The great flood of low-rent Japanese exploitation movies with cute girls and lots of gore seems never ending. Some movies are good (Mutant Girls Squad, Machine Girl), but most of them are just bad in a schlocky sort of way. Gothic & Lolita Psycho is one of those, a post-Kill Bill revenge flick that steals from everywhere in some of the poorest ways possible but manages to be just manic enough to not be truly boring about its wholesale theft.
Girl with a tragic past who makes a list of people to kill? Check. Villains with various gimmicks in one-on-one showdowns? Check. Wrinkles about the inhumanity of vengeance? Yep, that too. It’s a full on bucket of cliche, buoyed by a sense of absurdist comedy that manages to keep it from being too serious. An all-Westerner Japanese gang that is beating up the one villain who went straight is a highlight, especially when they break out into a full on acrobatic dance sequence a la the Ginyu Force. Also one of the bad guys steals the entire movie, a one-eyed genki girl named Elle (hey, another Kill Bill reference) who has a cell phone built into the uzi she carries around with her, taking pictures as much as she fires bullets.
This is hardly high art, but its the low-impact cartoonish gore and big personalities that drive this into wholly watchable territory. Plus, minus a few skirt shots, it’s relatively unpervy for a movie of this ilk, which often manages to entangle a healthy dose of sexual kink into its dumb splatstick antics. ‘Only a bit sexist’ isn’t much to commend a movie, but that’s the kind of metric that exploitation films seem to live, unfortunately.
If this whole write up sounds like a shrug, that’s because it is.