Today’s selection: Sukeban Boy (2006, dir. Noboru Iguchi)
Subgenre: Martial Arts, Splatter
Available from: Discotek
It takes a special type of deranged mind to take a work by Go Nagai and make it more crass, but Noboru Iguchi was just the man for the job. This is my personal favorite of Iguchi’s works, (Zaborgar is a close second), though that could easily be because it was the first that I ever saw, and his Troma-esque gory schtick had yet to lose its novelty. The premise, being Nagai, however, is solidly funny: A girly-looking dude crossdresses to go to an all-girls school, but acts like a delinquent and gets into fights with all sorts of wild characters. Asami really nails the role as the main character here: she’s convincingly mannish, despite clearly being female. While neither the action nor the effects are great, I’ve seen Iguchi do far worse, and since this was sort of the start of his western exposure, the real reason to watch is for the audacity (I wonder if people who came to this after seeing RoboGeisha or Dead Sushi would just find it tame?). Anyway, if you’re new to crazy Japanese cinema and looking for a film that’s bizarre and insane, one could do worse; on the Cool Shite on the Tube podcast, they had to invent an entirely new rating just to deal with the cognitive dissonance that this caused them.
Incidentally, this is the second live-action movie based on the manga; alas, I have not found a copy of the 1992 version yet (the anime was put on VHS by ADV, if anyone cares).