Yep… it’s finally out on DVD… at least in Malaysia, anyway. “Hard Revenge Milly” was half of a “Grindhouse” style exploitation flick released in Japan just last year. Lots of tough girl action, guns, swords, and martial art mayhem to sate the most jaded of such fans.
Yes…. Milly’s here, but somehow she left “The Masked Girl” behind. Lambaian Filem out of Malaysia has released only the 45 minute first portion of that double bill. Neko’s the kind of girl who likes a good action film, especially when we girls get to smack around the bad guys instead of getting kidnapped all the time…. so of course I had to take a chance and snag a copy.
Was it worth my 8$US to buy? Let’s find out shall we?
This one doesn’t waste any of it’s 45 minutes setting up the story…. it’s got far too much violent revenge to dish out for that. We get a quick thing about how it’s the near future and how new deregulation of gun control laws have resulted in Japan descending into a toxic cesspool of gangs and an unending epidemic of violent crimes. Then we get told that Yokohama City is now so utterly lawless that it’s been just about completely abandoned by its former population, leaving behind only a few decent people and the violent thugs that prowl the streets. The worst of these criminals apparently is a gang of extremely violent sociopaths called the Jack Brothers,and Milly’s reeeeaaallly got a bone to pick with them……
We start right out with Milly seeking out an incognito sword master named Juubee (played by Hiroshi Oguchi) to repair a nifty spring loaded switchblade sword gauntlet thingee she has. It’s broken, and she needs it fixed….. she’s got some serious killing to do…. Naturally, he’s reluctant… but after taking a peek inside her leather trenchcoat at what she’s got hidden there, he’s all on board. We don’t get to see what Milly’s hiding… not yet, but don’t worry, by the end of the film, we will find out.
It’s through flashbacks that we find out the Jack Brothers brutally assaulted her and left her for dead after viciously murdering her husband and burning her baby alive before her very eyes as she watched helplessly. Oh yeah….. Milly’s got some serious payback to deliver. She wastes no time hunting down a lone member of the gang…. and reducing him to a bloody corpse, skewered to the ground with his own sword. Just the perfect thing to draw the rest of the gang to a deserted building where she can kill them all.
There’s a nifty sequence where she walks the lonely building, setting up traps and surprises for the gang… using a severed hand like a bloody magic marker to write a welcome message…. complete with the hand itself left as a rude gesture designed to shock and upset those who are sent after her.
The showdown itself is the centerpiece to the story…. that’s what “revenge fantasy” films are all about. Don’t worry…. it doesn’t fail to deliver the violent carnage promised by the Trailer. We get some gunplay…. swordfights… and some good old fisticuffs. Limbs are severed… holes blown through people… and then there’s Milly’s surprise. Earlier in the flashbacks, you saw Milly get knifed…. well….. stabbed a ridiculously enormous number of times, actually. You, like Neko, probably wondered how she survived at all, let alone stayed frisky enough to do the revenge thing. Seems somewhere out there was one skilled….. and incredibly sick… surgeon….. er…. mechanic… er? Whatever…. She got some serious stuff hidden under that coat….. and it bites. Brrrrrr!!
Naturally….. she gets her revenge. All in under 45 minutes too! This one is just a vicious lil’ snippet of a film…. just begging for a wee bit of expansion, or a sequel…. Yep, there are probably lots more to Milly, her world, and I hope we get to see it sometime.
Neko found this one awfully short… almost too short to do it’s story justice. There are a lot of unanswered questions here. How did Milly originally survive her brutal knifing? How did she get her… errr…. ummm… “Bionic Boobs of Death”? Who taught her to fight like Sonny Chiba? How did she get the sword/ gauntlet thingee? Miki Mizuno certainly knows her stuff, and has the whole martial art thing down pat along with a steely action heroine stare and authentic feel to her stunt work. I’m thinking director Takanori Tsujimoto could easily do an expansion of this story, which certainly would easily stand on it’s own.
Unfortunately, it’s this brevity that makes Neko give “Hard Revenge Milly” only 3 “Meows” out of a possible 5. Don’t get me wrong… there’s a lot of good stuff here. There just wasn’t enough of it to make the whole package more than a tasty snack and not a filling meal of a film. Still… the Malay disc was only 8$US…. and while the English subtitles were a little loopy and strange at the beginning, you just can’t go wrong with a price like that.
And, even though I posted it already at the Litterbox, here’s the Trailer again, just in case you missed it!