Udine 2014 Review: Girl-Powered GIRL'S BLOOD Mixes Violence And Nudity In A Strangely Mesmerizing Manner
If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have believed that such a film actually exists. What's more, I'm now practically sure that underground cat-fighting clubs such as Girl's Blood can be found not only in Roppongi, but also in some of the other entertainment districts in Tokyo.
What's perhaps most interesting about Sakamoto Koichi's Girl's Blood is that it mixes lesbian love and hilariously choreographed fights in a strangely hypnotizing manner, and shifts between the two without ever losing the unmistakably bold appreciation for high-octane spectacle. Graphic and loud scenes that would likely serve as soft-core porn underline the dreamy intermissions in an otherwise fast paced and ass-kicking scenario.
In order to escape from the wearisome routine of a daily life, girls from very different backgrounds join an illegal club accurately called Girl's Blood and under cover of the night let off steam while fighting fearlessly in an MMA-style cage right in front of a cheering crowd. Camera breaks into that nasty stage effectively and through daring close-ups gives the already utterly provocative girl-on-girl action an even more stimulating sexual overtone.
To call the film female friendly would probably be an understatement. Koichi's hilariously insane creation radiates with overwhelming girl power from the first to the very last minute, even if the silly and calculated storyline's only purpose is to justify the ever-rising amount of very straightforward and dynamically erotic sequences.
The plot revolves around four members of the club, thus leaving the rest far behind by diminishing their roles to that of a bunch of mindless cheerleaders screaming, smiling, flashing their underwear, or everything at the same time. Satsuki (Haga Yuria) is a covert lesbian, who hates to undress in front of her friends, but likes to parade in a costume typically reserved for male cosplayers. Though emphatic and critical she's unable to express her more emotional side, yet she unexpectedly finds happiness when a mysterious and well-trained Chinatsu (Tada Asami) arrives and begins to tease her fragile senses.
Miko is a self-proclaimed S&M master specializing in shibari (the art of ropes). Once a good girl, she had to leave house when her mother caught her cosplaying for the stepfather in a rather clear-cut way. She ended up on the streets dressed in nothing else than the infamous high school girl's outfit. Miko quickly befriends Mayu (Rina Koike), a typically cute and innocent girl who at first sight looks like a scary mouse who wouldn't dare to enter the underground. But she, like most of the other girls, tries to confront the dark past by doing something extraordinary. Mayu wants to overcome a psychological trauma from junior high school days, when her mentally ill mother put her in a child's cage and poured yoghurt on her head.
The girls are rightfully aware of the daily-life insecurities that immediately vanish when they're contesting for the audience's love, kicking and punching each other or simply wallowing in an unidentified substance. For them it's like a fantasy world in which they can do whatever they want. And everything would've been perfect if not for the arrival of Chinatsu's offensive and boorish husband (Sakaki Hideo). Threatening to bring down the whole club, he initiates a serous war between Girl's Blood and a famous martial arts clan, basically another good reason to put almost naked ladies in combat.
An eye-pleasing (though it depends on one's preferences) extravaganza, Girl's Blood never actually slides into vulgarity, even when dealing with relatively controversial and delicate matters. Even though Japanese filmmakers obviously aren't afraid to include full frontal female nudity in their pictures, it's definitely not common to see so many detailed and intimate girls-only scenes packed into a 2-hour film, especially if it's one that might look for distribution beyond the international festival circuit.
But there's definitely a market for such productions, and not only the male part of the audience might be entertained by the madness that takes over the screen. In the crowd attending this peculiarly male-oriented show it's actually not hard to spot at least a handful of women, and the same situation could be easily transferred to a cinema auditorium. Girl's Blood is rather a guilty pleasure than anything else, but an especially entertaining and laugh-inducing one.
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