Saturday, 13 June 2015

Chanbara Striptease

This is not a joke. There really is a movie called Chanbara Striptease and I really do own it on DVD.
And yet, it's not porn. I'm disappointed.
If it had been porn, it would have been forgivable. At least then it would have had a purpose. And been bearable.
In case you couldn't guess, I didn't enjoy this movie.
Let me explain why.
The movie starts with a cliche narration about some super-duper-ultra-secret-special-awesome martial arts technique.
Google Translate was unhelpful in telling me what it means.
The actual plot gets underway as we see the main character Lili doing her daily sword training.
This girl
To its' credit, the film is very crisp and clear. But yet, it somehow seems even more amateurish because of it. There's something about the camerawork that seems unprofessional. Maybe it's the way the camera never moves.
I'm not a film student, so I wouldn't know exactly what's wrong with it.
Also, Lili is really, really bad with a sword.
After Lili finishes her training she goes inside and chats to her grandmother about her entire backstory, which we didn't need to know about.
The box is the least wooden actor on screen.
Gran starts the succession ritual by handing over the nightwear that is worn by every practitioner.
In other words, it's her gran's lingerie.
But she also warns that it is only to be opened in a time of truly desperate need.
Remember that.
Gran gets Lili to put on a blindfold and drink tea.
I'm having flashbacks to Batman Begins.
Lili drinks the tea and wakes to find herself in the middle of a forest.
And she's naked because.... The Kool-Aid Man is red, I don't know. Presumably clothes can't time travel, like in Terminator, but her blindfold traveled with her, so I guess it's just because this movie wouldn't have sold without boobs.
So naturally Lili panics about being alone in a strange forest totally naked, but she's interupted by the sounds of someone running towards her, so she hides behind a bush, taking the box with her.
As she hides, a young pregnant woman runs past, pursued by three ninjas. I'll get to them in a second.
For now, remember when Gran said to only open the box in a truly desperate situation? Lili sure does.
"My grandmother said only to open the box in a truly desperate situation because it's highly dangerous. But it's a bit nippy, so eh, whatever."
Our protagonist, clearly a responsible adult.
As she opens the box (Revealing an outfit that's a completely different colour to the one on the cover) we cut to the ninjas, who're still chasing a pregnant woman in a very restrictive outfit.
Apparently, ninjas don't work on their cardio.
The ninjas finally catch up to the pregnant woman when she trips and falls. But instead of attacking her immediately, they pose for a little bit.
Maybe they're asthmatic?
Instead of attacking her with their swords since she's, y'know, utterly helpless, they decide to throw a shuriken at her. They could have done that sooner back when she was running away, but these ninjas are apparently the dumbest ninjas ever to flunk out of ninja school.
Anyway, moronic ninja #1 throws a shuriken, only for it to be deflected by Lili. The ninjas are of course surprised by this.
You'll have to excuse his makeup, he was meant to be in the zombie movie being filmed next door.
As Lili's introducing herself, zombie-boy throws a shuriken at her, which she deflects by instinct.
Hey look, a villain with a modicum of intelligence. That's refreshing. I'm fully prepared to be bitterly disappointed by the rest of his actions for the rest of the movie now.
Lili and the ninjas have a fight scene.
Well, I'm guessing the script called it a fight scene, but it's terribly done. Everything's blurry and slightly sped up. Not enough to be instantly obvious, but just enough so that you know something's off.
And then this happens.
For some unexplored reason, moronic ninja #2 sees fit to start undressing her in the middle of the fight.
This makes Lili mad and she starts wailing on him while her boobs glow.
Once again, I feel the need to confirm that no, I am not making this up. her boobs really start to glow as she repeatedly smacks the ninja with her sword.
Glowy boobies!
To add to the ridiculousnous of this scene, the film suddenly goes into fast-forward while cartoonish 'Thwack' sounds play. 'Thwacks' that don't even match up to the strikes.
Did she suddenly turn into a Looney Tunes character? Is it actually Lola Bunny hiding in a human suit? Is that what's going on?
As the game of whackaninja comes to a close the ninja slumps to the floor, taking her shawl with him.
Despite the fact that Lili was holding her arm up, meaning the sleeve would have had to pass through her arm. It may be nitpicky, but if people won't let off Elsa's hear, I won't let this movie off either.
Then Lili attacks the other moronic ninja, running past as the ninja prepares to strike.
Gee, I wonder who won.
Moronic ninja #1 slumps to the ground dead and the others run off. Lili is shocked about having straight-up murdered someone and slumps into a heroic BSOD.
For about 3 seconds, she gets distracted by the pregnant woman running over to thank her.
The pregnant woman's brother appears and rushes to her side to make sure she's ok.
And he gets the shock of his life.
Clearly, this movie is a master of subtlety.
Also, boobies!
The pregnant woman's name is Yae and her brother's Hikoichi. They lead Lili to their tiny village as they explain what's going on.
Long story short, the ninjas are pulling a protection racket on the villagers, who're refusing to give in.
Also, Lili's still too dense to be able to work out that she's in the past.
Although the fact that everyone's wearing rags should be a tip-off.
Yae's other half comes running up to her. He's clearly supposed to be amusing in his over the top antics, but he's not. At all. he just hangs around in the background with nothing to do while the main characters talk. I would complain about the director not giving him any directions for this scene, but I don't think the director gave any directions in this scene. or the rest of the movie.
So the men wear rags, but the women get nice clothes? Seems legit.
Pro-tip for any budding directors out there, always give your background characters something realistic to do. Also, don't have your main characters stand directly between them and the camera. Also, don't have your characters just stand around talking while the camera stiays at the same angle for five minutes. If you literally don't have anything for the characters to do, don't have the camera pointed at them in the first place.
There are so many easy ways this scene could have been made bearable. For starters, use cameras that are focused on the main character's faces. You don't need everyone to be in shot all of the time. This isn't a school play.
The acting's not good enough for it to be a school play.
Hikoichi invites Lili to stay at his place (Bow-chick-bow-wow) and they prepare for dinner.
See? Protection racket. Remember that for later.
This scene is nigh-unwatchable. Hikoichi talks as though the script is laid out on the table. He couldn't give a more awkward reading if he were a kid in class.
He asks Lili what she wants to eat, pointing out that they don't have much to offer.
So she asks for pasta.
To which he replies "Pasta?"
I think I just had an aneurism from sheer stupidity.
Luckily for what little sanity I have left, someone interrupts the brain trust to inform Hikoichi that the ninjas are back, so they gather all of the brave men of the village to face them.
Not exactly the Power Rangers.
This group of scary badasses are facing off against the leader of the ninjas.
This cliche
Hikoichi and Lili run up to them and the evil woman threatens to kill someone if they don't pay her. But then they decide not to and leave. But then they change their mind again and kill someone.
I've heard of a woman's perogative, but this is silly.
Such a realistic death scene. Give that man an Oscar.
What makes this so bad is that Lili just stood there the entire time, not saying a word. earlier she was deflecting shuriken without even realising it. Maybe her powers only work when women are in danger?
Sexist magical-boob powers.
The men of the village gather in a hut and the oldest says that they have no choice but to pay now that the ninjas are killing people.
despite the fact that Hikoichi had told Lili that the ninjas have already been killing people.
Great continuity!
As Hikoichi protests about surrendering, Lili notices someone on the roof and knocks her sword against it, scaring him off. Lili and the men go to chase him.
When they catch him and tell him to surrender, he laughs in their faces.
And if this guy's laughing at you, you know you're a wimp.
Hikoichi attacks him, but his idea of attacking is to flail wildly and jump on the floor.
Good job Hikoichi, I'm so glad you're in this picture.
This is what failure looks like.
Lili shows up to fight and this time, she saves the baddies the hassle of opening her clothing.
Oh look, boobies. Whoop-dee-doo.
Apparently, in this movie, indecent exposure equals a power upgrade. So it's just like DBZ Abridged.
Although I highly doubt that Lili's outfit is weighted for training. She beats up the mook and takes him captive, leading to this line of stupidity.
Women, amirite?
She doesn't understand the situation. She's been outright told the situation three times now. She was even there when the evil woman threatened Hikoichi. She doesn't understand the concept of "Give us money or we'll kill you"?
Sorry about overusing DBZ Abridged today, but I need some semblance of sanity to get me through this.
Lili comes up with the idea of using the mook as a bargaining chip to make the ninjas leave.
Yeah, what's the betting that'll work? We're not even 20 minutes in yet!
(As a side note, we're not even 20 minutes into this movie).
Hikoichi apologises to Lili for being such a massive failure, but she says that he's the last courageous person in the village.
Do I need to reuse the Frieza clip? That's not courageous, that's suicidal. He can't even hit a one-eyed mook without failing, what'll happen if he tries to go up against zombie-boy?
As they have a moment, Hikoichi asks the question that's been on everybody's minds.
As a general rule, I would never normally ask such a question.
Her response is... Odd. She asks him what comes after Winter, to which he replies Spring. After night? Morning.
"For me, it's something like that."
Dafuq does that mean?
Seriously lady, there's being mysterious and there's being arbitrary. You're being one of those.
We cut to Yae and her husband discussing Lili. Yae's getting a feeling that she's met Lili somewhere before and she feels an affinity with her.
Yeah, you've really bonded in those two minutes of screentime you've shared.
Also, you're meant to be pregnant, stop laying on your stomache.
I have to admit though, when she blurted out "I wonder if she's getting it on with my brother..." I cracked up laughing. But that may be due to my sense of humour having been lobotomised by exposure to this drivel.
Her husband says there's no chance, since Hikoichi's never known a woman and those breasts are too much for him.
Naturally, this calls for a flashback. A 'flashboobies', if you will.
The flashback is accompanied by harps and the cliche 'Wow' used in every fanservice anime ever.
This movie is ruining all of my favourite things.
Hikoichi wakes up from his dream (Even telling 'Little Hikoichi' to calm down). As Lili is angsting about having killed someone she hears him playing music.
On a gorramn kazoo.
Hikoichi is a failure on literally every conceivable level.
The daft thing is, it seems to have an effect on Lili. I know they didn't have harmonica's back in 18th century Japan, but they did have string instruments they could have used instead. A kazoo is not a romantic instrument.
In the morning, Hikoichi is practicing with a sword. Notably, he's about as good as Lili was back during the opening scene.
In other words, he's terrible at that too.
He's embaressed about being scared, showing his hand shaking, but Lili takes hold of it and the shaking stops.
I think the bell sound that accompanied this gesture is supposed to imply that she used magic, but her boobs weren't exposed, so I don't believe it.
The villagers meet with the evil woman in order to persuade her to leave them alone for the life of their captive.
It goes rather well.
Lili steps forward and bares her boobs ready for the fight.
But oh noes! The evil woman also has boobs. Lili didn't count on this.
And hers are bigger.
The evil woman's boobs glow with a dark purple energy.
That's a sentence I never thought I would have to type and I sincerely hope I never have to ever again.
Evil lady (I'm just going to call her Betsy until the movie bothers to tell us her name) draws and sword and holds it even more awkwardly than Lili. They talk a bit, with Betsy revealing that she just discovered her powers one day whilst training as a ninja.
I do not want to know the sequence of events that led to her figuring that one out.
Betsy uses her magic boobs to turn the sky black and the two women start fighting.
Looks like they blew the makeup budget on zombie-boy
Betsy is clearly better than Lili (There's a shocker) so Hikoichi charges in to help.
He immediately fails at this, finding himself stuck between them, each with their swords on either side of his throat.
That's when Lili starts glowing.
That's what I've been asking this entire time.
Lili fades in and out, to everyone's confusion. Then the glowing stops.
Betsy decides that she likes Lili, and tells the villagers that if they hand her over, the ninjas will leave them alone forever.
Of course, it apparently doesn't occur to Betsy that she could probably just take Lili right here and now, but she's hardly been the most consistent villain thus far.
Later, Hikoichi cleans Lili's cut.
Being very careful not to wash off the special effects.
Lili explains that she's from the future and Hikoichi's response can be summed up as "Oki-doki."
Seriously, the guy has almost no reaction. Even when Lili says that Betsy must be the originator of her technique and if she kills her then she herself will vanish, causing a grandfather paradox. His reaction is "So, how do we defeat her?"
Wow, way to be a selfish jerk Hikoichi.
The rest of the village arrive to take Lili to Betsy, but Hikoichi tries to stop them. Lili comes out and apologies to everyone, before turning to Hikoichi and saying how happy she was to meet him.
Then she turns tail and runs away.
Our protagonist, fleeing for her life.
Lili bumps into Yae, who's just standing around in the middle of the woods. At night. Yae apologises to Lili, saying she hates doing this to someone who saved her life.
She then hands Lili a lucky charm that will protect her.
Lili has tofu between her ears, I'm sure of it.
Lili is sitting at a campfire in the woods when Hikoichi walks up to her and asks her not to fight the ninjas on her own.
She says that of course she won't, and she had no intention of doing so.
That's right Hikoichi, the girl is an abject coward. Congratulations, you sure know how to pick them.
She assures him that she won't go to fight.
Nope, I won't dignify this movie with the reference.
She pours her heart out to him about how tough it was to cope with having killed someone, but it's ruined by the actress shoving the words at the screen.
It's almost as if they want this movie to be over as much as I do.
After embracing each other they strip.
I censored him too, because he's not exactly much of a man.
You'd expect a farmer to have a little bit more muscle.
They get it on, as Yae would say, embracing each other while romantic music plays and he has flashbacks to every time he's seen her boobs. So, pretty much every time they've interacted.
And for almost a whole moment I'm tricked into praising this movie. This scene (When they're not talking) is surprisingly tender.
Of course, they naturally screw it up by letting it go on for too long.
I have nothing against seeing cute girls orgasming, but I don't think it's really necessary to the movie.
Eventually they fall asleep in each others arms, kissing each other (D'aaaw) and we skip to morning, to find Hikoichi waking up fully dressed, with Lili nowhere to be found.
Some of us can only dream of getting so lucky.
Yae's husband and the other villagers are still searching for Lili, but Yae appears and begs them to stop, calling her husband a fool (And she finally reveals his name to be Tosuke). When she collapses to the ground she begs him to help Lili, since she saved the unborn child's life.
Elsewhere, Lili bumps into some ninjas and tells them to prepare for the worst as she draws her sword.
So wait, now that she's gotten laid, she's willing to fight again? She's just as consistent as Betsy.
In the village Yae is giving birth.
Since when did this village have other women?
After witnessing Tosuke having a mini-freak out outside, we cut to Betsy riding some young lad.
Because only evil women like being dominant?
She gets interrupted by someone who says that the woman (Lili) has arrived, to which she smiles then keeps going.
because sure, her army may be under attack by someone they can't hope to stand against, but she's getting laid, nothing comes in the way of that.
Outside, Lili tears her way through an army of ninjas with a fight scene that aspires to almost be entertaining.
This movie even makes foot-stabbing dull.
As she reaches the top, she fights several ninjas at once, at one put jumping on a ninja's back and essentially using him like a skateboard as she attacks other ninjas.
Somehow, it's not as entertaining as it sounds.
She faces off against zombie-boy again and she disarms him, only for him to jump out from behind her her two swords. She spins around with her sword and we hear the sound of a blade cutting someone.
Didn't we already do this cliche?
Zombie-boy collapses to the ground, his last words being an accusation that Lili is nothing more than a murderer.
Gee buddy, you're one to talk.
For her part, Lili's response is to tightly hold Yae's charm, before stripping off.
Because boobs, that's why.
Lili's entire body glows as she walks up to the chain and bandages guy from earlier. She boasts that she can't remember how many ninjas she's killed and they start to fight.
He throws his chain at her as though he's Scorpion. Somehow it wraps itself around her. I say somehow because it happens off-screen.
This movie is a disappointment in every possible respect.
As they fight he wraps the chain around her neck and starts strangling her.
Whoever wrote this movie has issues.
Hikoichi appears and attacks bandage guy, only to be beaten up for his troubles. bandage guy prepares to kill him, but Lili slashes him across the face with her sword. He gets her with a blowdart (Which begs the question of why none of the other ninjas bothered to use one) and he stumbles away.
Hikoichi sucks the poison out of her neck. I would complain about this, but this movie has been ignoring logic since the beginning, so whatever, we're almost done, I don't care anymore.
Hikoichi expresses concern about the grandfather paradox that Lili mentioned earlier, so she knocks him out and goes to confront Betsy.
Betsy congratulates Lili for making it this far, before dismissing her sex slave.
As they prepare themselves, their boobs start glowing.
It's just as dumb as it sounds.
After what is quite possibly the worst fight scene ever to be caught on film (Including a bit where Betsy catches Lili's sword with her thighs) Hikoichi once again barges in to make everything worse. He tackles Betsy and begs Lili to run away with him.
Betsy stands up and declares him to be in her way, raising her sword to strike him down.
That's when Lili blocks her sword using her bare breasts.
That's it, I give up.
It manages to get even worse as Lili stabs at Betsy, who turns sideways and catches the sword again, this time using her underboob.
She then spins around and slaps the end of the handle, causing the sword to fly at Lili.
Who kicks it into the air, only to catch it using her boobs, this time by the handle.
Then, focusing her magical boob powers, she fires the sword from her chest as though she's Iron Man, striking Betsy through the heart.
And that was, without a doubt, the dumbest 40 seconds of movie I have ever witnessed.
After Betsy dies, Lili collapses into Hikoichi's arms and fades away. 
Who does he think he is, Sokka?
The movie wraps up with the villagers discovering all of the dead ninjas, Yae giving birth and Lili waking up in front of her grandmother.
That's right, it was all a dream, because eff you.
When she wakes up she asks her grandmother about who founded Sayama Hashinryu and she's told that it was a man by the name of Hikoichi. because he never had kids, he passed it down to his niece and it's been passed down through the women of the family ever since.
After Lili leaves (Thoroughly confused) Gran walks over to a drawer and opens it, taking out Yae's charm.
She then says that the succession ritual has been completed once again. Wait, does this mean that every single member of the family has gone through this? Going back in time to have sex with their founder?
Does this include the very first woman, Hikoichi's niece?
It gets grosser.
I don't even want to think about the genetic complications this brings up.
This movie was freaking terrible.
On every single conceivable level.
The dialogue was bad, the action scenes were terrible and everyone was a complete frigging idiot. Even down to the camerawork, this was bad.

The main problem with this movie though is that it can't seem to make up it's mind about how it wants to handle itself. Sometimes it's comedic, such as when Lili plays whackaninja. Other times it tries to be serious, such as with her constant angst over killing someone. But at other times it seems to want to be a porno.
If you wanted to make a porno, just make a darn porno. You're Japanese, you should have no trouble making porn.

The thing is, the actual storyline wasn't that bad. If this had been given to a better studio this could have been really good. Heck, if it had been made as an anime this could have been brilliant.
But as it is, this movie made me feel unclean. If you'll excuse me, I need to go take a bath.
And repeatedly smash my head against a concrete pillar in order to remove every memory of this movie.

This Thursday we've got another Johnny Depp film, where he has a hankering for chocolate.

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