This rocked up in a package of other films and I had no idea what the hell it was. After watching it I can tell you that Memoirs of a Geisha this ain’t and in all honesty the expression “WTF” does not even begin to cover writer/director Noburo Iguchi’s RoboGeisha, which is now available on DVD. If you loved the graceful, dignified geisha of Memoir then you’ll probably want to steer clear of Iguchi’s murderous, robotic creations.
If you still want to give this film a go, ask yourself this. Have you ever wanted to see a building bleed? A robot castle perform the robot dance? A person stabbed in the eye with some fried shrimp? Sexy pose activated armpit katanas or robot geisha assassins? Well if you answered yes to any of those — be honest, at least one of those things probably piqued your interest — then RoboGeisha is for you.
Iguchi’s film, which lives in the realm of normality for all of three minutes at the beginning, is the latest offering from Japan’s cult gore and shock cinema movement. About the most normal thing in this film is the fact that one of the geisha assassins has machine gun boobs. Sorry, Noburo, but Austin Powers already beat you to that weird and wonderful invention. Everything else though is distinctly Iguchi and probably distinctly Japanese. We’ve all heard of the more twisted side of Japan, stemming from the weird fantasies of overworked employees — the bizarre vending machines in the red light district, all the anime, manga, and video games that are made just for Japanese distribution. RoboGeisha is kind of our glimpse into that world.
It begins with a politician enjoying an evening with a geisha. His aide informs him of a death threat stating that in three minutes he’ll be dead if he doesn’t pull out of the race for presidency. The politician then goes on a hilarious tirade about all the stuff you can do in three minutes before dancing with the geisha. After asking her to be his sweet-mama, which just sounds even more hilarious in Japanese for some reason, he touches her breast and this is where RoboGeisha goes from being anything normal into WTF territory. The geisha’s eyes spin around in her head and she begins to make mechanical sounds before she splits in half to produce two Tengu, scantily clad Japanese phallic goblins. I only know that because they take the time out to inform you that’s what a Tengu is, a nice consideration on the director's part. They proceed to boob-stab one guy to death and shoot shuriken out of their butt to kill another guy, normal stuff you and I do all the time, right?