Kunoichi (Japan 2011)

Rating: *
Review Date: 3/5/12
Cast: Rina Takeda

Unspeakably bad. I was excited to see karate star Rina Takeda ("High Kick Girl", "Karate Girl") branch out into a period piece ninja film, but the results are disastrous. She only has one fight scene towards the end of the film, and while it's nice to see her with a sword, it's poorly shot and undercranked to the point of absurdity. The story concerns a bunch of girls who are kidnapped by a group of unsavory thugs, and that's it. In between the horrifically long-winded scenes of the bad guys tormenting the girls and explaining how bad they are, Rina occasionally shows up to kick someone in the face a couple of times and then disappears. At the very end, she faces off with the leader of the gang and manages to kill him at least three times. Somehow he keeps coming back, even after some old guy with boils all over his body shows up to rape his corpse. Simply awful. This whole no-budget atrocity was shot on video using mostly natural light and looks absolutely terrible. The editing and continuity are laughable and the acting is typical of what you see in really bad Japanese B-movies. A major disappointment, and an unfortunate blight on Rina's action résumé. Avoid at all costs.