Japanese Reviews Reviews

Film Review: Bloody Chainsaw Girl 2 & 3 (2019) by Hiroki Yamaguchi

Released a full three years after the original installment, burgeoning J-sploitation director returns with the next installments in the franchise with these back-to-back filmed efforts. Initially released separately as ‘: Giko Awakens' and ‘Bloody Chainsaw Girl Returns: Revenge of Nero,' the two efforts have been edited together into one singular feature for their screening at Film Fest Hamburg.

Bloody Chainsaw Girl 2 & 3 screened at Japan Filmfest Hamburg:

After barely surviving an assassination attempt, chainsaw-wielding schoolgirl Giko Nokomura () learns that she has attracted the attention of rival Nero Aoi (), who has been sending killer cyborgs after her. When her friend Asako Senzaki () becomes involved in the struggle to stop Nero's rampage, they end up back at their old school to learn more about her and meet up with the last of her cyborgs, Drie () who doesn't want to fight and instead points them towards Nero's lair where a fierce fight ensues. Following the battle, the survivors are taken into custody by Nemesis (Asana Mamoru) who leads a team of officers attempting to bring peace back to the school through the violent dispatch of unruly students and leftover cyborgs. With the help of Naglucifer () who shows up to free them, the girls set out to save themselves from the overrun facility and run into an old enemy they thought was dead, leading into the last battle to get free.

From the very beginning, it's quite obvious what the ‘Bloody Chainsaw Girl' films are going to be about. Writer Mitsunori Fukuhara simply opts for a continuous onslaught of over-the-top silly and comedic action scenes that offer up any chance possible for extreme splatter or goofy antics. Not only does she systematically slaughter everyone on the bus in graphic fashion, but the comedic aspect of the one victim sneezing violently during the attack offers some laugh-out-loud moments. Likewise, the sequence of the henchwomen who attack Giko at the bathhouse generates plenty of fun with the slow-motion fighting and cutaways to the men in the background also using the facility. Even when going for more of a splatter route as the school-based rescue of Drie, the film throws in some comedy including the amorous floating head or other little gags involving the use of chainsawing through odd places of the body. That comedic approach goes hand-in-hand with the other wacky action throughout here. From flying detachable chainsaws and people with drill-hands to martial arts involving unique weapons, this segment features a lot of over-the-top splatter fun.

This kind of fun continues in part 3. This again gets right into the wild action with the opening martial arts battle featuring grossly exaggerated punishment on the victims, with arm-drags ripping off limbs, punches decapitating people and having other limbs and body parts pulled off due to the action here. The later scene of the idol singer turning into a mutated flower and sapping her fans for the energy needed to fight is another wild and crazy idea. The scene features some inventive special effects to illustrate the tendrils burrowing through the floor and draining the energy from their bodies alongside the fun action and gore. With the last half of the film taking the action to a prison-like reform school, this section has quite a lot to like with the utterly hilarious confrontation with the warden who turns into a fairy to fight them and gets dispatched in a hilarious manner. A truly vicious and brutally over-the-top finale that brings everything together with gory fist-fights and graphic chainsaw carnage with one of the greatest gags possible with the weapon to give this whole segment a lot to like.

There are a few flaws with each segment. In part 2, the main problem is a ludicrous reasoning for Nero to go about getting revenge that even in these types of bizarre action efforts makes no sense. The idea of doing all these experiments and mutilations on her classmates in order to get revenge on Giko because she disrespected the band shirt of her favorite group one day at school is absolutely ridiculous and laughable. That we're expected to have known this based on an encounter not known to us until a flashback at the very end of their fight is another rather wacky facet of this entry. This knowledge ends up leaving us unaware of what's going on for most of the segments' running time. As well, there's also the obviously low-budget look for most of the graphic effects throughout, featuring the ridiculous notion of CGI gore for most of the bloodshed spilled for each and every one of the wounds inflicted on victims. It flies around in such an obvious notion that it really highlights the cheesy, low-budget tone of the segment, especially when combined with the hilariously awful work done to try to hide the severed limbs by cutting to close-ups on the actual actor and making it believe that's the body part flying independently through the air.

As for part 3, there are a few issues with this one as well. The main problem is the scattered storyline by Fukuhara that doesn't really make any sense at all. There are way too many storylines in this segment, from the introduction of Nemesis, the new warden of the facility at the end of part 2 with no other clues to the character or where they've been the entire time. Then comes the idea of them taking over the school and holding everyone hostage at the prison, which includes Giko and Asako among the captives leading into their revolt by running into the various inmates already running free such as the idol singer and her followers. With the constant search for Drie and then running into Nero from the other segment, this just has way too much going on that really doesn't need to be there. The film really could've been streamlined a touch with some of these segments getting dropped or strengthened with some more information to give this an easier time. As well, the low-budget nature of the effects is pretty much the same as the first segment with CGI blood and cheesy effects that really stand-out for their nature. Otherwise, there's not much else to dislike.

A fairly competent and enjoyable double-bill of solid J-sploitation, this feature of cheesy action-packed schoolgirls and weaponry-filled efforts are fun and charming with plenty to like about them. Give them a chance if you're a true fan of the original manga, this style of gory cheese-filled action or curious about these segments, while those turned off by the style or genre should heed caution overall.

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