Mutant Girls Squad (2010)
By: Captain Red Eye on February 4, 2012  | 
Eastern Eye | Region 4, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 85 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura, Noboru Iguchi, Tak Sakaguchi
Starring: Yumi Sugimoto, Yuko Takayama, Tak Sakaguchi, Suzuka Morita, Asami
Screenplay: Noboru Iguchi, Jun Tsugita
Country: Japan
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Whenever anyone asks what my favourite movie is, I usually reply that I have three: Dr Strangelove, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Seventh Seal. But that was before I saw Mutant Girls Squad.

The second project completed by the newly-revived Nikkatsu studio under the guise of their Sushi Typhoon imprint, the film is yet another entry into the canon of weird, frenetic and endlessly gory Japanese splatterfests that includes the likes of Robogeisha, Tokyo Gore Police and the thoroughly demented Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. And I must say it's possibly the pick of the bunch.

The story revolves around bullied teen Rin (Yumi Sugimoto), who on the eve of her sixteenth birthday discovers that in addition to being an outcast she is also a Hiruko, or mutant. This ancient clan is mercilessly hunted by government forces who fear their array of impressive if occasionally ridiculous superpowers, and during one such raid Rin's parents, themselves Hiruko, are killed.

'After killing an entire shopping district out of misunderstanding and grief-fuelled rage' as Wikipedia succinctly puts it, Rin is rescued by luscious fellow mutant Rei (relative newcomer Yuko Takayama, who puts in an excellent performance). She in turn introduces Rin to a rag-tag outlaw band of Hiruko led by the transvestite samurai Kisagari, who dreams of exacting revenge on the cruel world of humans. Much cosplay and fake blood ensues.

A tripartite collaboration between Noburu Iguchi, writer and director of The Machine Girl; special effects maestro Yoshihiro Nishimura, who in addition to his many makeup and effects credits also directed the splatter flicks Tokyo Gore Police and Helldriver; and actor turned filmmaker Tak Sakaguchi, who also stars as Kisagari, the film revels unashamedly in its comic book sensibility, delivering a perfect blend of exploding heads, cutesy-pie schoolgirls and nipples that turn into swords. The performances are spot on, particularly those of the ladies, who in addition to Sugimoto and Takayama include the beautiful Suzuka Morita as the tentacled Yoshie and AV Idol Asami, best known in the West for her role in The Machine Girl but also to be found in such intriguingly-titled fare as Yakuza-Busting Girls: Final Death-Ride Battle and Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead.

One of the more novel coming of age tales ever committed to the screen, Mutant Girls Squad won't disappoint fans of manga-inspired gorestravaganzas or gravure idol eye candy. It's all strangely cohesive, especially considering the multi-director actor, and one of the most effective (and affecting) films of the genre. Two tentacles up.
Picture quality is highly variable throughout, even occasionally during the same scene: shots will be alternately crystal clear then grainy and filmic, then the film will revert to crisp digital perfection for a few minutes before another VHS-quality sequence kicks in, and so on. Perhaps multiple prints were used for the final product? Who even cares? Asami and her two tasty co-stars spend the entirety of the film dressed as schoolgirls, nurses or in figure hugging white bodysuits. That's what's really important.
No real problems with the two-channel audio. It doesn't exactly immerse you in its mighty sonic landscape, but it's crisp and clear, there's no hiss or other aural defects to speak of and the levels remain consistent throughout.
Extra Features
Aside from a handful of trailers the only extra is Yoshie Zero, a 16-minute prequel directed by Iguchi and produced specifically for the DVD release of the film. A whimsical parody of a parody, this 'side film' contains plenty of chuckles and answers a number of burning questions, such as the reason Yoshie spends most of the film cosplaying as a nurse, why Kisagari wears white makeup, and much more.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Presumably the only film in existence to feature an ass-chainsaw, Mutant Girls Squad is inventive, unhinged J-splatter at its finest. Those with a tentacle fetish or penchant for tight latex won't be disappointed, and with a trio of sultry leads, endlessly over the top special effects and a higher body count than Rambo this is one of the most zany, sensual and downright entertaining gorefests of recent memory.

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