By John Smith
Guilty pleasures are a necessary recourse for any cinephile, no matter what genre or style you gravitate towards. My poison comes in the form of the over-the-top, blood splattering films of the Sushi Typhoon production company. These films barely classify as B-movies, and one of my personal favorites is Mutant Girls Squad. This film is vulgar and has pretty poor production value, but I can’t help but enjoy it just for the pure madness that it has to offer.
Rin (Yugi Sugimoto) is a timid student who is tormented during her hours at school, but soon finds out she has a strange power that mutates her hand into a deadly weapon. After her parents are brutally murdered by a group of anti-mutant militants, Rin is picked up by Kisagari (Tak Sakaguchi, who is also one of the directors), a leader of a group of female mutant assassins. Rin is trained by Rei (Yuko Takayama) and befriends Yoshie (Suzuka Morita), and soon the trio begins a campaign against the violent military officials out to wipe the mutants off the face of the planet. As the battle rages on, Rin and her friends soon wage war against their sadistic mutant leader whom they originally thought the could trust.
The guys at Sushi Typhoon have gained a small cult status with their biggest film Tokyo Gore Police, but that one isn’t bad at all. It’s pretty great. Mutant Girls Squad, on the other hand, is just plain silly. What saves this movie from just being pure trash is that the filmmakers know exactly what they’re doing. It’s perfectly clear that this movie is not meant to be taken seriously, and you’d be missing the point if you try to look at this movie too deeply. This movie’s more of a roller coaster ride than it is a cohesive narrative.
To compare this to a much more prevalent pop culture example, Mutant Girl Squad is like the antisocial little cousin of the X-Men. The same themes are there nearly to the point of plagiarism, but instead of trying to offer some suggestions of how to learn to accept other people for who they are, Mutant Girls Squad simply barrages you with vulgarity, ridiculous costumes, and gratuitous violence that may inadvertently make you chuckle.
Unfortunately, the level of vulgarity and mindlessness makes it very difficult to ever recommend this to anyone. There are times that even I cringe at just how obnoxious and stupid this movie gets. There’s a certain limit where funny becomes annoying, and this film crosses that line many times, making the hour and a half runtime feel a lot longer than it is.
Sushi Typhoon releases a very specific kind of movie, which can really only attract a curious few who can ignore how stupid they really are and just enjoy the ride for what it is. There’s nothing particularly good or interesting about Mutant Girls Squad, but it’s pretty fun just to see how much of a trip it is. Some of the special effects are interesting, and borderline impressive, but everything else is total Japanese schlock. Still… it’s just goofy enough for me not to look away.
John Smith is a film student at Temple University with an interest in screenwriting. I do appreciate the classics and take the time to see as many as I can, but I will probably be more interested in a horror film that’s been dug out of the deepest hole in film history.
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