With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

GIRLS, GANGSTERS & ZOMBIES is available today on DVD

Switchblade Pictures
Girls, Gangsters & Zombies
Directed by Masahiro Asao
Japan, 2011, 77 minutes

Girls Gangsters & Guns, the latest sexploitation release from Switchblade Pictures, is available today in a single disc DVD edition. It's about a trio ripping off a shady drug deal, and is not to be confused with Girls, Guns and Gangsters (1959), a B-movie that's also about a heist, nor with Gangsters, Guns & Zombies from 2012.

The title is actually a bit of a misnomer, as there's only one "girl" in the film, aside perhaps from some incidental female zombies. Her name is Maki, and she's portrayed by -- as the DVD cover informs us --  AV (Adult Video) superstar Laura Aoyama. She's slim, very small-breasted, and has a long, rather snub nose. And she does, I must say, rock her fishnet stockings.

Maki's boyfriend Akio works is an underling to Mr. Awazu, a yakuza who has decided to "borrow" 70 million yen from "the family" to finance an independent meth deal with some Koreans. Awazu knows that the old man of the family wouldn't approve of the deal, which is why he's carrying it out on the Q.T. He truly intends to return the money before it's missed but only after he's made 100% profit on the "loan."

Things don't work out that way because Akio has come up with a plan to rip off the 70 mil. Maki and Kenji, the third accomplice, steal the suitcase with the money as Awazu, Akio and two others are on their way to buy the meth. The trio go to bury the money at Mt. Ryujin, a sinister place which the yakuza use as a dumping ground and where suicides are committed. It's also the site where the 731st Japanese Army Corps allegedly worked on a bacterial weapon during World War II.

In no time at all, betrayal breaks out amongst the trio, the gangsters come after the them to get the stolen yen back, and the undead are swarmin' all over Mt. Ryujin.

It's unfortunate that with such a promising title, the film doesn't really deliver. By my count there are five scenes that feature nudity, but they tend to be rather brief and not particularly hot in any way, shape or form. Director Asao either doesn't know how to film soft-core sex scenes very well or his "heart" just wasn't into it. Since he also wrote the screenplay, he must also bear the blame for a plot that falls way short of its promise. The acting is par for a Japanese direct-to-video (a.k.a. V-Cinema) film, not horrendous, but not particularly good either.

The disc's special features, such as they are, consist of the Japanese trailer for the film, trailers for some other offerings from Switchblade Pictures, and DVD credits.

Girls, Gangsters, & Zombies is not a terrible entry in the sexploitation genre, just a very mediocre one.

ACF Rating: 2 out of 4 stars; fair-to-middling.

For a much better Japanese girls and zombie film, though one admittedly without  gangsters, check out Big Tits Zombie ( a.k.a. Zombie Stripper Apocalypse and Big Tits Dragon) which stars Sor Aoi, another AV superstar.