Minase YashiroYukihide BennyNoriko KijimaNoboru Iguchi
Shyness Machine Girl
Medium: DVD, short film
Year: 2009
Writer/director: Noboru Iguchi
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Keywords: The Machine Girl, horror
Actor: Noriko Kijima, Yuya Ishikawa, Demo Tanaka, Kentaro Kishi, Hiroaki Murakami, Yukihide Benny, Takatoshi Naoi, Masahiro Aoki, Minase Yashiro, Asami, Kentaro Shimazu
Format: 22 minutes
Url: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1319567/
Website category: J-horror
Review date: 6 June 2010
It's a DVD extra that also happens to be a 22-minute short film. It's a sequel to The Machine Girl, which was one of those comedy splatterfests that's nearly worthless on every level except silly gore effects and doesn't care two hoots. It's camp, ludicrously acted and sometimes quite funny.
Shyness Machine Girl makes the original Machine Girl look realistic.
Firstly, they've ramped up the Looney Tunes logic. You know the way in which cartoon characters can get sliced up, yet be alive and running around again a few seconds later with red horizontal lines across their bodies? That happens here. There are half a dozen main characters and almost all of them (not sure about the sumo wrestler) were gruesomely killed in The Machine Girl. Thus for instance the guy who was chainsawed in half from head to groin is now okay again, but with a scar running down his face and body. He's also tattooed himself with the face of the girl who killed him, one on his chest and a different version on his back. These tattoos must be about two square feet each and it would seem that he got them because he wants to be able to ask passers-by if they've seen her and it's too much hassle to carry around photographs.
Criticising this for being unrealistic is to miss the point. That's the whole point of the joke. However I do wonder if this might have a negative effect on The Machine Girl if one ever rewatched it. Mightn't it lose even what little featherlight weight it had if it turns out that the big set-piece deaths are only temporary?
Returning to this film, the story is of course nonsense. Our heroine machine-guns someone to death before the opening credits for no reason except that this is a comedy gore film. Maybe she didn't like his tone of voice. Bad guys mug outrageously at the camera and gravure idol Noriko Kijima demonstrates once again that she can't even meet the acting requirements of a Machine Girl movie. She knows how to fill out a bikini, though. There are two noteworthy things about this film. The first is the set-piece scene of Kijima going up against the bad guys, which is so insanely stupid that it's hilarious and has men getting so excited by the sight of a girl in a bikini that their eyes turn inside-out like Schwarzenegger's in the Martian atmosphere at the end of Total Recall, then their eyeballs pop. The second noteworthy thing is the attempted emotional content. I can't believe it's meant to be serious, but it's doing a wholehearted impression of it. I think it's that Iguchi is copying the form of the revenge genre, which would make this an aesthetic decision rather than a storytelling one. This isn't really a revenge movie, you see, but more like a comedy gore parody of one.
Mind you, this one's not about gore so much as make-up and prosthetics. They're having fun, bless them.
I think I prefer this to The Machine Girl, actually. It's shorter and sillier, with less pseudo-story bogging down the farcical stupidity. It's more of a sugar rush, in other words. My attention occasionally wandered during the original film, to be honest. Would I go so far as to recommend it, though? Not really. It does what it's doing quite well, but those aren't exactly lofty artistic goals it's setting itself.