GUN WOMAN (2014)
Written and directed by Kurando Mitsutake
After the brutal rape and death of his wife at the hands of Hamazaki’s son, crippled Japanese doctor Mastermind plans an act of revenge. Buying a Japanese meth head young woman, Mastermind rehabilitates her and trains her up to be a highly skilled killer to assassinate Hamazaki’s son at the one place he goes to without the protection of his bodyguards – The Room.
B-Movie flick GUN WOMAN is a violent action-thriller that opens with an assassination in America. Completing the job, the assassin (Matthew Miller) needs to make his way to Las Vegas and is given a new driver (Dean Simone) for the journey. Attempting to make idle chit-chat, the driver sparks up a conversation about Hamazaki, so the assassin begins to tell his version of the events that he believed to have happened. This is the moment when the film stops being a Western film and essentially becomes a Japanese exploitation movie, occasionally flitting back to the car conversation before continuing with the story.
The anatagonist in the movie is a despicable human being, known only as Hamazaki’s son, played by Noriaki Kamata, whilst Japanese star Tatsuya Nakadai plays Hamazaki, if only as a photo appearance. Hamazaki’s son’s disturbed appetite for brutal rape of those alive and those deceased, along with his physical appearance and demeanor, make him an easy bad guy for the viewer to hate. After his assault of Mastermind (Kairi Narita) leaves him blind in one eye and a cripple, the yearning for revenge is insatiable, with Mastermind dedicated and, at times, ruthless in a bid to get what he desires. Enter Asami (Machine Girl and Dead Sushi) as meth head, Mayumi. Mastermind’s systematic breakdown and rebuild of Mayumi, who hardly utters a word throughout except for grunts and moans, is sometimes hard to watch but ultimately creates a better, stronger person than she originally was. Her journey from out-of-her-face junkie to refined killer is demonstrated with fitness tasks she is forced to perform and endure, such as lugging around tyres and attempting to punch a guy in the face. Much like those training scenes from martial arts movies such as Kickboxer, once she manages to smack the guy in the chops and race up a hill with tyres and fling them around like nobodies business, is she then ready for the final task, the one all this hard work has been in aid of – to kill Hamazaki’s son.
GUN WOMAN is not for the squeamish. It features scenes that are difficult to watch, such as those including Hamazaki’s son and his exploits. Mastermind’s method of hiding weapons is also not for the faint hearted and made this reviewer wince a few times. The culmination of the movie involves a lot of nudity and buckets of blood – a bloodthirsty ending that will satisfy horror and genre fans who’ve enjoyed watching so far with a kick-ass heroine to boot.
With intense performances, a disturbed, gritty plot and a blend of Japanese and Western style, GUN WOMAN is a unique animal that will no doubt garner fans of cult and exploitation cinema.