Saturday, 31 March 2012

Chanbara Striptease

The Art Of Jiggling

Chanbara Striptease
aka Oppai Chanbara Japan 2008
Directed by Akira Hirose
Manga Entertainment Region 2

Warning: This is a truly dumb film and this review is going to
be choc full o’ spoilers, jiggling and bouncing before your very eyes.

I’m not really sure I can adequately sum up in words how disappointing the movie Chanbara Striptease was to me... but let me give you the basic flavour of the film and then I’ll try. Here’s the initial proposition...

A teenage girl, on her birthday, undergoes the family ritual to hand down the “power” of the special martial arts style she is studying. The ritualistic power is passed down from mother to mother when they come of age but, unfortunately, her own mother died during her ritual so the girls grandmother is handing down to her. When our heroine drinks the special green tea to finish the ritual, she opens her eyes and realises she’s been transported back in time (naked, obviously... tsk) to ancient Japan where she must single-handedly help save a village from a dilemma not unlike that of the village featured in Seven Samurai... but it pains me to mention one of Kurosawa’s obviously superior movies in the context of a review of Chanbara Striptease.

So anyway, it soon becomes apparent that she draws her newly gained samurai and martial arts powers from her well shaped bosom and, to this end, every time she has to fight a villain she has to, in the parlance of our time... get her baps out! This means a movie full of topless fighting and glowing, magical nipple jiggling for “our heroine” and, I have to say, that although this basic premise sounds pretty good to probably all good red blooded males (and a fair few females I personally know too, I suspect), this film manages to turn this highly specialised prospect into a quite terrible and mostly boring movie.

The movie runs for just over an hour and the video stock, or whatever it’s been shot on, looks cheap and nasty... in fact the whole thing looks like a very low budget affair, it has to be said. The level of the acting seems to me to be quite competent but there’s nothing truly outstanding to really sell the premise from the actors and overall I felt the movie was just being put together by the numbers. There’s a few fights and some bonding between our heroine and the people of the village, including a pregnant woman whose baby is obviously going to turn out to be one of our main lady’s ancestors... but it’s really grating a lot of the time when it should be more heartwarming I think.

Things do try to get a bit more heartwarming when one of the main villagers starts playing “There’s no place like home” on his harmonica but... IT”S 18th CENTURY BLOODY JAPAN YOU NUTTERS! I’ll rephrase and repeat that last bit right there to let the full gravitas of the stupidity of the filmmakers sink in on this one... in 18TH CENTURY JAPAN, one of the villagers is playing THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME on his HARMONICA. That’s just so wrong in all kinds of ways. Both the song and the instrument are less than 200 years old! What’s going on?

And then comes... the “tender” sex scene between our heroine and her new lover... and I have to say it’s got to be one of the longest and least erotic or moving sex scenes I’ve ever seen put on film. It goes on forever and it’s presumably supposed to be romantic... let me tell you Mr. Director... after 5 or 6 minutes of these two banging away in fake ecstacy, I take exception to then have to see the gentleman in question next taking our main protagonist “doggy-style” against a tree! Seriously... it may be fun (for the participants) but it does nothing to help create the bond of loving that you are so obviously wanting to go for in this scene.

After this weighty and fleshy declaration of romance, our heroine goes off to single handedly take down the group of samurai who are threatening the village, headed up by the boss lady who is the originator of the “naked magic breast” style of fighting that has been handed down from generation to generation to our time travelling heroine. Much fighting ensures... but it’s not particularly entertaining, I’d have to say. The only really amusing part of the final battle is when our heroine is unarmed and her enemy is delivering a final, killer downward cut with her samurai sword. I absolutely promise that our main protagonist survives this by stopping and catching the sword in her naked cleavage and then, uses said bosom to wrestle the sword from her opponents grip. It may not be necessary for me to add that there is a certain lack of credibility and a definitive lack of respect on the film-makers part to the laws of physics inherent in the action content of this scene.

At the end of the film, the main heroine is transported back to her own time zone but ends up wondering if she’s pregnant from the villager who turned out to be the refiner and main impetus of the martial arts style and its handing down through the ages. Personally, by this point, I was just glad the movie (no matter how short) was over.

I don’t think there’s much more I can say about this one, to be honest. Other than it sounds a lot better in writing than it actually is. There are some movies that are so bad that they kind of hold that awfulness up and wear it like a badge and the movie becomes “so bad it’s good.” Chanbara Striptease doesn’t do that, in my humble opinion. It’s just bad and it stays quite bad throughout its scant running time. Only watch this one if you have nothing better to do with your time.

1 comment:

  1. the story is a fantasy but raises the question ? Did Lili go back in time or get doped under by grandma then placed in a training camp naked ?