza Hunters I and II

If you’re looking for an homage to the grand old Toei exploitation pictures of the 70s, you can’t go far wrong with Yakuza Hunters I and II (2012). First off you have scrumptious Japanese cult actress and former adult video star Asami Sugiura (RoboGeisha, The Machine Girl) running around half undressed (in the first film at least), killing yakuza by the dozen. Her character (conveniently named Asami) was formerly a sukeban (girl gang) boss until her best friend betrayed her and started moving coke for the mob. Things got ugly after that and, well, the ex-friend and the yakuza gang are on her shit/hit list.

Be warned, these films contain oceans of blood and extreme gore — the second film opens with a woman being raped with a chainsaw … yeah, really. And fairly graphically. This shit ain’t subtle. There’s a vicious streak running through these films (particularly the second one) that’s rather repellant. But you can’t say they don’t go over the top. Way over!

The first film is more satirical and sexy, the latter darker and meaner (a baby is put to the sword, various horrible mutilations, etc.), so depending on your inclination, you decide which one works for you. I liked the first one better. Asami has a bunch of other girls who help her with her yakuza hunting, and they tend to run around in skimpy outfits and fight with samurai swords. Yosh!

Asami likes to chop off the pinkies of every yakuza she kills and wears them in a bandolier across her chest (see photo above, click to enlarge). Something about a strikingly hot chick wearing fingers — it’s an image you won’t soon forget. And she has superpowers! She can catch bullets and wing them back at you with the same force, and you don’t want to know what happens when she flings one of those fingers …

Supposedly these films were going to be a trilogy, but wound up condensed to two titles. However, you could be forgiven for thinking there are indeed three films, as the first one has been released with two different titles: Yakuza Hunters: Final Death Ride Battle and Yakuza Hunters: The Ultimate Battle Royale (the second picture is out as Yakuza Hunters: The Revenge Duel in Hell, as well as just plain Yakuza Hunters: Duel in Hell).

Coming soon to Netflix and available on DVD.

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