Gun Woman (Japan 2013)

Rating: **
Review Date: 6/6/15
Written And Directed By: Kurando Mitsutake
Cast: Asami

An outrageous piece of shock cinema that looks back to the rape-and-revenge films of the 1970's and 80's. A brilliant doctor's wife is raped and murdered by a crazy psycho right before his eyes, leaving him crippled and half blind in the process. In order to get revenge, he buys a drug addicted woman named Mayumi (genre idol Asami) and trains her to be the ultimate assassin. Then he surgically implants a gun in her body and takes her to a super elite fetish club known as "The Room," which is where the psycho is hanging out. After removing the gun from her body, she has only twenty-two minutes to kill everyone in sight, assassinate the psycho, and get to safety before she bleeds to death.

It's a grim and nasty film that made my stomach turn, and I had to look away from it several times. The story is preposterous, but director Mitsutake plays it straight and to the point. Shot on a low budget in ten days with a handheld camera, it definitely looks cheap and rushed. While the cinematography is inventive and well thought out, the execution is lacking and the result is an overly shaky film that looks and feels like a documentary. That said, it looks a lot better than similar low budget fare that's coming out of Japan these days. The makeup and effects are decent and get the job done, and the film features a ridiculous amount of blood. Which brings us to the main draw of the film: Asami. She is absolutely incredible and makes the entire film work. She also has only one word of dialog in the film, which is pretty amazing considering that she's the main character. Asami is a very special kind of actress that every director dreams of working with. She's beautiful, expressive, athletic, fearless, full of conviction, and able to handle physically and mentally demanding action scenes. During the climax of the film, she fights a bunch of armed guards while completely naked and covered in blood, which is pretty astonishing to watch. Without the strength and passion that she brings to the film, there would be no film. That's not to say that I enjoyed it, but I certainly have a heartfelt appreciation for the film, and Asami has completely won me over as an action actress.