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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Aya Kiguchi, Hitomi Hasebe, Takumi Saito and Taro Shigaki
Cine Asia
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 07 June 2010

Yoshie and Kikuyakko are average sisters, with the usual sibling rivalry. Both girls dream of becoming a geisha, but Kikuyakko bullies Yoshie over her clumsy ways. This changes when the two meet Hikaru Kageno, who sees something special in Yoshie, and invites the two to visit his factory, a factory which specialises in hi-tech weaponry, including geisha assassins. Both sisters jump at the chance of having augmented bodies, but their rivalry finally spills out into outright conflict. Yoshie having bested her sister becomes a willing pawn in Kageno’s plans until he sends her on a mission to kill a bunch of octogenarians which oppose his plans and are demanding the return of their daughters. When Yoshie fails to complete her mission she is forced to face her sister for the last time...

Robo-Geisha (2009 - 1 hr, 37 min, 48 sec) is a slice of Asian madness written and directed by Noboru Iguchi, who had previously produced the superior The Machine Girl (2008). Now if you’ve watched his previously released films, you’ll have some idea of the excesses that Iguchi is willing to descend to.

To be honest the film's story is little more than an excuse to hang a series of increasingly improbable cybernetic implant deaths. Yoshie is played as your average shy and slightly clumsy sister, Kikuyakko as the cruel and punishing sister, characters straight out of Cinderella. The fact that Kageno favours the more reserved Yoshie only adds to the sister’s rivalry which leads them both to having increasingly bizarre cybernetic attachments.

Now you may be thinking Iron Man, when we are talking cybernetic, but no here we are talking "Butt Blades", deadly metal stars which zip from between the cheeks, breasts (which produce enough milk they can drown a man) and face masks which have noses which resembles a penis.

Things progress, through the film, from the absurd to the ridiculous, but then if you have bought into the film the piling of excess on excess will only increase your pleasure, including one of the better sequences when Yoshie transforms into a small battle tank to take in an enormous temple which has itself turned into a large robot intent on demolishing its surroundings. When the building it smashes spurts great fountains of blood, your either thinking that this is one of the silliest films every produced or a great slice of the absurd.

The special effects work well, although the combination gives the film a cartoonish feel and I guess this is where the film has its strength - if you enjoyed violent cartoons as a child your gonna love this.

The 1.85:1 anamorphic picture is clean with no evidence of any noticeable faults, on the DVD you only get the choice of a Dolby Digital Japanese 2.0 track with burnt in subtitles. The only extra on the disc is the original theatrical trailer (2 min, 02 sec), plus ten other trailers for other Asia extreme films.


Charles Packer

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