Director: Noboru Iguchi
How do you judge whether a movie like RoboGeisha is a good movie? I guess the question depends on how you answer a few key questions.
- Do you want to see a geisha with a circular saw for a mouth?
- Will your life feel more complete after witnessing a Japanese castle transform into a kaiju robot?
- Does the idea of a woman with machine gun breasts and throwing stars shooting out of her ass make you excited? Even hot?
Yoshie and Kikue Kasuga are feuding sisters. Kikue is a promising geisha who constantly abuses and degrades her younger sister Yoshie until Yoshie's anger manifests in a beauty and physical power that catches the attention of a wealthy steel manufacturer. He seduces / abducts both Yoshie and Kikue, turning them into killer cyborg geishas as part of his personal geisha army. Eventually, Yoshie defects and becomes the avenging hero RoboGeisha.
Rating: 3.5/ 5 Geisha Saws
IS IT SILLY?
RoboGeisha fully embraces a low-budget, on-the-cheap, artificial aesthetic to deliver a live-action cartoon with production values that just barely surpass the level of a Power Rangers episode. The CGI is thin and cheap-looking, but this strikes me as a purposeful aesthetic choice to accentuate the ridiculous premise and outlandish visuals. For example, whenever people are shot with CGI lasers or bullets, no damage is caused to their shirts or bodies. It's all a quick and easy post-production effect. In fact, few of the digital effects have any material weight, but that didn't really bother me. There's nothing funny, for example, about a Geisha that transforms into a realistic tank. A Geisha that transforms into a silly CGI tank against an obvious green screen, however, really tickles me. There are some cartoon-inspired makeup effects (such as when a man has fried shrimp shoved in his eyes or when a guy's face is literally sucker punched), but RoboGeisha is rarely gory. Although the film has a thin plot, from start to finish it is a silly action film that strives for some cheeky humour but seems more preoccupied with deranged video game-inspired cartoon action. The film would be almost surreal and shocking if not for the cartoon atmosphere RoboGeisha engenders.
|Master Shredder, is that you?|
RoboGeisha worked for me as a disposable laugh and a solid work of entertainment, but I know many people who were frustrated by the film's complete silliness and lazy visual effects. It's really a film for fans of bizarro cult action pictures, so I appreciated it on that level. Beware the hype but also beware the trailers. This is the type of film where too much information will ruin the experience.