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Machine Girl, The 
Written by: on July 24th, 2008

Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2007
Director: Noboru Iguchi
Writer: Noboru Iguchi
Cast: Minase Yashiro, Asami, Kentaro Shimazu, Honoka, Nobuhiro Nishihara, Yûya Ishikawa, Ryôsuke Kawamura, Demo Tanaka, Nahana, Taro Suwa

DVD released: June 3rd, 2008
Approximate running time: 97 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 & Stereo Japanese, Dolby Digital 5.1 & Stereo English
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99

Synopsis: Ami and Yu are outcasts who have trouble finding friends because of their father who was accused of murder. Ami now takes care of her brother since the death of their parents who committed suicide because of the murder allegations. Yu is being bullied by a classmate named Sho whose father is a prominent Yakuza boss. Yu tired of being pushed around by Sho fights back. This act of rebellion only further angers Sho who kills Yu. After the death of her brother Ami vows to kill everyone responsible for her brother’s death.

The Machine Girl was directed by Noboru Iguchi’s (Sukeban Boy) whose direction is in your face and the rapid fire pacing keeps things exciting. The best and the goriest scene in the film is when Ami is captured by the Yakuza and they torture her. All the kills and scenes of torture in the film flow with streams of bright red blood. If anything this films greatest weakness is its cheap looking special effects. Despite looking cheap they do serve their purpose. This film features some very cool devices used for killing a buzz saw attached to a leg, a machine gun attached to an arm and chain with a flying guillotine attached to it. This film is filled with dark humor and a lot of it is based around the revenge killings. The plot is pretty basic as it follows your standard revenge formula.

The acting as whole a whole is not without its flaws with the two female leads Minase Yashiro as Ami Hyuga and Asami as Miki standing out as the best of the lot. Ami is a driven character who no longer fears her own death and will stop at nothing to avenge her dead brother. One other performance that stands out is Nobuhiro Nishihara who plays Sho Kimura the boy who murdered Ami’s brother. The one thing that I really enjoyed about The Machine Girl is how this film never tries to take itself seriously. Ultimately fans of over the top gore and comic book violence will thoroughly enjoy The Machine Girl.

The DVD:

The Machine Girl is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. Overall this transfer looks very good with no problems with compression or artifacts. Colors, flesh tones and black levels look accurate throughout.

This release comes with four audio options, two audio mixes in Japanese a Dolby Digital 5.1 and A Dolby Digital stereo and two audio mixes in English a Dolby Digital 5.1 and A Dolby Digital stereo. All the audio mixes sound clear, clean and evenly balanced. The 5.1 mixes are more robust then the stereo mixes. Removable English subtitles that are error free and easy to follow have been included.

Extras for this release include a Japanese language trailer for The Machine Girl and trailers for other titles available from Tokyo Shock. The main extra for this release is a ten minute behind the scenes segment that includes interviews which is made up of behind the scenes footage and comments from some of the cast.  Overall The machine Girl gets a solid audio/video presentation from Tokyo Shock for its North American DVD debut.

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