Mutant Girl Squad is a Japanese film about mutants. It's called 戦闘少女 血の鉄仮面伝説 or Sentō Shōjo: Chi no Tekkamen Densetsu which translates as Fighting Girls: Legend of the Blood of the Iron Mask. A young school girl named Rin comes home from being picked on at school. Her parents tell her she is a mutant of the Hiruko clan. Only her father is a mutant, her mother is human. That doesn't matter to the anti- Hiruko police who invade the house and blow her mom's head right off. Rin has her powers manifest at that time and place and she quickly slices up the police squad with her new mutant hand. Rin's on the run and when she thinks she's being attacked in the street she kills everyone. Rei, another mutant girl finds her and brings her to the transvestite mutant leader Kisaguri who is played by Tak Sakaguchi. We'd just seen Tak in Yakusa Weapon where he had a machine gun put into his arm and a cannon in his knee. In that movie the weapons magically appear when needed and that idea is used her for the girl's mutant powers.
Some of the mutant powers are kind of lame, one girl has little tiny arms growing out her head. That's Rin on the left with her mutant hand. The girl on the right has a chainsaw come out of her ass. Another girl has a pair of samurai swords come out of her breasts. Neither is the most practical of weapons but it's a movie that's all about the vision of the three directors. Rin gets put into a metal mask and her training begins. The mask falls off when she is in control of her mutant powers. Kisagari wants the use the mutants to take over the world. Rin can't quite bring herself to kill the innocent humans and turns against the group. There's a lot of fighting with lots of cgi blood and body parts flying. Lucky for the humans the mutant plot is easy to foil. It's one of those movies that appeals mostly to the fan of such cinema. There isn't much new here that hasn't been in a bunch of these similar sorts of movies. Not something I need to pick up.
Sweet Home is a 1989 Kiyoshi Kurosawa film, he wrote and directed, that was produced by Juzo Itami. Juzo is the director of Tampopo which was the first of his films that I saw back in the 1980's. I liked it quite a bit. Juzo's first film was The Funeral and A Taxing Woman 1 & 2 followed after Tampopo. Sadly none of these are available here. I haven't seen the 6 other films he made after those 4. The lady in hat and scarf above is Nobuko Miyamoto. She was in the 4 Juzo Itami films I've seen and she was Juzo's wife until he commited suicide in 1997. It was said he took his life because of a magazine story that has him having an affair. There was also a story going around that he was pushed out of his office by some Yakuza but nothing ever came of it. Juzo acted in a lot of films, starting in 1960 at age 27, and his last on screen roll is in this movie. Dick Smith did the special effects makeup on Sweet Home. Some of it was pretty entertaining and somewhat gruesome. He worked on an amazing lot of films over his nearly 60 years doing makeup effects. Here's one of his jobs below. Owww, huh.
Sweet Home is a more traditional haunted house film. A tv producer brings a crew, and his daughter, to an old abandoned house that was the home of famous, but now dead, painter Ichiro Mamiya. There's supposed to be a mural in the house that's never been seen by the public. They find the mural alright. In fact they find several murals and a curse. The house is old and dirty and filled with evil. The wife of the painter had accidentally burned her child to death while he was playing in the furnace. She kidnaps other children and burns them in the furnace so her son will have someone to play with. The locals stop her and she jumps into the working furnace. Her spirit can't rest and she haunts the place. Weird things start happening to the producer and crew. One of the women digs up the coffin of the burned baby. Soon the first of them dies and then another. It's rather long at 101 minutes and it moves pretty slowly. I started to pass out near the 80 minute mark but liberal doses of sugar and caffine helped me revive so I could finish the movie. It wasn't an awful film, more average than anything, and I didn't feel the need to watch it again. It's not something that you can find in the US except from torrents and bootleggers. The cover is from a bootleg dvd. The copy Mike found was watchable but not the greatest image quality. Still it's always fun to see something that isn't readily available. It just goes to show you the Internet provides.