The Wonderfully Wacky Noboru Iguchi
Eeeeek! Monster Fest is just around the corner, folks! As we are gearing up for the most shock-worthy film festival of the year, it is time to do a little digging through the programme. Presenting you with some of the wackiest releases straight from Asia, Fantastic Asia will showcase the latest work by the one – the ONLY – Noboru Iguchi. As one of the most stunningly brilliant (and oddball) Japanese filmmakers of the present day, Iguchi’s films deliver most note-worthy and unforgettable entertainment. Working within the adult, horror, and thriller genres, Iguchi’s narratives are all very… Well, weird.
Iguchi’s latest, NUIGURMA Z, definitely contains the following: a cute as fuck teddy bear that is possessed by other worldly creatures from the planet DoMuho, very pink and extravagant gothic Lolita outfits, sharp swords, colossal explosions, and plenty of kick-arse fight scenes. Who wouldn’t want to see all of these things so gloriously coming together?!! Screening on the 25th of November, I highly suggest you squeeze this one into your Monster Fest schedules. Seeing as NUIGURMA Z is a few days off yet, here are five of Iguchi’s flicks that will make for fun viewing over the following weekend. Go, go, gooooo!
MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD
To be honest, mutant girls are my favourite type of girls, and Iguchi does it so very well. Running with the theme of bullying, MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD follows the adventures of Rin, who witnesses the death of her parents by a group of narrow-minded anti-mutant townsfolk. After escaping with her life, Rin teams up with other rebellious mutants (called the Hiruko) to fight against the system. POW! Okay, time for a bit of a rundown in terms of grotesquery. Iguchi has created a mutant who can grow a tentacle from her fingers, another who has pointy sword breasts, ooohh and a chainsaw mutant as well! GGRRRZZZRRGZZZ. We also have our protagonist, Rin, who has a very pretty alien knife type claw as an arm… and this is only to name a few! Just for the madness alone, this film is a sturdy favourite of mine. Watch out for the added decoration to the birthday cake.
THE MACHINE GIRL
During my second year of university, I screened the opening sequence of THE MACHINE GIRL to my classmates. As I remember it, half of the room exploded into laughter and applause while the other half just looked completely baffled. THE MACHINE GIRL introduces us to schoolgirl, Ami, who comes across the boy who bullied her brother to death. She presents this boy – the heir to a local yakuza gang – with a photograph of her brother, before jumping around the room hacking apart limbs. Blood splatters everywhere. Before long Ami showcases her stump, before attaching a huge arse machine gun to use as an arm. Instead of blood, bullets spray across the derelict building, and faces are torn to absolute shreds. This is truly a glorious piece of cinema! The rest of the flick consists of Ami parading around with her gun arm, hell-bent on vengeance. Needless to say, THE MACHINE GIRL has enough gore to mollify your bloodlust.
Hungry? Keiko certainly isn’t. Receiving pressure from her Father to follow in his sushi making footsteps, Keiko runs away from home. After finding a place to stay, Keiko quickly discovers that she cannot escape from the dun dun DUN… killer sushi! Yes, that’s right. DEAD SUSHI features sushi that can fricken’ kill us all. The little sushi comes alive with giant teeth, ready to chow down on human flesh. Insistent upon killing, the sushis manically laugh as they latch onto tongues and other body parts. Extremely amusing, and utterly bizarre, the food can even FLY. The ol’ Dad joke of his favourite food being “See food and eat it” takes on another meaning, for in DEAD SUSHI the seafood eats YOU. Armed with tacky special effects (and rice zombies) this film is a real riot. Gather a big group of friends around, cook some Japanese food and enjoy the “hot wasabi action!” You’ll be in hysterics, I swear.
Robots and geishas, could there be a better combination? I sincerely doubt it! Part science fiction, part action, ROBOGEISHA depicts Yoshie, a young Geisha who is recruited to a company called Kageno Steel. There is an intense rivalry between Yoshie and her sister, Kikue. Trained to fight by Kageno Steel, the siblings undergo frequent (and painful looking) surgeries to alter their bodies. Eventually, the pair transform into half-robot half-Geisha beings with machine gun breasts. Ready to outdo each other, the siblings go to more and more extreme measures to please the company, and to prove their worth. Eventually, Yoshie must face up against a giant robot-castle that is trying to nuke Japan. There are so many cool things about this movie that I just do not have time to list them all. Some of my favourites have to be the entirely wicked uses of guns and samurai swords… So much blood! I guess the robot-castle is pretty damn cool as well.
‘F’ IS FOR FART: ABCS OF DEATH
Although F IS FOR FART is only a short (as it is a part of ABCS OF DEATH), it is probably the most bizarre piece of work I have ever seen by Iguchi. The narrative begins with a schoolgirl reflecting on whether or not there is a God. She then proceeds to fart, deciding that there must not be a God if she should feel so ashamed of her gas. While the schoolgirl is daydreaming, her teacher Miss Yumi catches her in this shameful act! This is highly embarrassing for the girl, as she has a crush on Miss Yumi. Suddenly a huge black cloud covers the area, and the pair runs for cover as killer gas envelopes the city. Requesting that Miss Yumi fart on her before she dies, there are depictions of the girl’s head lighting on fire while stars circle around the yellow gas coming from the teacher’s derriere. Like I said… Bizarre.
Okay folks, on that rather smelly note, remember to book your tickets for Iguchi’s NUIGURUMA Z. It will screen at 7PM on the 25th of November at the Cinema Nova. Bring a date, and enjoy the absurdity!