Lion-Girl (2023)

Directed by
Total trash, by design
Reviewed by Simon on 2024-04-20

Lion-Girl is a very dumb film, and I still haven't worked out whether that is a put-down or not. It knows it's dumb and has no evident desire not to be, but it doesn't quite manage to pull off the irreverent idiocy that films like Nuigulumar Z or The Machine Girl do - perhaps because those films are secretly quite smart.

Lion-Girl inhabits similar trashy territory, though with waaay more nudity than Noboru Iguchi has ever included in his day job... though offset that with substantially less gore. Prosthetics are used for anything below the waist, leaving it feeling quite sexless for all the skin.

The plot is quite bonkers, centred around a delivery assignment in a post-apocalyptic world with mutant monsters and a fascist government. It's based on a manga and feels like it pulls threads in from a much larger story to create a pseudo-nonlinear narrative. This isn't beneficial to the pacing, but it means there is plenty going on.

Oh, nearly forgot to mention that the film is in English, despite a Japanese director and production company. I was surprised to learn that my boy Joey Iwanaga has an American accent. Disappointingly he doesn't get to do much action here, a peculiar choice given that he's one of the most promising rising stars on the planet (please excuse the cosmological inappropriateness).

The language might be one reason why I didn't engage with this as much as equally dumb films like Zombie Ass: Toilet Of The Dead... it changes the vibe watching something in your native tongue, and makes its flaws more apparent.