Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sushi Girl (2012)

Fear 2/5
Gore 5/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 2/5

I know many of you may think that you need another pseudo-grindhouse film like you need a hole in the head. But when done right, and the 'spirit' is captured sans the gimmicky cigarette burns and 'missing reels', it can be a lot of fun. So sue me. I'll continue to check out these films as I can't get enough of them no matter how many genre fans scream this type of filmmaking is lazy. Enter Sushi Girl. A film heavily inspired by those films of yore and one Mr. Quentin Tarantino. In fact, it's very reminiscent of Reservoir Dogs (which oddly was alleged to have aped a Hong Kong production) with its scenes of torture and undercover cop conspiracy. Enough of my blabbering. On to the review!

Tony Todd plays the role of the main baddie Duke who brings a diverse group of mean and eccentric thugs together to greet one of them who's just been released from jail. He's put together an elaborate sushi spread and hand picked a beautiful woman to be the main centerpiece. Duke sees each member of his ragtag group enter the establishment with the zaniest of the bunch being his longtime buddy Crow (played with maniacal glee by Mark Hamill). So our served his time and didn't blab to the police jewel thief eventually joins the group only to have them question him over the spread of exquisite sushi. They think that he's hidden the diamonds that were stolen and they want their cut.

Between flashbacks of the jewel heist and subsequent getaway, are scenes of grueling torture as our recently released thug refuses to spill the beans on the whereabouts of the lifted diamonds. One by one the group takes their turn with no one having more fun than Crow. Hamill is really fantastic here, completely stealing the show. He's like a cross between his maniacal Joker from Batman The Animated Series and a flamboyant queen. You can tell he really had fun with this role.

So how and why does our sushi girl come into play? Well I won't play the spoils here as, throughout this entire process, she remains still and lifeless as trained. It's not until the end when things come to a head with our tortured thief and one of them who's in with the cops, that she becomes a force to be reckoned with and also the life of this demented 'party.'

Well-written with a cast of great characters (it also features special appearances by Jeff Fahey, Michael Biehn, and Sonny Chiba), Sushi Girl could easily be included and fit nicely within a re-edited version of 2007's Grindhouse. I'd also squeeze in Hobo with a Shotgun as long as we're tinkering. Someone get on that, STAT!

Cortez the Killer

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