Monday, April 23, 2012

Yakuza Hunters, Final Death Ride Battle (Kazushi Nakadaira, 2010)

AKA Yakuza Busting Girls, this is a fairly standard women's revenge film with a bit of a '70s flair. Asami (Asami Sugiura, Robo Geisha, Mutant Girl Squad) runs a girl gang in Tokyo and a local Yakuza boss tries to take them over. He uses the girls to smuggle drugs for him, though not as mules, but rather as containers. He kills the girls and transports the drugs in their body bags. Asami is obviously not pleased, but has to contend with an unforeseen enemy, one of her lieutenants, Junko (Rena Komine). The Yakuza believe they have killed Asami, but she returns to wreak her vengeance with the remainder of her gang and an unlikely nice girl and her father.

It is fairly low-key pinky violence, with no sex, and only a bit of nudity (for the genre, at least). It get pretty gory, and is full of decently choreographed fight scenes. There is a bit of decent humor, particularly (though I am not sure this was intentional) how Asami cuts the little fingers from her victims which is a fun play on "pinky violence" should that be the term the Japanese use. There are some truly silly bits, which must be expected in these type films. The production value is fairly low, but the shots are framed nicely, and there are some rather artistic transitions.

The Yakuza Hunters, with Asami in the center
This is certainly far from being a great film, but is a bit refreshing for the genre. There are no giant rubber arms, or mutants spilling guts all over the place. There is no scifi element at all, really. The villains are fairly interesting, if a bit annoying at times, and though things get a bit confusing at times (I do not know if this is a sequel) it is pretty cohesive story-wise. Sugiura is the best actress on the protagonist side, and the two main villains are entertaining.

If pinky violence is your thing, this is worth checking out if only to get away from all the ass-guns and tentacles. It is also less sadistic than some films in the genre and ranks low on the "rapey" scale. If you like the Female Convict Scorpion films, this might be a good one for you as well.

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