Monday, 31 May 2010

Batoru Gâru Babe Slays 'Em Dead


Battle Girl
The Living Dead In Tokyo Bay
(1991/Japan)
‘‘You guys are so gross’’

A meteorite spirals through the Earths stratosphere on a collision course with Tokyo Japan. With Godzilla on a break, off the back of astronomical summer blockbuster box office takings, its down to mankind to sort this one out. Mind you, just because the season is a little chilly, doesn’t give Mothra an excuse for not lending a wing !.
The inter galactic Rock hits Tokyo Bay, and if you can smell what it’s cooking you are one jabroni lovin’ horror fan that’s been waiting a very long time for this one to surface. Finally The Living Dead In Tokyo Bay has come back out, on DVD.
Okay, sure there’s some juvenile WWE Dwayne Johnson tomfoolery you just had to groan through, but it’s actually not totally misplaced. What’s this candy assed Jabroni jabbering about you ask !?, well its know your role time, and it just so comes to be that starlet Cutie Susuki was a famous female wrestler. Maybe not anywhere near as big as The Rock, but what’s a noodle compared to the might of his stroodle !?. Here though, as super suited enhanced Battle Girl, she can layeth the smack down and become the peoples champ.
When the meteorite hits, the after impact takes out buildings and people alike, killing hundreds of innocents. The after effect of the blast leaves Tokyo Bay enveloped in a dense smog, bringing darkness to the area and turning daytime into night. In come the armed special forces, replete with Michael Jackson protective face masks. They are soon entertaining a Thriller night as the very recent dead rise up as marauding Zombies.
The scientists deduce that those killed in the blast have been infected by a chemical reaction between a heavy metal, associated with the meteor rather than a sell out appearance by Kiss legend Gene Simmons, and nitrogen in the air. The combination creating what they describe as a Cosmo-Amphetamine, which integrates itself into human DNA, transforming the recent dead into Zombies. (Cautionary Note from on line seller ZomBoy: Cosmo-Amphetamine is currently not available on Ebay, and for legal reasons herewith stated allegedly never has been).
There is an electro magnetic pulse fence erected around the perimeter between Tokyo City and the Bay region. Its instantaneous and conclusive purpose is to stop anything living, or otherwise from breaking free out into Tokyo itself. The set ups effectiveness is shown in the demise of a straggling dog, who is fritzed like a Homer Simpson animation cell lit up for Christmas.

Colonel Kirihara is in control of military operations within Tokyo Bay, at least he was until he went missing. His daughter Keiko is roaming around the bay region, seeking out a contact point to take instruction from her father. She finds secure sanctuary and within receives a very recent recorded message from Colonel Kirihara. He informs her that he is heading up a rescue operation for the survivors and plans to take them across the water to an island safe haven, free from Zombie activity. He warns her of renegade military, and a faction called the Human Hunter Unit. They are Zombie soldiers, an intelligent hybrid already evolved from the immediate effects of the blast. They kill freely whether still living human or the un-dead, and they can use weapons !.
Keiko’s father Colonel Kirihara bestows upon his stoic daughter a military designed battle suit to enhance her fighting abilities, and protect her from retaliatory assault. Kitting up in the lightweight, practically impervious, super compound rubber robo warrior outfit she is ready for Action. It finds her immediately as exiting the safe room she is hit upon by one of the super Zombie soldiers. A nifty display of feet and fists from Keiko, swiftly followed by a garrotte to the throat, and a follow through beheading. A spray of Zombie blue blood gushes forth, and Battle Girl is born !.
With Colonel Kirihara off the scene Captain Fujioke has taken leadership of the military Autonomous Security Unit within the cordoned off Tokyo Bay area. He proves to be one militant psycho soldier, believing it his patriotic duty to lead Japan into a brave new world. To turn the Cosmo-Amphetamine against the rest of the planet and create an army of Japanese super Zombie soldiers. A new race of superior beings.
Within the bowels of a central conglomerate building he has set up his scientists in a laboratory, experimenting on both the living and the un-dead. What he creates is a super serum from the Cosmo-Amphetamine. When injected directly into a recently killed subject it reanimates them, infusing their genetic makeup with a cocktail that enhances them in every way.
There’s an odd mishmash of characters and themes perhaps taken inspiration of from John Carpenter’s Escape From New York (1981). An organised gang of youths driving around the Bay region in a single decked fortified bus, picking off Zombies and doing a roaring trade in supplies from food to weapons, are amongst the oddities that Keiko encounters. Later in the movie, however, they team together in common alliance against the despotic Captain Fujioke and his zealot Zombies. The bus battalion refer to themselves as The Battle Kids, so it is appropriate that they eventually align with Battle Girl !.

Watching Cutie Susuki in Action as Battle Girl is worth the price of admission. Her real life wrestling ability affords her the ability to pull off some incredible moves, and most likely than not doing all of her own stunt work. At least one of the super Zombies she comes up against is clearly a fellow professional wrestler, as the two women pull off a nifty array of signature moves against each other. Amongst the more bizarre of the mutated monstrosities that Keiko has a run in with is a garish looking gargantuan, sporting a full set of sharp metal teeth and a matching steel clawed hand. Things get a little fraught towards the destructive finale and there is more than a fair smattering of blood letting, and limb lopping along the way.
Its all very silly but in an entertaining way, that with a sub seventy five minute duration delivers enough to sensibly not outstay its welcome. Battle Girl come closure has that to be continued feel about it, but although a sequel was not forthcoming it is not inconceivable in the current Japanese video shot market place, that someone will pick this up and breath new life into Battle Girl. With the glut of outrageously gory Anime styled movies being made and doing so well, what could be done with the character and the world she inhabits today is boundless. An ultra-violent, all Action live shot Anime, emblazoning Battle Girl across our screens once more, is a mighty Wrestlemania moment to die for. Now, just bring it !.


Movie Rating: 5/10
Review: Paul Cooke / Source: NTSC Region 1 DVD
Battle Girl: The Living Dead In Tokyo Bay (1991)
Director Kazuo 'Gaira' Komizu
With Cutie Suzuki,Kenji Otsuki & Kera Hayase

2 comments:

  1. Great review, it nailed pretty much everything I thought about this, though I must say I kept thinking that I should be enjoying the film more. Gaira and his Guts films work better, but they certainly lack the "fun" element this one strives for.
    And Cutie is Cute and Cool :)

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  2. 人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德..................................................

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