Girl Boss Guerilla/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Norifumi Suzuki’s third installment in the Sukeban series isn’t quite what it seems. It’s a biker gang film but goes agains most genre traditions in both story and style. It’s also one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time. Once again we get to witness Suzuki’s grudge against the authorities as he spends the first 20 minutes making fun of almost every authority figure imaginable. Monks and nuns get their share, as do doctors, husbands and men in general. There’s a few short glimpses of strong violence later in the film but mainly Girl Boss Guerilla is all about light weight entertainment and girls kicking ass. Most of the film takes place in Kyoto where many scenes shot on public areas with real people instead of fully staged scenes with studio actors. This works nicely and brings some freshness to the outdoor scenes.
While Reiko Ike (who’s plays a supporting role here) really got to shine in Criminal Woman: Killing Melody, this is Miki Sugimoto’s moment of glamour. Well, maybe not glamour but she looks really good and even a little bit sweet in Girl Boss Guerilla. Miki also sings one of the songs on the soundtrack. While she's not the greatest singer it’s always nice to have one of the main actresses singing instead of a professional singer. There’s another and much better song in the film when Ichiro’s (Michitaro Mizushima) old pal arrives and writes a song for the lovers. You could argue there’s a minor glitch in the scene where he performs the song as he’s using a guitar but all you can hear coming out from the speakers is piano tunes...
Suzuki often revisits the same themes in his movies and in Girl Boss Guerilla I spotted one of the more interesting ones. There’s s brief moment of Reiko walking on the streets of Kyoto that kinda reminded me of the numerous festival scenes in Suzuki’s hugely popular mid/late 70’s Truck Yaro series (although I’m not sure if anyone else is gonna see a connection here). In Truck Yaro Bunta Sugawara (and usually Kinya Aikawa) would visit one local festival around Japan in almost every movie. The scene in Girl Boss Guerilla is not a festival scene but has similiar feel and immediately brought Truck Yaro to my mind.
One thing I love about the movie is that it has the most awesome nude scenes. These scenes are cool as hell and often humoristic (especially some of the sex scenes) and Suzuki has managed to shoot them basically without any perverted voyeurism. Miki arriving the beach toppless is my second favorite nude scene of all time right behind Michael Caine in Get Carter. Suzuki’s always been good with these scenes and I think it’s because he himself would get easily bored and always felt the need to spice the scenes up and do things differently compared to other directors. But then again, it’s hardly surprising Suzuki excels in this area as too. There’s no denying he was one of the most gifted men working on japanese cinema in the late 60’s and 70’s. Although Girl Boss Guerilla does not rank among his most ambitious work it’s an extremely enjoyable film for those who don’t mind some very lowbrow comedy.
Reviewed by HungFist