Re:Play-Girls (Japan 2010)

Rating: *
Review Date: 12/30/12
Director: Yuki Saito
Cast: Erika Tonooka, Sakura Sato, Uki Satake

Simply terrible. Once again, I was fooled by attractive box art that features a group of blood-spattered Japanese schoolgirls armed with various weapons. It's an extremely chatty and ponderous film, and completely incomprehensible without the benefit of subtitles (not that I think they would help much). Michi (super cute Erika Tonooka) is an average high school student who commits suicide after her best friend Haruna (Sakura Sato) betrays her. She then finds herself in a strange room with eleven other high school girls who killed themselves, and they're all given a chance to "replay" their lives. Or something. This leads them to a deserted island where they're forced to play a game of death. It's kind of like a cross between "Gantz" (2004) and "Battle Royale" (2000). On the first night, half of the girls commit suicide. On the second day, the remaining girls are hunted by a group of creepy old dudes with guns and knives. On the third day, the remaining survivors are given katanas and instructed to kill each other on the beach. The big reveal at the end is cheap and makes no sense.

This micro-budget film has nothing going for it other than a collection of pretty girls. The camera work is appallingly bad, and the ADR is terrible. The visual effects are poor and the vast majority of the film consists of shaky handheld shots of long-winded monologues delivered by sobbing girls. Sakura Sato looks great with a gun, and things finally start to get a little interesting in the last ten minutes with the great sword showdown. Ms. Sato handles a sword quite nicely, and the lead bad girl makes an impressive showing as well. Unfortunately, Erika Tonooka just cowers in fear, which deflates the intensity of the sequence and repeatedly brings the pacing to a screeching halt. It's clear that the girls trained and practiced hard for the battle, but the cinematography and editing are so terrible that their efforts are wasted. Disappointing on every level.