Thursday, April 19, 2012

Oppai Chanbara: Striptease Samurai Squad (2008, DVD Review)

aka Chanbara Striptease
Director Akira Hirose
Cast: Ryo Akanishi, Shouichi Matsuda, Ruru Anoa, Sasa Handa
Tokyo Shock / Region 1 / Unrated / 1.78:1 widescreen / Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese / English subtitles / 67 minutes
Extras: Trailers
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I keep my expectations of movies that are obvious gimmicks in check the best I can, though sometimes I’m sucked in by my dumb curiosity. Oppai Chanbara: Striptease Samurai Squad is a lower class version of Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad, a zombie/samurai action fest, based on the popular video game. Though Onechanbara was a simple and predictable film, it managed to serve up fun action, zombies, and cool chicks scantily dressed and wielding sharp swords and guns. Piece-of-cake formula. So how can a spin-off with similar simple aspirations fail? Well…

Oppai Chanbara: Striptease Samurai Squad sourly disappoints. Keep in mind, I’ve already lowered my expectations before watching this. I didn’t expect high-class cinema (nor wanted it). I don’t care that the acting is abysmal, that the sets are mostly wooded nondescript places, and the story is dumb as it gets: a woman goes back in time, sent by her mother, to face the originator of her “fighting style” which entails baring her breasts, then glowing funny colors and being able to kick ass because of the tit show. Stop! I know what you’re thinking; ‘it sounds fucking cool.’ It could’ve been cool, sure, but it’s not. Here’s why…
Two women bare their breasts in this movie. That’s it. No bush. Two lame sex scenes that could take “artful” direction from the old late night Cinemax fare. So softcore-wise, this movie is limp. But more importantly (yeah right, you’re saying) are the fight scenes, which are lame and uninspired. NO bloodletting, NO gore, and to top it off, a fifth grader could’ve choreographed the fight scenes.
What really gets me is that, yes, this is supposed to be low-budget, but it’s got no attitude. And being a lean 67 minutes (not 76 like the package says), most of the scenes are padded with boring dialogue and pointless exposition about nothing. I love cheesy, gimmicky movies, but when you don’t at least try to follow-up on the gimmick and serve up what we want in any stretch, I get pissed. This movie flat-out sucks. Plus, the DVD comes with no extras, only movie trailers for other Tokyo Shock releases. My advice, check out Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Squad and avoid the yawn-inducing Oppai Chanbara: Striptease Samurai Squad.

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