Killers (Japan 2002)

Rating: **
Review Date: 9/25/16
Directors: Kazuhiro Kiuchi, Shundo Ohkawa, Takanori Tsujimoto, Shuji Kawata, Mamoru Oshii

An anthology of five short films that glorify assassins, gangsters, and most importantly, guns. They're all low budget affairs of varying quality, but none of them are particularly good. Even though each story is only about twenty minutes long, very little happens and there's WAY too much dialog to hold your interest. The fact that there are no subtitles makes it even more tedious and uninteresting. Sadly, the action is weak and sparse, and each story ends up being disappointing.

"Pay Off" - Two gangsters meet in a abandoned parking garage to sell illegal guns. When the deal goes bad, everyone ends up shooting at each other. The only highlight is the three pretty women in supporting roles.

"Candy" - This "fable of guns and high heels" is arguably the best segment, but it suffers from the worst production values and the weakest stunt work. A defiant young woman named Meg quits her office job after punching one of her co-workers, and somehow ends up becoming a hitwoman for some sleazy nightclub owner. A rival hitwoman shows up to get a piece of the action and the two of them resolve their differences in a shootout. The two female leads are delightful, but the pacing is sluggish, the lighting is bad, and the action is poorly realized.

"Perfect Partner" - Two gangsters get ambushed by a bunch of rival thugs, and a cute pizza delivery girl gets caught in the middle of their shootout. They end up befriending her and get ambushed again. Loyalties are tested and betrayals ensue. The girl is cute and this segment features the best action sequences of the bunch, which sadly isn't saying much.

"Killer Idol" - An overly silly story about a paranoid action star named Dandy who gets interviewed on a celebrity talk show. Someone has a grudge against him and tries to kill him during the show, which ends up with Dandy killing nearly everyone on the set. The coup de grace is delivered by the pretty talk show host.

".50 Woman" - What is it with Mamoru Oshii and food?!? Oshii's segment starts out incredibly strong and his style is immediately apparent. An attractive woman with a huge .50 caliber sniper rifle sets up camp in a high rise building in order to assassinate a target across the street. Then we get to watch her eat non-stop for the next ten minutes while a calorie calculator adds up her total food intake. Huh? Then, right at the very end, her target appears and she blasts his head off. The end. Seriously, what the fuck was that all about? It should have been called "5000 Calorie Woman" instead. A Basset Hound also plays a pivotal role, which should come as no surprise.