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Sera-Fuku to Kikanju

Sailor Suit and Machine Gun

Japan 1981
produced by
Kei Ijichi, Haruki Kadokawa (executive), Hidenori Taga (executive) for Kadokawa Haruki Jimusho, Kitty Films
directed by Shinji Somai
starring Hiroko Yakushimaru, Tsunehiko Watase, Rentaro Mikuni, Yuki Kazamatsuri, Kazuo Kitamura, Akira Emoto, Masaaki Daimon, Makoto Sato, Minori Terada, Kamatari Fujiwara, Shinpei Hayashiya, Toshiya Sakai, Ken Mitsuishi, Tatsuya Oka, Shingo Yanagisawa, Sumiyo Hasegawa, Hiroshi Madoka, Akihiko Sugizaki, Yoko Kurita, Yosuke Saito, Shintaro Ishikawa, Moto Seta, Kazuo Arai, Daisuke Iijima, Hisashi Imai, Seiko Fujiki, Masamitsu Hirota, Yudai Ishiyama, Chiaki Kojo, Koen Okumura, Kazuo Amuro, Yoko Amuro
screenplay by Yozo Tanaka, based on the novel by Jiro Akagawa, music by Katsu Hoshi

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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From the looks of it, Izumi (Hiroko Yakushimaru) is an almost disappointingly ordinary high school girl - but then her father dies, Mayumi (Yuki Kazamatsuri), who claims to be her father's girlfriend, moves in with her ... and she learns she's the head of the Medaka family. Now she has little interest in yakuza life, and the family certainly isn't the most powerful in all of town, consisting of only four members, but when these four vow to die in battle should she not accept the assignment, she agrees to do it. And at first it's really just fun and games, as her family seems happy enough to have her to constantly celebrate - that is, until their office is shot at, Izumi's apartment is raided, and Mayumi disappears. And detective Kuroki, the cop investigating the ransacking of her apartment, suggests her father might have smuggled heroin. If that already is bad enough, it's worse that soon one of the Medaka family, Hiko (Shinpei Hayashiya), is found killed, and when Izumi confronts Sekine (Makoto Sato), leader of a rival clan, with this, she almost ends up killed herself. Eventually, Fatso (Rentaro Mikuni), an especially ruthless yakuza boss, enters the frame as well, and it soon becomes clear that everybody's after the heroin Izumi's father was supposed to have - it's just that neither she nor any of her "family" know where it is. But that notwithstanding, Fatso is intent of torturing the location of the stuff out of her - which brings Mayumi back into the story, who turns out to be Fatso's daughter, but she might not entirely be on her father's side. And it becomes more and more clear that Izumi has to pull through with it all, even if it may cost many more lives ...

 

Now I might not exactly call Sailor Suit and Machine Gun a masterpiece as such, and it probably doesn't even totally live up to its suggestively kinky English title (even if Izumi does wear a sailor suit most of the movie), but it's really solid genre entertainment that's suitably violent for its genre, but also finds the ironic side of things, and by adding a fish-out-of-water aspect to the genre formula it brings some much-needed freshness to the genre that by the 1980s has more or less run its course. But above everything, it's just a fun watch that has set out and succeeded to entertain its audience throughout.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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