It's a pink film about female delinquents at a girls' school. They have fights! They have even more fights! Their tops keep falling off and they never wear bras! The cast contains hardcore porn stars and there's some mighty overacting.
It's also excellent. I was astonished and I'm fascinated to see Part 2.
What's cool about it is its 1970s vibe. The only illusion-breakers are two CGI shots, including electro-torture that makes the victim resemble a Christmas tree. It's not taken far enough to become pastiche and there's no attempt at a period setting, but it's still nothing like the rubber, plastic-wrapped feel one's liable to get from modern trash films. 1970s cinema was dirty and felt real. This film is often ridiculous (the boobs, the overacting, the non-punches), but it never loses its macho, gritted-teeth conviction. It doesn't feel camp or self-aware, despite one or two camp performances. There's also a disco scene!
The school's beyond dreadful. It's more like a warzone. The girls fight, talk, wander around and hold all-in battles during class. Our heroine, Midori (played by Rika Hoshimi) is a delinquent who'll beat up anyone and leads her gang on brazen shoplifting sprees. She's also the second-nicest person in the film. The school's full of gangs and gang leaders, of whom the scariest is Ranko (played by the mighty Asami). Ranko will have her own subordinates beaten, tied up, tortured and given to politicians for rape, because she's in love with the school principal.
The plot escalates. At first, you'll just think the girls are monsters. After a while, though, we meet the school principal and his evil politician friend. ("I promise I will bring clean and honourable politics to this area!") Midori's gang takes them down, but the principal then brings in his yakuza brother to demonstrate that there's always a bigger fish. Girl gangs, meet actual gangs. The ending then goes, alarmingly, to yet another level still.
The principal and the politician are idiots. Vile, yes, but morons. On accepting an invitation to an obvious honey trap, they start canoodling with the provocatively dancing Sexy Schoolgirls and then even pose for photos. The inevitable happens, of course, and I laughed when Midori told the school "it's time to rebel!" How would that differ from daily class? Answer:
1st. Hello, flaming torches. "I'm going to burn your penis off."
2nd. Buy lunch with the principal's money.
That's an amusing order of service. One of these punishments is worse than the other.
The bar owner is a camp gay cliche, acted so absurdly that it breaks through "offensive" and comes full circle to "you've almost got to respect it". He also likes groping boobs, but in a light-hearted way that the girls don't seem to mind. (Well, apart from punching him.)
The performances are the film's strength. Asami is Asami. I watched this film because it had Asami in it. Enough said. (As it happens, though, she's been given material worthy of her over-the-top talents, combining genuine menace with an ultimately pain-filled and deeply misplaced love.) Rika Hoshimi is fine. The girl who challenges her in the pre-credits sequence is overacting to a laugh-out-loud level, but you've got to admire her intensity in that formalised battle challenge. I also admired the yazuka brother, who's manic, drug-addled and overacting like a crazy bastard... but is also impressively dangerous and would probably still have been the scariest person in the room in a serious, non-trashy yakuza epic.
Then we have the ending, which is the other 1970s thing about this film. Heroism, justice, happy endings... naah.
I was impressed. If I could find this film on DVD, I'd buy it. It's pretty low-grade, e.g. punches that visibly aren't connecting. The budget was clearly minimal. The sleaze is shameless, e.g. the topless mass apology, and the film makes somewhat disturbing use of rape. However I'm currently assuming that this film was lightning in a bottle and that the sequel won't manage to be anywhere near this strong.