Hard Revenge Milly (2008): Japan – directed by Takanori Tsujimoto
Not rated by the MPAA – contains graphic violence and CG blood
It’s a shame, in some ways, that films of this length are not commercially viable on their own. Hard Revenge Milly clocks in a mere 43 minutes. Discount credits and the film is barely 35 minutes long. You would have good reason to ask why I might review such a short film, and the answer is simple. The DVD from Well Go USA contains both Hard Revenge Milly and its sequel, Hard Revenge Milly: Bloody Battle [review here]. Together they clock in at a respectable two hours, meaning that the sequel alone barely reaches feature length.
But I like short films, often finding them to offer a lot of value in a small package. Hard Revenge Milly is no exception, at least for fans of the new Japanese shock cinema. One of the primary selling points for the film is that the special effects were done by Yoshihiro Nishimura, the man responsible for the gore effects in Tokyo Gore Police.
Hard Revenge Milly is a slight film, with a simple story. It is obvious that Milly (Miki Mizuno) has had a rough life as she enters a small tea shop. She asks the owner if he wouldn’t mind sharpening her blade, an odd contraption that manages to fold itself around her elbow when not in use and then snap into a single blade when she so requires. He agrees only after she tells him who it is that she’s after: The Jack Brothers.
She occasionally has flashbacks to the wrongs that they committed against her, the reasons she so strongly desires revenge. She has been seriously injured, too, and it’s unclear how much of her original body remains. Early on there is an indication that she might have something abnormal on her chest. One thing is for sure: she has a shotgun embedded in her right leg.
The rest of the story is obvious, even to those who have never seen a revenge flick. The film is short, though, so there aren’t a ton of bad guys for her to dispatch. The violence is the selling point, and fans of CG blood will not be disappointed. There are slicings and dicings, and a couple of moments that are so outrageous I was howling in laughter. The effects are good, considering the budget and the length of the movie.
The production is surprisingly tight. The film moves rather slowly, allowing time for Milly’s rage to boil and for the audience to sympathize with her. There are only a few odd camera angles and some poor lighting that provide clues that this is a low budget venture. Fans of films like Tokyo Gore Police and Machine Girl will not be disappointed. Hard Revenge Milly provides visceral action and outrageous bodily transformations. Anyone but those looking for CG blood and gore, however, will be turned off and unappreciative.